MS Exchange recovery (items)

There are two recovery options for MS Exchange in the Backup Manager:

  1. Storage group recovery (learn more).

  2. Individual item recovery (the Exchange Granular Restore) – available starting from vs. 16.4 released in April 2016.

Exchange Granular Restore requirements

Supported versions

The Granular Exchange Restore works for MS Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Required software

To use the feature, install the following software to the Exchange server that has been backed up (if it isn't installed yet):

  • The latest version of the Backup Manager. You can use earlier versions, but it isn't recommended. For example, version 16.4 requires 2 additional installations: Windows PowerShell vs. 3.0 or later and Microsoft .NET Framework vs. 4.5.

  • The latest version of the Virtual Drive tool (the Backup Manager gets some data from it during the recovery process).

  • 64-bit MS Outlook 2010 or 2013. The version of MS Outlook must be compatible with the version of Exchange server (see the compatibility table below). There is an option to install MS Outlook on a local network resource accessible from the Exchange server. In that case you'll need to copy some library files manually before you start recovery (view instructions).

Exchange/Outlook version compatibility table

MS Exchange version MS Outlook version
Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 MS Office Outlook 2010 RTM and greater versions – 64-bit
Exchange Server 2013 MS Outlook 2013 – 64-bit version
MS Outlook 2010 SP1 with November 2012 Cumulative Update – 64-bit version (download link)
Exchange Server 2016 MS Outlook 2013 – 64-bit version
MS Outlook 2010 with April 14, 2015 update – 64-bit version (download link)

Other requirements

The Outlook Anywhere transport protocol must be enabled.

How the Exchange Granular Restore works

Granular Exchange recovery is possible when the original mailbox is available. The feature isn't intended for the recovery of deleted mailboxes. The Backup Manager recovers user data from an existing mailbox: mail folders, public folders, messages, calendar items, appointments, contacts, tasks, journals, notes and more.

The recovery is performed straight to the Exchange server. You can start your mail client right after recovery and find the recovered data in place.

Recovered items are added up to the existing ones. None of the existing data gets removed during the recovery process so you can safely use the feature to quickly restore mail folders and messages deleted by an accident. Also the Backup Manager recovers only missing data without duplicating existing files and directories.

Implementation details

  • The Backup Manager creates a new user group (EGRestorers) with a new user account (EGRestorer). The user account has administrative privileges on the local Exchange server (this is necessary for recovery purposes). The EGRestorer user has a unique high-security password that is securely encrypted. If necessary, you can reset the password in the Active Directory and then enter the new password to the Backup Manager configuration file (see Advanced settings for details).

  • Connection to the Exchange server is established using the Negotiate authentication method.

Limitations / Known issues

There are some issues related to the diversity of environments in which the Exchange Granular Restore feature is used. We are doing our best to provide fixes for them in one of the nearest versions.

  • At the moment it is assumed that the Exchange server is a domain controller. If it isn't, you'll need to configure access to the domain controller before starting recovery (see Advanced settings for instructions).

  • If there are several Exchange servers in the domain, the Backup Manager connects to the first server in the list. You can set the selection to another server using the RestoreServerNameparameter (learn more).

  • The Backup Manager may be unable to create a user in some non-English locales.

Contributions and enhanced capabilities

The Granular Exchange Restore feature is powered by Lucid8's DigiScope eDiscovery and Recovery API. Should you require any of the enhanced eDiscovery and Recovery capabilities outlined below, please contact Lucid8 to obtain a copy of DigiScope and purchase the appropriate license that meets your needs.

  • Recovery of deleted mailboxes

  • HR, legal, regulatory or business intelligence eDiscovery/search activities

  • Access offline Exchange databases (EDB's) NOT protected by the Backup Manager

  • Recovery of mailbox or public folder data to alternate servers, mailboxes or locations

  • Search and Export specific data to PST or MSG from offline Exchange databases (EDB's)

  • Search and Export to PST or MSG OR Delete/purge of specific data from production Exchange servers

  • Review or recovery of system information such as Associations, Rules, Recoverable items (dumpster) etc.

  • Migration of mailbox or public folder data to alternate versions of Exchange such as 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365

  • Export of mailbox or public folder data from offline Exchange databases (EDB's), production Exchange servers or Office 365 to PST or MSG files

Performing Exchange Granular Restore

Here is how you can recover MS Exchange mailboxes with the Backup Manager. Note that only the data that has been backed up with the Backup Manager can be recovered.

  1. Start the Backup Manager on the computer or virtual machine where the MS Exchange server is running. It must be the same server that has been backed up.

  2. Click Restore > Granular Exchange.

  3. Select how the Backup Manager should access your Exchange databases:

    • In the quick mode (no log rollup). The database opens faster but some of the recent items may be unavailable for selection.

    • In the thorough mode (with a log rollup). All data is available for selection but it takes longer to open the database.

  4. In the Session time list, choose the backup session you want to recover data from.

  5. In the Data store list, choose the database to recover the data from.

  6. Hold on till the content of the selected database is loaded.

  7. Click the mailbox you want to recover and refine your selection as needed.

  8. Click Restore.

Exchange Granular Restore settings in Backup Manager

  1. When the restore process is completed, start your mail client and find the recovered data in the original location.

Advanced settings

You can access advanced settings for the Exchange Granular Restore through a configuration file located in the Backup Manager installation folder (config.ini).

Parameter Definition Supported values
DomainControllerAdministratorName= A username for access to the domain controller. An administrator account is required.

The setting is necessary when the Exchange Granular restore is performed on a server that isn't a domain controller. It is used just once (when a user is created).
DomainControllerAdministratorPassword= The password associated with your username for access to the domain controller (see the DomainControllerAdministratorName=setting). Text
RestoreServerName= The computer name of the Exchange server on which the Backup Manager is installed. Text. Set to the DNS hostname by default.
RestoreUserName= The name of the user account created in the Active Directory for recovery purposes. If the default account isn't suitable for your system, you can specify an alternative name.

It is necessary to create the alternative user in the Active Directory before entering its name to config.ini. Please follow instructions from the DigiScope website).
Text. Set to EGRestorerby default.
RestoreUserPassword= The password associated with your username in the Active Directory (see the RestoreUserName= setting). Text. Generated automatically by default.

All of the above settings are to be entered to the [ExchangeGranularRestore] section of the file. You'll need to create the section if it isn't there yet. Here is an example: