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Testing a passive database for corruption in Exchange Server 2007

Learn what to take into account when running an integrity check on your passive databases for corruption in Exchange Server 2007. From available disk space allotments to what commands to use, Exchange Server Brien Posey explains that and more in this tip.

If you want to perform an integrity check and test your passive databases for corruption within an Exchange Server 2007 environment, there are several considerations. Is disk space going to be an issue? Do you want to use the Exchange Management Console or Exchange Management Shell to perform continuous replication? What if the integrity check detects a problem? In this tip, Microsoft Exchange Server expert Brien Posey answers these questions and outlines a step-by-step plan for performing a continuous replication integrity test of passive databases.

Before performing a test against the passive database, it's important to know that the testing process creates a temporary copy of the database. This means that you must have enough free disk space to accommodate both the primary database copy and the temporary copy.

There is also some overhead associated with the testing process. I recommend looking at current size of the database and adding 20%. The result represents the absolute minimum amount of free disk space that you can use.

If disk space is an issue, you can append the /T switch. A path and filename that will be used by the temporary database should follow the /T switch. This allows you to store the temporary database on an alternate volume. For instance, if you named the temporary database temp.edb and placed it in the D:\temp folder, you could use the /T switch like this:

/T D:\temp\temp.edb

The procedure to test a passive database is similar to that used to test a database log files and involves using the ESEUTIL command with the /K switch.

However, you must also specify the path to the database and the database name. For example, if your database is named STORE.EDB and is located at R :\Mailbox\LocalCopies\First Storage Group\STORE.EDB, then the command would look like this:

ESEUTIL /K R:\Mailbox\LocalCopies\First Storage Group\STORE.EDB

The amount of time it takes to perform a database integrity check depends on the database's size and the performance level of your hardware.

Hopefully when your integrity test is complete, there won't be any errors in the passive database. In that case, all you have to do is resume continuous replication.

Note: You must suspend replication before resuming.

Open the Exchange Management Console and navigate through the server tree to Server Configuration | Mailbox. Select your mailbox server and the storage group that you tested.

More on Exchange Server 2007 continuous replication:
Exchange Server 2007 replication and database transaction basics

How continuous replication methods affect Exchange 2007 log shipping

Exchange Server 2007 hardware planning for continuous replication

Click on the Resume Storage Group Copy link found in the Actions pane. When prompted, click Yes to reinitiate continuous replication. Depending on how long continuous replication was suspended for, it may take quite a while for the process to revert to a current state.

If you prefer to use the Exchange Management Shell, you can resume continuous replication by entering the following command:

Resume-StorageGroupCopy –Identity "First Storage Group

If a problem is detected with the database or with the log files during the integrity test, you must fix the problem. The easiest way is to simply suspend continuous replication and delete the passive database and its corresponding log files. This will remove the detected corruption. Once the files have been removed, resume continuous replication and Exchange Server 2007 will recreate the passive database.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a five-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his work with Exchange Server, Windows Server, Internet Information Services (IIS), and File Systems and Storage. 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 website at

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