Perform Soft Recovery and Hard Recovery in Exchange 2013 / 2010?

Ashwani Tiwari ~ Modified: January 7th, 2021 ~ Exchange Server ~ 7 Minutes Reading

It is fairly interesting to observe that how plenty of the organizations work on the Exchange server but still it is not free from errors. There can be various causes of Exchange disasters such as Missing log filesExchange Dirty Shutdown State, Corrupt Exchange Database or not enough free space on the Exchange server. To fix these issues Administrator performs Soft Recovery and Hard Recovery in Exchange 2016 / 2013 / 2010 and below versions using Eseutil commands.

In Microsoft Exchange Environment, Database corruption occurs due to various reasons, but to recover Exchange EDB mailboxes items without mailbox items loss becomes a challenging task. If you don’t know how to  repair Exchange Mailbox, Eseutlity in Exchange environment helps Exchange Administrator to fix minor corruption level Exchange mailboxes and database with Esesutil commandseseutil /r for soft Recovery, /p for Hard Recovery, and Eseutil / mh Command

Note: If you are new to Microsoft Exchange Server Environment then it is very difficult for you to resolve soft and hard recovery in Exchange using commands because it needs technical knowledge and hands-on experience to work on it. Instead of using this cmdlet, you can use the SysTools Exchange Recovery Tool is used by various IT experts & Naive users to repair Exchange mailbox and EDB file from major and minor corruption with no loss of data.

Download purchase

Soft Recovery in Exchange 2010 Environment – PowerShell Command

In Exchange Environment, ESEutil PowerShell Command to perform minor corruption issues due to unexpected shutdown or minimal corruption. In another case, if an Exchange external event stops suddenly but logs files remain the same, then Soft recovery cmdlet in Exchange can be performed.

Once the Exchange Database is mounted, admin can recover the lost data from checkpoints of the transaction log file. If there is no checkpoint exists, you can start the Soft recovery in Exchange 2010 with the help of the oldest log file available in the transaction log folder.

In case, if the transaction log file is removed then it will not possible to perform Soft Recovery.

While Running Eseutil Soft Recovery in Exchange 2010, Some Pre-requisite followed:

  • People are not able to replay Exchange log files from one database against a different database. Because the operations under the log file are low-level and users cannot view anything inside the transaction log file.
  • If all uncommitted log files from the time of the Exchange database was running last are available, then users cannot replay the log files.
  • You cannot replay log files if the Exchange .edb files have been transferred to the different location.
  • If checkpoint file points found in the wrong location, then you cannot replay log files. Because, first, Exchange go to the checkpoint for recovery and ignores all older log files.
  • In case, if any Exchange database files for the storage group has been eliminated, then you cannot replay the log files.

Now find the location of Eseutil.exe to run Eseutil /R Command: C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin

ESEUTIL /r enn /L[path to log files] /s[path to checkpoint file] /d[path to database file] /i

For example: ESEUTIL /r e01 /Lf:\mdbdata /sc:\exchsrvr\mdbdata /dg:\mdbdata /i
There are various ESEUTIL commands used in soft recovery:

  • ESEUTIL /r Enn: It works only when you run from the prompt set to the transaction log file.
  • ESEUTIL /r Enn /i: It is used when you want to start the recovery if the database is missing from the storage group.
  • ESEUTIL /r Enn /i /d: If users have isolated Exchange databases and transaction log files together into a folder, then you can run this command.

If still, corruption occurs after running Eseutil /r Command, then Administrator can run Eseutil /p Command.

Hard Recovery in Exchange 2010 Environment – PowerShell Command

The Hard Recovery is performed through the Backup file, for that we can restore the last backup again into Exchange production again. On another hand, we can use Eseutils Command /p to perform Hard recovery in Exchange  2013 / 2010 environment.

If you have selected the “last backup set” option then hard recovery processed automatically. Moreover, it does not need any checkpoint file; it only required a restore.env file for recovery.

Basically, hard recovery is the transaction log file replay process that is quite similar to the Soft Recovery process, but there are some differences between them. In hard recovery:

  • It is required to apply the patch information to the Exchange database during log file replay process.
  • Restore.env file is used instead of checkpoints to find out the data from the log file.
  • The process does not fail in the case of the unavailability of the storage group.
  • The recovered log files replay first from a temporary folder which is designated by the Exchange administrator before the restore process.

Perform Hard Recovery in Exchange 2010 Environment

To know more about Restore.env File: Visit Link

Structure of Restore.ENV File

Structure of Restore Env File

We can use Eseutil/ CC Command to replay the logs stored in a restore.env file using Exchange Management Shell:

First Storage Group

Use Command: C:\Program Files \Exchsrvr\bin>eseuitl /cc “C:\Temp\First Storage Group”

Eseutil R Command

Basically, this file holds information about the Source and Target Database and restore options details. This information used to adjust the file names so that data can be selected targeted storage group.Exchange Administrator also uses eseutil / p Commands to perform Hard Recovery in Exchange Environment. Try to use Command as last options, as this commands can lead to data loss.
Use Command:

ESEUTL /P <path_to_the_database>

Ex: C:\Program Files \Exchsrvr\bin>eseuitl / p “ “C:\program Files\Exchangesver\1643455454.edb”

Eseutil P Command

Now, you can view from the above screen, the integrity of the database checked. Now to Remove White / Disk space between the Database, need to defrag Exchange mailbox database.

What To Do If Exchange EDB File Too Big?

After that, you need to check the integrity of the Database again using the Inisteg Command in Exchange 2010 environment.

Isinteg –s <server_name> -fix –test alltests

For Above Exchange 2010 versions,New-MailboxRepairRequest cmdlet  is used to check the integrity.

Repair Exchange 2016, 2013, 2010 Database Via Eseutil or Isinteg

While working with Eseuitl Soft & Hard Recovery PowerShell Commands, sometimes process failed and lead data loss when Exchange Administrator does not follow the steps carefully. Some Image of errors are given below:

AppCrash Error 

App Crash Error

Soft Software Fails with Error 1216

Hard Recovery Crash Error

To avoid Database & Corruption error while working with PowerShell Command of Eseutil Soft / Hard Recovery in management shell. Try an Automated Solution offered by SysTools for Exchange Environment.

No PowerShell Commands, just User-friendly Interface with the Advance option to for Soft & Hard Recovery of Database Items but without any Data Loss. Tool Supports Exchange Database File (.EDB) of Exchange 2019 and Below environment. Quick & Advance Scanning option of the professional software recover and repair EDB file, as well as mailboxes from corruption.

The Exchange Administrator use this advanced software and perform recovery according to corruption level and after that use Export option to move again data into Live Exchange Environment.


Eseutil Command can be used to perform Soft recovery and Hard Recovery in Exchange 2013 / 2010 Environment via Management Shell.  In the Soft Recovery process, ESEUTIL /r command used and Eseutil /p command used in Hard Recovery but can lead to data loss. To avoid loss of mailbox details of Exchange user, an automated solution such as SysTools Exchange Recovery Tool can be used. For Soft recovery, “Quick” Scanning can be used and for large corruption, use Advance Scanning option.