Troubleshooting Restore and Recovery Issues in Exchange Server 2003


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-23

Restoring a database to a recovery storage group is similar to restoring it to an ordinary storage group. However, there are some differences that you should know about:

  • To distinguish recovery storage group transaction logs from ordinary log files, the base name of the transaction log files is R00, rather than Enn. The current recovery storage group log is named R00.log, and subsequent recovery storage group logs are named R0000001.log, R0000002.log, and so on.

  • Hard recovery (transaction log file replay from an online backup) cannot be done in a recovery storage group while databases in the group are mounted. In an ordinary storage group, you can restore one database while others are running.

  • After hard recovery or soft recovery (transaction log file replay from a file copy backup) in a recovery storage group is complete, Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 detaches the databases from the transaction logs that have prefixes beginning with Enn, and then reattaches them to the R00 log series of the recovery storage group. For more detailed information about transaction logging and recovery, see the appendixes to this document.

  • If you are restoring file copy backups of databases rather than online backups, and you want to replay transaction logs into them (soft recovery), run the Exchange Server Database Utilities (Eseutil.exe) tool using the /r, /i, and /d switches before mounting the databases in the recovery storage group. For detailed information about the exact syntax and process, see Transaction Log File Replay: Soft Recovery and Hard Recovery in Exchange Server 2003.

If you experience a failure during a restore operation or recovery, check the application event log for additional information about the error. During any Exchange database recovery operation, Exchange logs a standard sequence of event IDs or errors. For example, regardless of the exact cause of a recovery failure, an event 904 may be logged. In the description of the 904 event, you will find information about the specific error that has occurred and the specific error ID number.

The same error ID may also be displayed in different numeric formats, depending on which interface is reporting the error. For example, the errors IDs 0xC8000262, -939523486, 0xfffffded, and -531 all refer to the same error, which is JET_errBadDBSignature. You can use the Error Code Lookup tool (Err.exe) Downloads for Exchange Server 2003 to translate many numeric errors. You can also look up errors by searching the Microsoft Knowledge Base at In most cases, the error ID will be translated into plain language in the error message itself.

For example, you might see the JET_errBadDBSignature error in the following permutations:

  • The Restore.env file reports Recover Error: 0xC8000262.

  • Eseutil.exe reports Operation terminated with error -939523486 (Existing log file has bad signature.).

  • In the application event log, the description of Event 904 lists the error as Information Store Callback function call ErrESECBRestoreComplete ended with error 0xC8000262 Existing log file has bad signature.

All three forms of this error are generated simultaneously, and which version you see depends on where you look for the error.

The rest of this section lists causes and solutions for several common restore and recovery errors.