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Restoring a deleted mailbox

How to restore a mailbox that you shouldn't have deleted.


Restoring a deleted mailbox
Serdar Yegulalp

Restoring an individual, deleted mailbox from an Exchange server 5.0 is no picnic, unfortunately. Note that it is possible to find out who did the deleting if you have auditing turned on, but not afterwards, and in no case is it possible to recover directly from a deletion.

To restore an individual mailbox, you'll need a separate machine that can run as a recovery server. Restore a backup of Exchange Server onto that machine, log into the deleted mailbox, and export the mailbox in question to a .PST. Take the .PST file to the production server, create a new mailbox with the same credentials as the old one, and import the .PST into it.

A rule of thumb regarding Exchange: never allow a user to delete his or her own resources. It also helps not to delete someone's mailbox until six months or more after they have been discontinued as a user, and to make a backup of the Exchange store just before making any deletions.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

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