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I'm trying to do something a little bit obscure, if not to other people at least to me.

My current task: Sneak into the (possibly corrupted) data of a Windows 2003 server hard drive, and extract the Exchange data from it, for one or more accounts. I say one or more, because if I succeed, I'll probably have to repeat the feat.

Then I have to hand-pick the data, and import it back into the user's Outlook profile, so that he has access to his old e-mail data, contacts, and so on and so forth.

Things that are _NOT_ included in my options:

-Installing a new box with Windows Server 2003
-Installing Exchange on my desktop from a sane backup to properly export data
-Any other thing implying a proper backup system and/or disaster recovery plan.

Tools I have at my disposal:

-External USB hard drives
-The Windows Server 2003 hard-drive
-A live ubuntu disk
-Time, but it seems I have to not use that alot.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Assuming the files are intact on the servers hard drive, then Ontracks Power Controls will allow you to extract mailboxes from the exchange .mdb files. They have a demo which will allow you to see if recovery is possible. See here

Edit: Looking at your previous posts, it looks like your boss will learn the hard way why proper backups and proper server hardware RAID are important.

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OKay, that seems nice enough, and which database file should I pick? –  MrZombie Aug 17 '09 at 16:31
    
@ your edit: Yes, yes, or not. He decided that the date of our upcoming meeting about that would be "later". –  MrZombie Aug 17 '09 at 17:00
    
Okay so this worked remarkably well. Thanks! –  MrZombie Aug 17 '09 at 18:30

If the machine boots up and has exchange installed, installing exmerge you can extract a mailbox to a pst on the machine and then copy that pst to a local workstation whose matching inbox in order to upload the mail items for this user.

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Check out this software, since you didn't mention cost.

http://www.officerecovery.com/mail/index.htm

This software package works killer on things like .edb and .ost files, which are normally inaccessible.

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First thing... If it's a RAID volume, DO NOT use chkdsk.

You'll need to find your exchange database obviously. Depending on what kind of hard drive set up you have, you may be able to get an SATA/IDE to USB converter to extract the information on the hard drive.

If you can boot into safe mode, then my best bet would be to attach an internal hard drive in the computer, granting that you can format it before hand. You may need to disassemble the USB drive to get to the innards. If you can into safe mode, copy all of the data from the corrupt drives to your new one.

In order to extract from EDB databases, you HAVE to install some form of Exchange on a stable machine. If you're going away from exchange, then installing the management tools on your laptop may be the only option you have. However, if your going to reinstall exchange, you can get the data off, then recover it after you have reinstalled.

MORE than likely, you'll need to repair the database to get anything out of it. Check this out: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html

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