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Exchange 2003 recovering from an ost file RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I recently had to restore my Exchange 2003 Datastore from a backup, which went fine. To my pleasant surprise once users logged on to the server they found that they had not lost any mail - I suppose their local .ost file had merged in any changes from the restored Exchange mailbox. As this was all looking fine I didnt bother trying to restore any transaction logs.

    However later in the day I had a call from three users to say that they had mail missing from a shared mailbox. Each of them opens their own mailbox and have used the Outlook option that allows you to open another mailbox (the one they share). I suppose that Outlook isnt able to merge in changes from the ost if its not your own mailbox.

    Is there a way I could do this better? I wasnt expecting the .ost file to merge in the changes so it was nice that recovery is so easy, however is there an option I can tick to get it to work on a mailbox belonging to another user. Or should I think about doing things differently

    Thanks in advance, sorry if this has been asked before

    Rob

     

     

     

     

     

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 10:33 AM

Answers

  • In a lab environment, OST files did backfill into mailboxes that was older and restored. However, as mentioned inKB 161889, the OST file is to be considered a Replica, and not a backup, and cannot be restored. This is not guaranteed to work, nor supported for disaster recovery data retention

    The only supported method of .OST recovery in a disaster scenario is to log the client in Offline mode and copy the .OST data to a .PST file, and then copy the data again from the .PST file to the user’s recovered mailbox after logging the client back on in Online mode

    Resources:

    how cached exchange mode handles an Exchange restore (Similar question)


    James Luo
    TechNet Subscriber Support (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/ms788697.aspx)
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com
    • Proposed as answer by Anbu Selvan Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by Alan.Gim Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:49 AM
    Friday, April 16, 2010 8:40 AM

All replies

  • Well, as far as I know, the ost doesnt not merge anything back. How did you do the restore?
    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:36 PM
  • Weird - not sure how this worked then. From my notes this is what I did

    Tried restoring from Windows Backup but it said that one of the log files it was trying to replace was corrupt

    Tried moving the file it said was corrupt - windows wouldnt let me move it

    Ran chkdsk /f so scandisk would run after reboot

    Rebooted

    Removed D:\exchange\MDBDATA\e00.log

    Restored DB using NTBACKUP

    Ran eseutil /cc "D:\temp\logs\First Storage Group"

    Mounted data store

    Expected to have to mess around with transaction logs but I logged on and all my mail from between backup and Exchange failure was there. Other users log on all looks OK, cup of coffee sigh of relief.

    An hour later users of the shared mailbox complain mail to the shared mailbox isnt there.

     

     

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:28 PM
  • Ok, so when you ran the restore, Exchange replayed the trans logs and brought you back to point of failure. I see you ran eseutil/cc which is the same as checking the last restore set in NTBACKUP replaying any pending logs. So either way, if the logs were all there, that's what got you back to the point of failure.

    As for the shared mailbox, did you open it directly and verify those emails are missing or if they were moved or deleted?

     

     

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:16 PM
  • No didnt try that.  Perhaps the log file it says was corrupt was the one that had mail for the missing mailbox
    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 6:04 PM
  • In a lab environment, OST files did backfill into mailboxes that was older and restored. However, as mentioned inKB 161889, the OST file is to be considered a Replica, and not a backup, and cannot be restored. This is not guaranteed to work, nor supported for disaster recovery data retention

    The only supported method of .OST recovery in a disaster scenario is to log the client in Offline mode and copy the .OST data to a .PST file, and then copy the data again from the .PST file to the user’s recovered mailbox after logging the client back on in Online mode

    Resources:

    how cached exchange mode handles an Exchange restore (Similar question)


    James Luo
    TechNet Subscriber Support (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/ms788697.aspx)
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com
    • Proposed as answer by Anbu Selvan Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by Alan.Gim Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:49 AM
    Friday, April 16, 2010 8:40 AM
  • Yea, I have to agree with James here on the not guaranteed to work part! :P

    I havent seen it do this consistently either.

    Friday, April 16, 2010 12:16 PM
  • If the impact of the issue is less, you can restore or convert the .ost to .pst.

    If the mails are missing in .OST, there are remote chance to get the mails for the shared users.

    I do inline with James update.

    Thanks James


    With Best Regards Anbu
    Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:36 PM
  • Hi

    I recently had to restore my Exchange 2003 Datastore from a backup, which went fine. To my pleasant surprise once users logged on to the server they found that they had not lost any mail - I suppose their local .ost file had merged in any changes from the restored Exchange mailbox. As this was all looking fine I didnt bother trying to restore any transaction logs.

    However later in the day I had a call from three users to say that they had mail missing from a shared mailbox. Each of them opens their own mailbox and have used the Outlook option that allows you to open another mailbox (the one they share). I suppose that Outlook isnt able to merge in changes from the ost if its not your own mailbox.

    Is there a way I could do this better? I wasnt expecting the .ost file to merge in the changes so it was nice that recovery is so easy, however is there an option I can tick to get it to work on a mailbox belonging to another user. Or should I think about doing things differently

    Thanks in advance, sorry if this has been asked before

    Rob

     

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    Hi Rob,

    We are suggested you try Export OST to PST conversion tool. It is solve your exchange ost recovery related issues.

     http://www.exportosttopst.com/

    Regards,

    Exchange Database Administrator

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Friday, February 4, 2011 9:05 AM
  • Hii

    For backup from Outlook 2003 OST file, you can choose our software that smoothly works with almost OS and Outlook Versions. if your OST file corrupted or deleted by chance then you can recover your email data file easily with our OST recovery tool. This tool restore all backup without missing and single informations.

    Resource -

    SysTools OST Recovery Tool

    Visit us SysTools Website :

    http://www.ostrecovery.co.uk



    • Edited by lizzewatson Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:04 PM
    Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:03 PM
  • This is not an issue with the Exchange server. Outlook.ost is the cached copy of your mailbox stored on your computer.To resolve this simply close outlook and rename outlook.ost to outlook.ost.old. You can find the outlook.ost (or whatever the ost file is named - it could be your-email-address.ost) in %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\The next time you open Outlook it will create a new OST and begin downloading your mailbox items again. But if it doesn’t help, try free demo of recovery toolbox for outlook. You can find it here. http://goo.gl/qSi5zR

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:23 PM