First off, note that I am not doing this recovery because of any actual problem, I'm just testing it. I'm running Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 R2, and using Windows Server Backup to a remote file share for the backups. I have to assume I'm doing something wrong because all of the documentation I've found hasn't helped me.

I back up the 2 separate volumes that I store database files and log files on. I use Windows Server Backup to restore a given EDB file and it's corresponding log files to an alternate location. Normally I would assume I can then create a new recovery database, specifying the location of these restored files, and I could then mount it to try to restore specific mail. However, it always gives me errors because it's in a "Dirty Shutdown" state. Running eseutil /mh shows me this state. From what I've found online, it seems as though this state should only appear if there is a genuine corruption. The backups are supposed to be Exchange-aware, so I would imagine this should not be the state the database is in after recovery. I've tried to go through the whole repair process suggested when there's corruption, but this always destroys all the data I need.

Am I doing something wrong with the backup, or something with the restore? Should the database be in this "Dirty Shutdown" state after restoring?

  • +1 for testing your restores! :) – Maximus Minimus Feb 11 '10 at 21:26

Please take a look at THIS article, at the bottom it states that a DB backed up and restored to an alternate location using Windows Backup will be flagged as dirty.

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  • I had seen that article, but I guess I didn't notice it said that. However, that article does say to use "Applications" as the recovery type, and I've tried to use "Files and Folders." I was hoping to do it this way so that I could recover a single database at a time, but I guess it might be possible that it can't be done that way. I've gotten good at eseutil, so I can try to replay the log files manually once this recover is finished. If it works, I guess that means you can't restore individual files, even when you're doing all the work manually? – Paul Kroon Feb 11 '10 at 21:12
  • It seems like my problem was caused by using the "Files and Folders" instead of "Applications" when I was doing the restore. I'll be playing around with it more because I want to get comfortable with the procedures, but I've been able to successfully restore e-mail so I have to assume that was it. I'll mark your response as the answer because it did technically answer the question I posed in the title, but it would be great if anyone else had any specific info on what this restore mode does different from a plain file restore. – Paul Kroon Feb 11 '10 at 22:02

Bringing the Database into a Clean Shutdown State To bring the database to a clean shutdown state, run following command from the log file folder: Eseutil /R E00 /I /dX:\Restore\F_\MDB1

open a command prompt and browse to the logs folder, from there run the above command.

After that check whether you have a clean state db and all emails.

I haven't experimented alot but done a few test restores and it has been the case for me too even restoring with BESR 2010.

hope that helps

Another good article : http://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/exchange-server-log-file-replay/

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