Join date: May 21, 2022


If you are an Exchange administrator, you are likely to operate in a setting with public folders. Public folders give users central access to email, tasks, calendars, contacts, and many more. Over time, Microsoft has tried to shift away from this technology, but they haven't been able to due to the dependence of its customers on this function. In Exchange 2013, the company redesigned its public folders and created Modern Public Folders. They're based upon traditional mailbox technology and will make it easier to backup and recover processes. However, many companies are still using Exchange 2010, so there remains a need to learn how to recover information from public folder databases in your company.

What kind of information might require regaining, and for what reason? You could have an end-user who is unable to find their public calendar entries because of the mass deletion of their data, or perhaps certain mail records disappeared from their shared Folder, or an unexpected legal inquiry occurred.

It is also essential to examine back over the years to see what was required to restore your public database of folders. It wasn't an easy job if you tried to recover an individual item. In an earlier version of Exchange, in the effort to bring an online public folder database to pull data out of it, an active directory domain remote and Exchange server were required. Over time, Microsoft improved our ability to recover data from public folders. This article will go over various levels of consideration to recover your particular environment.

Recovery Option 1

Suppose you have the correct Exchange 2010 setup and disk space sizing. In that case, you will be able to allow the users of your system or Exchange Administrators to retrieve that lost email within Deleted Item Retention of the mailbox being questioned. This is the most efficient method for users to receive that email they didn't intend to delete. Users and the Exchange administrator can accomplish this in Outlook by going to Recover Deleted Items, choosing the message, and then choosing the option to recover.

To confirm that your deleted item is not in the retention limit for public folders, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Expand Organization Configuration

  3. Click on Mailbox

  4. Select the Management Tab for Data Management Tab.

  5. Right-click your public folder database, and then select properties

  6. Under Deleted Settings, confirm the days you have set to store deleted items.

Recovery Option 2

There is a bug that has been reported in Exchange 2010 where a deleted public folder item is lost to the location of the article. Both administrators and users cannot retrieve an item in a shared folder using Recover Deleted Items. My understanding is that this issue will not be solved until Exchange 2010. So, users will require to contact their Exchange administrators to try to retrieve the deleted item by using ExFolders.

Recovery Option 3

Suppose the object cannot be saved using Recovery Option 1 or Recovery Option 2. In that case, you'll have to determine if the object's recovery is sufficient to warrant a complete database recovery. The procedure for doing this is described by Recovery Option 3.

This option to recover your public Folder lets the Exchange administrator restore the shared folder database and then extract the missing data to a pst. The information is then transferred back into the shared Folder. Be aware that this procedure does not come without the risk. It involves restoring your mailbox's data to a production or test Exchange server. While this is isolated, it is vital to follow the steps carefully. Otherwise, it may interfere with the Replication and Replication of your public folders that you use for production. Additionally, a part of the process involves moving replicas of public folders out of the shared folder database, which takes patience and time. My personal view is Option 3 should only be used in the most critical circumstances.

Best Option to Recover Corrupted Exchange database:

Getting Started Checklist

  • Create or locate a production or test Exchange server that's not intended for anything other than testing

  • The production or test Exchange server needs a database for mailboxes.

  • Create an account for your mailbox which has access to each public Folder within your company. The statement must be put into the mail database on the production or test Exchange server.

Replication Suspension

  1. Connect to your production or test Exchange server, then open your Exchange management shell

  2. Type suspend-public folder replication, type Y, and press enter

  3. Login to the server, which will be used to perform the restore. In our case, it should be the test server or production server.

  4. Open Regedit and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\MSExchangeIS\ServerName\Public-GUID

  5. Create a "DWORD (32-bit)Value" called Replication and ensure that the value is zero (zero).

  6. Type resume-public folder replication, type Y, and press enter

Restores the Public Folder Database

  1. On your test or production server, open Exchange Powershell

  2. New-PublicFolderDatabase DatabaseName -server servername -EdbFilePath "c:\pfrecovery\pfrecovery.edb" -LogFolderPath "c:\pfrecovery"

NOTE: In this example the name of our database is PFDBDatabase

  1. Get-PublicFolderDatabase -server name to verify that the database has been setup

  2. Open Regedit and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\MSExchangeIS\Servername\Public-GUID to verify that the Replication DWord value that was set is still in place.

Notice: If this is not the case, follow the steps listed under "Replication Suspension."

  1. Start your backup software and then perform a reversed restore of the public Folder's data to the production or test server.

NOTE: You will likely be required to input your name for the Folder you made and "Allow the database to be overwritten" from within the backup software. In the end, you might require assistance from your backup service provider to ensure you've put the correct configurations in the right place.

  1. The restoration time can vary according to the size of your database as well as the restore vendor that your company utilizes

Mount on Database

  1. Mount it by entering the command Mount-Database Name of Database

  2. Connect to a server that has ExFolders installed. Connect to the public folder database, and note down the replicas

Notice: You should see your local production test server. If you do, it is likely that you will see the production database. The registry key used to prevent Replication is why it's working in the way it appears.

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Right-click the mailbox database on your test or production server and then select the properties

  3. Create your Public Folder database to the newly restored and mounted database

Extract the data from Outlook

  1. Utilize Outlook to open your mailbox made public for recovery of public folders from your production or test server

  2. Open your shared folders and select the Folder in your public library that you're trying to retrieve data from.

  3. On the menu File, choose File Import, Export, or Export.

  4. Select Export to a File and then click Next

  5. Choose Personal Folder File (.pst) and then click Next

  6. Select the Public Folders you want to retrieve information from, and click Next.

  7. Select a Save location, click Finish

  8. Name the Folder and then click OK

  9. With Outlook open, you can access an Outlook mailbox that has access to the public production folder

  10. Select file, Open Outlook Data File

  11. Choose the pst file which was just created

  12. Find the item that requires to be found and copies it to the public Folder of production.

Additional Resources to Export data from Outlook to PST format:

Eliminate from the Restored Public Folder Database

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Right-click the mailbox database of your production or test Exchange server, and select the properties

  3. Change the Public Folder database to the production database. This was the database initially set to with

  4. Check ExFolders for public folder replicas on your private folder production server(s) and your production test public server for folders. If anything is wrong with your production or the test Exchange server's production server is not working, we must move on to step 5.

  5. Open Exchange Management Shell and go to the scripts folder [PS] C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\scripts>

  6. Then run the following Powershell command .\MoveAllReplicas.ps1 -Server productiontestservername -NewServer productionpublicfolderdatabaseservername

NOTE: Walk away and be patient for at least a few hours or until the following business day before executing the command. Suppose you complete this command too soon, especially in a situation with many public folders. In that case, you'll be flooded with conflicts with public folders that will be a mess within your mailbox.

  1. Open Exchange Management Shell and go to the scripts folder [PS] C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\scripts>

  2. Then run the following command Get-PublicFolderStatistics

NOTE: If any public folders are shown during the execution of this command, then you must hold off until you can move into the following step.

  1. Utilize Exfolders to examine your replicas. Suppose you find the counterparts you expect to see in your public Folder for the production database. In that case, step 10 cannot be completed.

  2. [PS] C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\scripts>.\AddReplicaToPFRecursive.ps1 -server servername-TopPublicFolder "\" -ServerToAdd servername

Eliminate from the Public Folder Database

  1. If the information has been removed, Remove the recovery database. It is recommended to eliminate the database within a few days after the restoration.

  2. Open Exchange Powershell

  3. Remove-PublicFolderDatabase -Identity DatabaseName and type Y and then press enter

  4. Verify that it has been completed and eliminated from Exchange Management Console. Exchange Management Console, in addition then using the Exchange Powershell, the command Get-MailboxDatabase

  5. Navigate to the C drive of the Exchange server you use for production or testing, and then delete the c: pdf recovery directory and the contents


As you see manual recovery of the exchange server is a total headache even if you are an expert. On error, and your all mailbox will lots. In Order to reduce human errors and overcome the efficiency of the recovered mailbox Shoviv develop an advanced email recovery solution. Keeping the trends in mind, we know lots of users want to transfer over on-premises to the cloud, [Office 365]. You also find email migration tools here in the shoviv.

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