Exchange: Recovery Storage Group

As you might, or not, be aware off there is no item level based recovery in Exchange that is natively supported by Microsoft. So to perform recoveries we need the recovery storage group (captain obvious). The purpose of this is to mount the database you want to recover from on the Exchange server and use exmerge to merge the data you are recovering into the active database. An RSG will not be accessible to users and you can only create one at a time.

Exchange 2003:

1. Open Exchange system manager
2. Drill down to the server you want to recover to
3. Right click the server and select New > Recovery storage group
4. Specify the drive you have restored the database to. If possible use the same drive as the active database as this will improve performance quite a bit.
5. Click ok J
6. Right click the RSG and select “Add database to recover”
7. Select the right database you are going to recover.
8. Make sure that “This database can be overwritten by a restore” is checked (by default is should be)
9. Mount the database
10. Select the database in the recovery storage group, open the mailboxes container .
11. Select and right click the user(s) you want to restore.
12. Run Exchange task from the menu
13. Select the “recover mailbox data” task
14. Depending on your situation select either the Merge data or Copy data context
15. Schedule if necessary
16. Watch as your data is getting recovered.

Once this process is complete all data will be where it is supposed to be once more!

Exchange 2007:

1. Open up the Exchange management console
2. Go to the tools subset and open the Database Recovery Management tool
3. Select the storage group you want to link to the RSG
4. Double check the information presented in the next screen and click the Create the recovery storage group.
5. By default the RSG will be linked to the following folder: C:\program files\microsoft\exchange server\mailbox\<storage group>\RSGxxxxxxxxxx
6. Recover files to the RSG folder
7. Once recovered g o to the recovery storage group management tool and slect to mount the database.
8. Once mounted, go back to the task center and select Merge or copy mailbox contents
9. Make sure the proper database is selected and click on the gather merge information.
10. If you are dealing with a dial tone database click the “Swap database configurations” checkmark. If not, just click next
11. Click the Perform Pre-merge task
12. Select the mailboxes you wish to recover and let ExTRA do its thing.
13. Once the process is completed use ExTRA to dismount and remove the recovery storage group. Once that has been done you manually can remove the files in the RSGxxxxxxxx folder.

And that is it!

Exchange 2010:

1. Open the exchange management shell

2. Type in the following:

a. New-mailboxdatabase “name” –server “servername” –recovery:$true –edbfilepath “path to restored edb file”

b. Mount-database “name of DB you just created”

c. Get-mailboxstatistics –database “name of restored database”

d. New-mailboxrestorerequest –sourcedatabase “name of recovery database” –sourcestoremailbox “Username” –targetmailbox “emailaddress of target mailbox”

That will create a new recovery request. You can view the state of the request by using:

Get- MailboxRestoreRequest

Once completed, remove the request with

Get- MailboxRestoreRequest –status completed | remove-MailboxRestoreRequest

And that is it!

Comments (21)

  1. Great post on RSG (Recovery Storage Group) but you can make the entire procedure much easier and simplified by using this tool,

  2. Anonymous says:

    Recover exchange databases with the aid of exchange recovery

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  3. Tom.Brown says:

    Very informative article, it explanation that step by step procedures to recover storage group. I found the automate tool from that resolves the problem of maintaining recovery server to extract and restore selected or required items from the available backup and recovers crashed folders or
    items in Exchange Server .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nice post Marc, but Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery Software which i recently used worked perfectly for the same cause. I recommend it to all. Have a look here

  5. Anonymous says:

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  6. Good Article explain all version of recovery storage and DB in single post

  7. Anonymous says:

    The same procedure can be applied for Exchange 2013 server also

  8. Anonymous says:

    Awesome post but i had automate whole process using a product:

  9. Anonymous says:

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Cool Procedure… I appreciate the effort of Marc Dekeyser!!!

    Due to failure of Exchange expretise, i need to called up an automated application that is PCVITA EDB CONVERTER. It did recovery of exchange mailboxes and exporting of mailboxes into pst format.

  11. JimmySal says:


    Thanks for Introducing an option to recover mailbox from exchange server 2003, 2007 and 2010 through Recovery Storage Group. I have found same application which is capable to restore mailbox data from different exchange versions i.e. Stellar Phoenix Exchange Server Recovery.

  12. Marc says:

    Hi Marshal!

    There are indeed 3rd party products that will restore mailbox data but it is always important to figure out wether they are automating the process of creating RSG and merging data or actually hacking in to the database. That last one can cause quite a bit of problems…

  13. JimmySal says:

    Hi Marc,

    Yes, I agree with your comment, there are automate process for creating Restore Group Storage and merging the data, But I have seen my client issue that they have tried to recover your exchange data by RGS and some have recovered successful and some unsuccessful, So, I conclude that RGS does not help in all condition. So in that situation you can try Stellar Phoenix Software for recover your mailbox data from Exchange Server.

  14. Marc says:


    Fair enough. Though I would find it strange that if a database has been repaired and mounted that you would be unable to recover data that a 3rd party could. Only reason I could think of is that the piece of software you talk about would import items which are corrupt or unsupported (seeing you are mentioning different exchange versions…).

    If that latter is the case you might want to be careful as you will receive no support from Microsoft if your DB dies.

  15. Rachel Baker says:

    Good explanation !! thanks for putting up the useful information. Recently, we faced corruption issue in our Exchange databases. After a lot of efforts, we repaired and rebuilt it with the help of a third party tool:
    Thanks again for this excellent post !! Rachel

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  18. Doris Kelley says:

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  21. Mack John says:

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