Repairing Exchange Server 2003


Topic Last Modified: 2005-04-27

In most situations where you might consider repairing a database, it is recommended instead that you restore the database from the backup, and replay the transaction log files to make the database up-to-date. Sometimes you cannot make the database completely up-to-date. In these instances, you can try to recover additional data from the failed database. For this reason, keep a copy of the failed database when you restore your backup to production hardware. For more information about keeping a copy of the failed database, see "Moving or Copying the Existing Versions of the Database Files That You Are Restoring (Optional)" in Recovering an Exchange Database.

For example: One of the databases in your Exchange organization experiences some type of corruption. You copy the corrupted database to a test server, and then start to restore the most recent backup to your production server. Unfortunately, the tape that you used for the backup was bad, and you have to revert to an earlier backup. Between the time that the two backups were made, some of the transaction log files were truncated (deleted) and you no longer have those transaction log files available. When you have restored all the available database and log files, you are still missing data.

You still might be able to recover some of that missing data by trying to repair the database on your test server, and then merging any additional data from your test server to your production server.

There are situations where repairing your database might be your only option. Examples of these cases include times when you do not have a backup of your Exchange database, or when your only backup is unusable. When you try to repair a backup, make sure to do this with a copy of the damaged database in case your attempts to repair the database fail. You cannot undo repair operations.

You might experience problems with an Exchange server that might not necessarily require you to perform a database restore or a complete recovery of the server. Try restarting your Exchange server first. If that does not solve the problem, you can try to reinstall Exchange before you resort to restoring your database.

Restarting your server might fix your immediate problem, but make sure to perform basic troubleshooting methods such as checking the event log files to determine the root cause of the problem that you are experiencing.

This section contains the following topics about Exchange repair processes:

  • Reinstalling Exchange over a damaged installation.

  • Repairing Exchange databases.

  • Repairing full-text indexing.