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  1. #1
    Crewdawg257's Avatar
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    Question Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

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    I know this is off topic, but there are some Exhange admins here that may be able to help.

    I am a new IT Manager and I made a mistake today, a big mistake. Let me start at the beginning and excuse the long post, I want to be thorough so you can understand my plight.

    We run an Exchange 2003 SP2 on Windows Server 2003 SP2. We currently have around 200 Mailboxes. Our backup system is a Quantum Superloader 3 using Symantec Backupexec 11D. We do have the Exchange Agent for Backupexec. We do not have circular logging enabled.

    We have in the past not set any size limits for sending or receiving messages. We also never implemented quotas or limits on user mailboxes. As a result we have seen explosive growth on the server and reached the 75GB limit today. Of course the mailbox store dismounted automatically.

    I went into Exchange and turned the retention policy down from 30 days to 0 days and ran the Cleanup Agent. All of the mailboxes pending deletion were already backed up and it was an easy way to free up 2.5GB. Disaster was averted and the server was up and running with the store mounted. Now we needed a permanent solution and I knew the majority of our problem was not have any policies in place. Were we to control out mailbox management better we could last much longer on 75GB. Our largest ten mailboxes all topped 1.5GB each.

    I began to open the mailbox management policy and set it to report the space savings we would realize if we implemented a new management policy. I set it to report any message over 10MB and any deleted item over 7 days. Along with this I was planning on implementing a 10MB to 15MB send and receive limit. I would would want to seek management backing to help hedge user backlash and this report should seal the deal.

    Here is where the problem is: Somehow I accidentally selected Delete Immediately instead of Generate Report Only. When the report arrived there had been 13GB deleted. With retention still set to 0 days at the time the user can not recover their own messages through Outlook.

    The last full backup was Saturday August 25, 2007. I have an incremental backup from last night as well.

    I have no idea where to begin.

    Should I restore the entire Information Store? and then what?

    Should I inform the users and selectively restore?

    Should I contact Microsoft with a support incident for advice or would that not be of any help here?

    Is is possible for Symantec to help me automate the restore of these files?
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

  2. #2
    jcortese's Avatar
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    Deploying an exchange server is not a small task..it involves planning...alot of it...

    Is the 75G the full mailbox store size? For 200 users?

    In any situation set the attachment limit for 10 or 15 meg...

    Each user should have a set storage limit unless reasons permit otherwise...

    when i rolled our company exchange server out this January, i set the mailbox limit for 200M max...a warning is sent out at 150M to warn a user to archive or backup his own mail...failure to do so will result in sending disabled...

    To resolve the backup issue...

    Restore the FULL then the following incrementals AFTER the full, this should restore the mail...

    Message me and i will make some reccommendations if you like.

    <<Moderators! Sorry for posting a long reply here in the wrong place>>
    Last edited by jcortese; 08-29-2007 at 12:42 AM.

  3. #3
    Crewdawg257's Avatar
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    The Full and Incremental backups will restore me until Monday at 1800 hours. Is there any thing that can be done to keep or recreate the messages up until the delete happened. That would atleast get us down to only a few hours of lost e-mail.
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    if you did that full backup from saturday and any incrementals after that should put you close

  5. #5
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    This is what I have gathered here and in my research.

    1. Restore Information Store Backup to Recovery Store Group
    2. Restore Incremental Backups to Recovery Store Group
    3. EXMerge from Recovery Group to Storage Group

    From what I have read and others help (this is posted on other forums). The EXMerge is smart enough to know that messages already exist and won't duplicate them. So in theory this will find those missing message and put them back.

    Is there flaw in this logic?
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    That should work, i have done restore operations many times...just very few with mail like your situation...good luck

  7. #7
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    To answer your earlier question we have 212 Mailboxes and yes the enitre store is at 75GB (public folders only represent 200MB).

    Have you ever worked with Exmerge?
    Last edited by Crewdawg257; 08-29-2007 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Automerged.
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crewdawg257
    The Full and Incremental backups will restore me until Monday at 1800 hours. Is there any thing that can be done to keep or recreate the messages up until the delete happened. That would atleast get us down to only a few hours of lost e-mail.
    I am a disaster recovery specialist and if you are using Symantec you can browse to the agents box and do incremental restores up until that day.

    So in this case the clients email box is the entire store (public &private)


    So go into Symantec BE and do a restore. Drill down to the exchange box and to incrmentals up until the point of failure.

  9. #9
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    Will the incremental overight exisiting e-mail or duplicate any e-mail?

    If I am understanding you correctly, then doing a restore of the entire information store will recover the messages that are missing and not coause it to lose e-mail from Today and Yesterday.
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

  10. #10
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    Re: Exchange Help: Mailbox Managment Policy deleted 13GB and I need it back!

    I am presented with three options for the Exchange restore.

    1. Retore all transaction logs; do not delete existing transaction logs (no loss restore)

    2. Restore all transaction logs until the point in time of; skip transactions after this time

    3. Purge esisiting data and restore only the database and transaction logs from the backup sets.

    I know #3 is out. The questions is what happens to already existing messages in the Information Store?

    Would not #1 just redo the deletion of all those filres through the transaction logs?

    If that is the case #2 would be the best option and we would only lose any mail since the event, or would we?
    --
    I suspect that Microsoft Access is nothing but Microsoft Excel with a VBScript wrapper.
    - Unknown

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