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Create corrupted or bad DB for test purposes? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Granted I may not have thought this all the way through, but I came up with this idea today about creating Exchange mailbox databases that would have issues that we the user could deploy in a test environment for practice and experience in resolving issues. A good tool not just for the admin who wants to keep their skills up to date, but also for those learning Exchange. I think most who are learning probably have these setup in a virtual environment using a test AD and network.

    So I thought why not create 5 databases that each would have a significant problem that the user would have to diagnose. Problem of course is how do I go about creating bad databases? I was thinking I could just create in a test environment the DBs under a domain like exchangetest.local, or something along that line. In each mailbox there would be 5 user accounts.  Included would be a cheat sheet that would simply indicate the nature of each db issue.

    Anyone even think this is worth the effort? Would this be of any use to anyone I wonder? My thinking is that you can learn the basic how to fix a given problem, but real world experience in dealing with the unknown problems is what truly is valuable learning tool. Maybe I have not thought this all the way through, so input is more than welcome please.

     

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:04 PM

Answers

  • Open the .edb file in notepad (or probably better to use a hex editor) and change various characters? Haha. I'm not sure what would happen.

    In most cases the solution would just be to restore from backup so it doesn't really matter. It would be interesting to see how much eseutil and isinteg can handle if you messed it up in an editor though! :)


    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:12 PM
  • On Wed, 20 Apr 2011 23:04:57 +0000, SamD2 wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >Granted I may not have thought this all the way through, but I came up with this idea today about creating Exchange mailbox databases that would have issues that we the user could deploy in a test environment for practice and experience in resolving issues. A good tool not just for the admin who wants to keep their skills up to date, but also for those learning Exchange. I think most who are learning probably have these setup in a virtual environment using a test AD and network.
    >
    >So I thought why not create 5 databases that each would have a significant problem that the user would have to diagnose. Problem of course is how do I go about creating bad databases? I was thinking I could just create in a test environment the DBs under a domain like exchangetest.local, or something along that line. In each mailbox there would be 5 user accounts. Included would be a cheat sheet that would simply indicate the nature of each db issue.
    >
    >Anyone even think this is worth the effort? Would this be of any use to anyone I wonder? My thinking is that you can learn the basic how to fix a given problem, but real world experience in dealing with the unknown problems is what truly is valuable learning tool. Maybe I have not thought this all the way through, so input is more than welcome please.
     
     
    Open the database in Wordpad and paste a sizable .gif (or .jpg, etc.)
    file in there. Save the file and you'll be off and running. :-)
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Thursday, April 21, 2011 1:54 AM
  • Another tip is to create five email accounts in one of the database as you suggested, send some email between the accounts in that same database, remove the transaction logs from the db log folders. That would make you database happy :)
    Adam Bokiniec
    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Thursday, April 21, 2011 6:25 AM

All replies

  • Open the .edb file in notepad (or probably better to use a hex editor) and change various characters? Haha. I'm not sure what would happen.

    In most cases the solution would just be to restore from backup so it doesn't really matter. It would be interesting to see how much eseutil and isinteg can handle if you messed it up in an editor though! :)


    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:12 PM
  • On Wed, 20 Apr 2011 23:04:57 +0000, SamD2 wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >Granted I may not have thought this all the way through, but I came up with this idea today about creating Exchange mailbox databases that would have issues that we the user could deploy in a test environment for practice and experience in resolving issues. A good tool not just for the admin who wants to keep their skills up to date, but also for those learning Exchange. I think most who are learning probably have these setup in a virtual environment using a test AD and network.
    >
    >So I thought why not create 5 databases that each would have a significant problem that the user would have to diagnose. Problem of course is how do I go about creating bad databases? I was thinking I could just create in a test environment the DBs under a domain like exchangetest.local, or something along that line. In each mailbox there would be 5 user accounts. Included would be a cheat sheet that would simply indicate the nature of each db issue.
    >
    >Anyone even think this is worth the effort? Would this be of any use to anyone I wonder? My thinking is that you can learn the basic how to fix a given problem, but real world experience in dealing with the unknown problems is what truly is valuable learning tool. Maybe I have not thought this all the way through, so input is more than welcome please.
     
     
    Open the database in Wordpad and paste a sizable .gif (or .jpg, etc.)
    file in there. Save the file and you'll be off and running. :-)
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Thursday, April 21, 2011 1:54 AM
  • Another tip is to create five email accounts in one of the database as you suggested, send some email between the accounts in that same database, remove the transaction logs from the db log folders. That would make you database happy :)
    Adam Bokiniec
    • Marked as answer by emma.yoyo Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:36 AM
    Thursday, April 21, 2011 6:25 AM