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JHC Technology is a Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business based in the Washington, DC Metro area. Our primary focus is to offer customized solutions and IT consulting to our Commercial and Government clients. Our experts have a broad experience delivering and managing Microsoft Enterprise applications and Cloud and Virtualization Solutions, as well as mobilizing Enterprise data.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Deleted Emails? One More Step For Hope

Since my last blog, we reviewed several ways to recover deleted email items. From recovering files from the deleted items folder within MS Outlook to searching the dumpster on an exchange server. However, there is one more way to retrieve deleted email items. And that is through your system backups.

All businesses maintain some sort of disaster recovery model that includes regular backups of their email systems. Using a 3rd party tool like Symantec Netbackup and Microsoft Exchange, an entire email database containing user mailbox data can be restored. The information can then be imported back into the user’s mailbox. The steps are simple and as follows:

1. You want to obtain as much information as possible regarding the user’s missing emails. Particularly which email folders are missing mail (i.e. Inbox, Sent Items) and the dates the emails are missing from. This is very important because the restore point selected will be based on the date the exchange server was backed up.

2. You will need to create a Recovery database (RDB) in preparation for the restore process on your MS Exchange server. This recovery database will house an email database and log file information for the mailbox that you want to restore. The database must be dismounted and ready to be overwritten by a restore. These are options that can be selected once the RDB is created.

3. You need to use your third party backup tool to display a timeline of the backup jobs that were performed on the exchange server. You want to select a date prior to that of the missing email and one that will contain the latest backup information. Once obtained, you will start what’s known as a restore to process to pull the email database information from its stored location (backup tapes, disk space, etc.) which is usually rather large file so make sure that you have enough drive space in which to populate the data. The data is placed into the RDB based on a selected path that’s predetermined that tells the Netbackup where to place the restored files.

4. After the restore is completed, using MS Exchange Management Powershell, you can run a simple script to populate the missing emails directly into the users’ mailboxes with no user intervention required.

It’s that simple. You have now gone through the process of restoring missing email files from a recovery database.

Jeronna Freeman  is the Cloud Administrator for JHC Technology.  She can be reached atjfreeman (at) jhctechnology.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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