Email is the de facto communication channel used in most organizations today. According to a study by Radicati, 2.9 billion people will use email for business communications by the end of 2019. This is almost one-third of the world population! Also, this study estimates that 249 billion emails will be sent every day by the end of this year. To manage this heavy email load, you need a reliable email server, and Microsoft’s Exchange Server is the most popular email server in the world. There are many problems that could crop up in your Exchange server too, the most common of which is corruption in Exchange database files.
Exchange database files, also called EDB files, store and update mailbox information of Exchange users. Sometimes, this file gets corrupted and as a result, all information stored in it is lost. In turn, this impacts not just the productivity of employees but also results in a loss of critical data for the organization.
Before going into how we can fix this issue, let us look at some possible causes so we can try as much as possible to avoid them.
EDB files get corrupted due to many reasons. Some of the prominent ones are:
Thus, these are some of the common causes of EDB corruption.
If your EDB file is corrupted, here are some ways to fix it.
When you back up your data every few hours, you can easily recover your data from the backup file. Let’s say your EDB file gets corrupted all of a sudden and you’re unable to open a user’s mailbox. Simply open your backup file, get the data you want and put it in a new EDB file. Connect this file to the user’s mailbox and everything is back to normal.
Sounds easy, right?
But it is equally important to note that there are some limitations to this recovery method. First off, you’ll miss important emails that were sent or received between the time of backup and the time of corruption. For example, let’s say a backup of your files happens every four hours. The emails your employees send and receive in this intermittent time will be lost if you take data from the backup file.
Some companies overcome this limitation by continuous backup. This is both expensive and resource-intensive, but if you can afford it, this is the easiest way to recover the emails you need.
In case of a time lag between backup and corruption, opt for Eseutil. In fact. Eseutil, a built-in tool, is the most popular solution for fixing corrupted files. It ships with Microsoft, so you don’t have to download or install it separately.
You’ll find this in “C:Program Files\ExchSrvr\Bin”
Before we go into how you can run this tool, let’s see a few of its switches, so you know which option to choose.
The different switches in Eseutil are:
Now that you have the prerequisites ready, let’s see how to run this tool.
To run Eseutil, open the command prompt and type “Eseutil.exe.” Follow this with the switch you want to use. Ideally, run “Eseutil /r” if there is minor loss of data and you have a backup of past information. This will run faster than the other option and will simply restore the data that is unavailable in the database. On the other hand, if you don’t have a backup and if you’re up against major issues, run “Eseutil /p.” This command will do a hard recovery of the EDB file.
Here are step-by-step instructions on running Eseutil.
After you finish running Eseutil, next run the tool called Isinteg to check for integrity weaknesses. The idea behind this tool is to find and eliminate any errors in public folders and mailbox databases at the application level. Like Eseutil, Isinteg also comes with a few switches, and they are:
Again like Eseutil, run Isinteg from your command prompt with the appropriate switch.
The format is:
Isinteg -s ServerName [-fix] [-verbose] [-l logfilename] -test testname
Here are some details on how to use this command:
There is nothing much for you to do as this tool checks and fixes the possible errors by itself.
If none of the above steps work, it means your database is very severely corrupted and it is beyond the scope of these tools to fix it for you. Your only option, in that case, is to use one of the paid third-party tools available for EDB recovery.
So, have you tried to recover corrupted EDB files using any other method? Do share the details with our readers.
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