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Part 3: Diagnose database problems with Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant

Use the free Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool to identify database mounting failures and repair Exchange Server database problems quickly.

To diagnose an Exchange Server database problem with the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool, open click on...

the Welcome link found in the upper-left corner of the application's screen.

  1. Click the Start Troubleshooting link, and you will see the Troubleshooting Task Selection screen.

  2. To begin the troubleshooting process, click on the Database Recovery Management link at the bottom of the screen.

As noted in Part 1 and Part 2 of this tutorial , the first steps when troubleshooting performance and mail flow issues are to name the troubleshooting session, the problematic Exchange server and a global catalog server. When troubleshooting a database problem, you can still enter this information. However, this screen also gives you the option to manually analyze a raw data file, as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14
Figure 14. When you begin troubleshooting any database problems, you can also examine a raw data file.

If you are trying to troubleshoot an Exchange Server database problem, it's likely that your database will not mount. If so, then it's best to perform a manual analysis of raw data files. To do so:

  1. Select the Perform Manual Analysis of Raw Data Files checkbox and click Next. You will see a screen asking you to provide the full path and filename of the problematic database. You also must provide the path to the directory that includes log files for the storage group that contains the Exchange database.

  2. Click Next, and the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant will begin to analyze the database. This analysis could take a considerable amount of time to complete, depending on the size of the database, its condition and the speed of your server's hardware. Once the analysis is complete, you will see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 15.

    Figure 15
    Figure 15. The Analysis Results screen displays the database's condition and a solution to the problem.

    Because I'm running the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool against a clean system, no database problems were detected. But the tool will still give details of the database's current state and some basic information.

    More Exchange database management resources:
    Mailbox store mounting problems

    Top 10 Exchange database problems -- and how to fix them

    Top 10 Microsoft Exchange Server database problems – and how to fix them, part 2

    Located beneath the database information is a recommended solution. Even though my database is clean, the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool still recommends a course of action in the event that the database was not clean.

  3. To complete the manual analysis process, click Next and the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool will display a View Results screen similar to the one that was viewed when troubleshooting Exchange server performance or mail flow problems.

If you do not perform a manual database analysis, the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant still gives you a variety of options that correspond to most database-related issues. Therefore, you shouldn't have trouble finding a troubleshooting option that corresponds to your situation. If you choose not to perform a manual analysis of raw data files:

  1. Click on the Welcome link in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then click on the Start Troubleshooting link.

  2. Next, click the Database Recovery Management link, and name the troubleshooting session.

  3. Enter the name of the server that is having problems, and then enter the name of a global catalog server. Do not check the Perform Manual Analysis box.

  4. Click Next, and the troubleshooter will perform a quick connectivity test, and then will display a summary of how the Exchange Server uses disk resources.

  5. Click on the Gather Database Information from Active Directory link, and the Troubleshooter will present several different repair-and-analysis options (Figure 16).

Figure 16
Figure 16. The Gather Database Information from Active Directory link and Troubleshooter display several different repair-and-analysis options.


 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: Fix email performance with Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant
 Part 2: Manage mail flow with Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant
 Part 3: Diagnose database problems with Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at

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