Salvaging Data from the Recovery Storage Group in Exchange Server 2003


Topic Last Modified: 2006-06-07

Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 introduced a new Exchange System Manager task, which is titled Recover Mailbox Data, for performing simple merges of mailbox content between a mailbox in a Recovery Storage Group and the same mailbox running in a normal storage group. For more information about this task, refer to the online Help for Exchange System Manager.

Before Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1, the only supported method of extracting data from a database in a Recovery Storage Group was the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 version of the ExMerge tool. This version of ExMerge can match a disconnected mailbox in a recovery storage group database with the original mailbox and user account still present elsewhere in the system. This version of ExMerge is available on Downloads for Exchange Server 2003.

The documentation that accompanies ExMerge is comprehensive. In addition, several articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base explain the use of ExMerge and how to troubleshoot common issues and failures.

ExMerge includes sophisticated message selection and filtering capabilities, and can be used to export mailbox data to Outlook Personal Folders (.PST) files. If you do not need such capabilities, but only want to merge all the contents of the RSG mailbox to the original mailbox, then you do not have to use ExMerge. Instead, you can use the simple Recover Mailbox Data task to directly merge the mailboxes from Exchange System Manager.

You can skip this topic unless you will use the ExMerge tool to perform data salvage. The rest of this topic assumes that you are familiar with the general functionality and interface of ExMerge. Topics in this section describe:

  • How ExMerge interacts with recovery storage groups.

  • Permissions necessary for using ExMerge with a recovery storage group.

  • Troubleshooting common ExMerge problems.

  • Best practices for working with ExMerge.