While ago I’ve published an article, “How to Backup Exchange 2010 for Free” and I’ve got a lot of emails and comments where people were asking me to write an article about how to do a restore. So, let’s see how to do that . What I am going to do here is restore an old database backup that was created using the steps in my previous post. We’ll see how to use a Recovery Database. We will take a look at several methods used to restore mailbox data from it using the Exchange Management Shell.
Exchange 2010 has a new feature called “Single Item Recovery”. The recover deleted items feature in previous versions of Exchange has been given a face lit and a new folder called “Recoverable Items” exists in a 2010 mailbox to assist with recovering deleted emails. The “Recoverable Items” folder has three sub-folders called Deletions, Purges and Versions. It is the “recoverable items” folder and sub-folders that make single item recovery possible.
Opening a 2010 mailbox with MFCMAPI displays the new recoverable items folder and it’s subfolders.
Microsoft Exchange 2010 Storage Calculator has this option enabled by default and most of the architects calculate the storage required with this feature enabled.
In simple words, single item recovery makes it possible for a user/administrator to recover any emails that have been deleted, as long as the recovery is done before the deleted items retention window is up. The change in 2010 is that you can even recover emails that a user has purposefully deleted, even from “recoverable deleted items folder”. This means that the user has deleted the emails in “deleted items” folder and went into “recoverable items folder” and purged the emails to make it impossible to restore (unless from backup) in previous versions of Exchange, but not in 2010.
If the user deleted the email as soon as he had received it, then the emails won’t be in the backup tape either. But with single item recovery in Exchange 2010, you as an administrator can recover these emails very easily. This is made possible by the new folder introduced in the 2010 mailbox, “Recoverable Items”.
Let say we have an Exchange 2010 environment with 30 days “deleted items retention window”. A user deletes an email from inbox, goes to “deleted items” folder and empties it. He goes ahead and deletes it from “Recoverable items folder” as well.
When the user deleted the email, it was moved to the “Deletions” sub-folder and when it was deleted from the “recoverable items” folder, the email wasn’t purged by the store, but was moved to the “Purges” sub-folder. Both deletions and purges folders keep the emails for the deleted item retention window period, 30 days in our case. Therefore, as an administrator, we can go ahead and restore that email very easily using the Exchange Control Panel.
In order for this to work for a mailbox, the feature has to be enabled. Run the command below to enable single item recovery for a mailbox
For all mailboxes to have this feature set, run:
Now, set a comfortable deleted items retention window on all databases (14 days is the default) and you don’t have to look for your tapes for a restore, if it falls within the retention period.