Microsoft KB Archive/146920

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XADM: Restoring Individual Mailboxes, Messages, or Folders

Article ID: 146920

Article Last Modified on 10/28/2006


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q146920


The backup program in Microsoft Exchange Server version 4.0 does not have the capability to back up and restore individual mailboxes. This article describes how you can work around this limitation and recover deleted items from backup.

Microsoft Exchange Administrators need to be able to recover an individual item from backup. For example, there may be a need to restore a deleted users mail, or to recover a deleted mail message or a deleted folder. In each of these cases, the only option is to recover the deleted item from a backup.


To recover an individual item (mailbox, folder, or message) from a backed up Microsoft Exchange Information Store, follow these steps:

IMPORTANT: Read all of the steps before you start.

  1. Install Microsoft Exchange Server on another computer, and select Create a New Site. The same computer name is not required, but must have the same organization and site name as the tape being restored.

  1. Using Windows NT Backup, restore the information store and type the alternate server name for the destination server in the Restore Information dialog box.
  2. In the Administrator program, in the Advanced Properties of the Server Object, click the Consistency Adjuster button. Under the Private Information Store section of the Operations group box, click Synchronize with the directory, and create new directory entries for mailboxes that do not have a corresponding directory entry. Under the Filter group box, click All Inconsistencies, and then click OK.

NOTE: You must click OK again to acknowledge the warning dialog box and proceed.

  1. Give yourself permission for the mailbox you want to restore from or for any mailbox if you are restoring a public folder.
  2. Log on to the server with a Microsoft Exchange Client.
  3. To add the Personal Folders service, click Tools, click Services, click Add, click Personal Folder, and then drag and drop the Public older data to the .pst file.
  4. Log on to an online server with a profile that also points to the .pst file used in the previous step.
  5. Move the messages from the .pst file onto the online server.

Although this method works with Microsoft Outlook, after you use the method, journal entries are no longer linked to the contact items with which they were created.

To retain the links between journal and contact entries, restore the entire information store intact. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

169824 OL97: Contact's Journal Entries Lost When Importing or Exporting

Keywords: kbhowto kbusage KB146920