How To Recover Corrupt Exchange 2016 Database?

In this write up you will learn about how we can recover corrupt Exchange 2016 database files. You will find this process very simple after going through this article. As you might know that Exchange Server users face situation of file corruption many times. After that they all look for the manual procedures and software for recovering the Exchange database. This common problem is called as user mailbox damage and it comes by logical errors in the Exchange Server. There are two types of database (EDB) files in Exchange Server. First, is EDB that contains private data and second, is EDB that contains public folders. EDB is an Exchange Server data repository that contains all the data in a structured manner.
In this informative article we will discuss about the mechanism on how to recover corrupt Exchange 2016 database.

Levels And Causes Of Corruption Of Database Files

The multiple levels of corruption in database files of Exchange Server 2016 are:

  1. File system level corruption which sometimes is referred as page level corruption.
  2. Exchange Server Information Store which is referred as application level corruption.
  3. Database level which is referred to as JET database engine corruption.

The causes for the corruption of the database can be any one of the mentioned causes:

  1. Information service store sometimes gets closed.
  2. Information service store is sometimes out of control for administrator.
  3. Due to inadequate storage volume of the system information store fails to respond.
  4. Inappropriate communication by the Exchange Server.

Steps To Recover Corrupt Exchange 2016 Database

Users can choose to repair the corrupt database files which takes few hours to make it healthy and accessible. Here, are the steps to recover corrupt Exchange 2016 database:

#1 Backup Mailbox in Exchange

It is the most simple and first process that the users must perform. It is highly recommended to the users to backup mailboxes in order to proceed to the next steps.

#2 Run Using Inbuilt Utilities

In this step the user needs to run Exchange tools globally on the Server. During Exchange setup, there are several tools such as Eseutil and Isinteg are installed by default at “..\exchsrvr\bin” directory. After that, the ‘\bin’ is needed to be added to the system path, Eseutil and Isinteg can be executed from the Command prompt on the Server.

The following things must be done to run Exchange Utilities:

  1. Click on Start and after that click on Run.
  2. In Run type cmd and click on OK.
  3. Now run the directory “C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin directory”.
  4. Now in Command Prompt type exe.
  5. Now run Eseutil with switch p ‘Eseutil\p’ to check if the EDB files are highly corrupted.
  6. Now run Eseutil with switch d ‘Eseutil\d’ to defragment the recovered file.
  7. To check integrity status of recovered EDB file type Isinteg like this:
    c:\program files\exchsrvr\bin>isinteg -s servername -fix -test alltests.
  8. Now run Eseutil\g for rechecking the accuracy parameters of EDB.
  9. In order to mount recovered Exchange Database file use administrative tools.

Application Logs Must Be Checked

Users should check the application log so they can detect the cause of failure of the database file. The procedure for this is as follows:

  1. First, click on Start button and now select Programs and in program select Application Tools and in that select Event Viewer.
  2. Second, in Console Tree click on System Log.
  3. Third, click on Source in the details panel to locate the database file for any Exchange Server account.
  4. Fourth, to launch properties page for event double click on the Log Entry.
  5. Fifth, now Click on Filter option in the View menu in order to filter the log and display entries for particular a SMTP service event.
  6. Sixth, in System Properties under Event Source list select SMTPSVC.
  7. Then, select the sets of events in the category list or change the setting to All to access all the events set for SMTP service.
  8. Now click on OK to finish.


In this article we discussed about how and when the database EDB files get corrupted. The various levels and causes associated with it. Users should run CHKDSK command to find the bad sectors in the hard disk. They should recover their mailboxes on the regular basis in order to avoid such problem in the future.

There are other way too for recovering corrupt Exchange Server database of Exchange 2016. That  way is by using any third party tool like Exchange Recovery.


Tej Pratap Shukla