Sunday, 17 July 2016

Recovering items deleted from Public Folders in Exchange 2013

Public folders are the feature of Exchange server which is used to share mailbox and related folders with others Exchange server users within the organization. The key purpose of the public folder to take advantage of high availability of data, so that a user or selected users in a group can access the folder on the same network who are using the same email client. 
Thursday, 16 June 2016

How to Export Lotus Notes Mail Items to Outlook PST

Microsoft's email client Outlook is an easiest way for email communication which comes with the ability to provide high end data security along with simple interface that make it the most popular email client across the globe. This write-up is for Lotus Notes users who are looking to migrate their Lotus notes mails to Outlook. In order access NSF file data into Outlook, initially you need to convert NSF file format into PST format, as due to different file structure NSF files doesn’t open into Outlook.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Restore Exchange 2016 Mailboxes with "New-MailboxRestoreRequest"

There are several ways to restore mailboxes (soft-deleted, disabled or disconnected) in Exchange server 2016. Either you can restore mailbox using Windows server backup, with recovery database,  or using Exchange server cmdlets New-MailboxRestoreRequest.
Wednesday, 18 May 2016

How to Perform On-Premises Exchange to Office 365 Migration

With the world moving towards the cloud revolution, many organizations are stuck at the Exchange vs Office 365 decision. For any company, migrating thousands of mailboxes (with loads of data accumulated over the years) from on-premises email setup to a cloud based environment is no cakewalk. There are technical aspects to be dealt with, management aspects, cost frontiers and the need of experts in the area. Losing a little information during the process is just not an option.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

How to Resolve Error "Outlook.ost is in use and cannot be accessed!"

Exchange account holders who access their mailboxes locally through MS Outlook are pretty well familiar with OST files. An OST file is created automatically when Cached Exchange Mode is turned on.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015

How to Restore Inaccessible Mailboxes From the EDB File, Which Fails to Mount

While working with MS Exchange Server, you need to mount the database file to access the user mailbox folders. There are various users’ mailbox folders, which contains user mailbox items including emails, messages, attachments, notes, journal, tasks, etc. At times, you might fail to mount the exchange folder.
Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Thinking Behind Lotus Notes to MS Exchange Migration

Let me first start by affirming that this post is in no way intentional to convince you to switch Lotus Notes to Exchange. I very well know that the world is divided into two (equivalent?) camps: one for Microsoft Exchange and the other for IBM Lotus Notes. And it appears that they are constantly battling with each other to prove that their particular platform is much better than the other. You can just Google (or Bing) for “Exchange Server vs. IBM Lotus Notes” and you will be surprised to know some of the interesting facts about these two platforms.

In fact, as an MS Exchange-minded person; let me begin by revealing you some features I like about IBM Notes: it is flexible. In last few years, I have seen some relatively good solutions that were made with (and around) IBM Lotus Notes. As far as my experience goes, there is not much that it won’t let you to modify (or overwrite). It also comes with some useful features like recurring meetings with sporadic dates (a feature that everyone wants to see in MS Outlook!). And in some good way, I like the flexibility and uncomplicatedness of the file structure: each mailbox is a database in its particular right and signified by a single file (nsf) that you can put at anyplace you wish to: including NAS storage.

My main point here is that both platforms have their qualities and unique selling points. Don’t try to compare them: it can’t be done.

Why do people migrate?

I cannot disregard the statistic that during the last few years I have perceived my share of migrations to Microsoft Exchange. Why is that?

As a consultant, you get to hear the roughest stories. Occasionally it look as if that any reasons is good to move away from Lotus Notes: “Cost”, “Interoperability”, “Manageability”, “Following the market”, “the CEO doesn’t like the client” and my favourite “I want my new mail to appear on top”. From the above-mentioned reasons, I consider “Manageability” to be the origin of all evil (from IBM’s point-of-view at least). I don’t know the exact numbers, but the amount of experienced Lotus Notes administrators must have been falling (quickly!)…

All in all, every single migration starts with a motive. There has to be a reason. If you can’t catch a reason to migrate then simply don’t.

In my individual judgment, there are numerous aims why a lot of corporations are switching from Lotus Notes to Exchange Server. First of all, IBM Lotus Notes is not a messaging platform; rather it is an application/development platform that provides mail abilities. And while Lotus Notes does a good job at handling email communication. But MS Exchange (in my opinion) basically handles it better.

Manage the expectations!

There is no doubt that MS Outlook provides a great value to the users, but at the same time you must face the fact that some things are not credible with this email client.

It is always expected to lose some data in migration.  There are always one or more emails that have been residing in the user’s mailbox for many months which are untouched by the user or there might be a chance that those mails are corrupt. Even though, the user no longer remember that mail or mails, but still there is a chance that they will make your life difficult while performing migration. So, you must prepare yourself to face this situation.

Do I discourage migrating to Exchange/Outlook from Lotus Notes? No, not at all! Though it is possible that your efficiency might get hurt during the first couple of weeks once the migration is done completely but we typically see a great escalation later with a lot of pleased faces as a consequence.

To coexist or not?

Definitely not! (Until and unless you are having a convincing plan to do then) Anything other than mail flow among both platforms should be sidestepped at all cost! If you still go for coexistence, you will have to bear huge amount in operating both. And moreover it will create complications. That is somewhat you don’t want to face: adding complication to something that is already complicated.

Most of the time, we only perceive coexistence set up in situations where the old (Lotus Notes) environment remains to live on for a while (maybe waiting for its apps to get transformed into SharePoint, who knows?)


Am I asking you to use a migration tool? Yes. If you are looking for an ‘easy and swift’ method to migrate from one side to the other and want to perform the migration in a right way, I’m quite sure using you a professional tool would be a good option.

Final Words

In this post, I have only scratched the surface of what a migration consist of. I haven’t spoken about all facts nor have I spoken about all the diverse options and tools. But I hope that – for those planing to switch or already have made the choice – this post can throw some insights and inspirational considerations.

Rest assured: I perceive a lot of these migrations come to an happy ending; generally the ones where a lot of time was consumed on examining, scheduling and authenticating… ;-)

Just summon up: migrating from Notes to MS Exchange is more than only changing a system. Try to look at it in a universal way:  it is also about altering your operations, even more important: your conviction.
Thursday, 10 December 2015

How To Fix "Generic LSE Failure" Error in Lotus Notes

Lotus Notes is one of the most widely used e-mail application programs used in present era. It executes all the mail operations like e-mailing, programming, calendaring, scheduling, etc which are performed by all common e-mail application programs like MS Outlook, Outlook Express etc. Lotus Notes database comprises of NSF files as its data files.
Friday, 27 November 2015

Points to Keep in Mind Before Repairing Exchange 2010 Database Using Eseutil/ Isinteg Tools

In recent years, Microsoft has put a lot of efforts to make database of the MS Exchange Server 2010 more secure than it used to be, but corruption still can and do take place. In the event of database corruption, exchange admins do have the opportunity to either restore a backup or attempt repairing the corrupt or damaged files with the help of inbuilt exchange tools - Eseutil and Isinteg. Sadly, it is not as easy as it gives the impression. There are a small number of nuances you should know, so it might be sensible to stick on to the following words of carefulness.

However, before using Eseutil and Isinteg tools, don’t forget to perform the following actions:

1. Create a Replica of a Database

Create a replica of the database files prior to repair them. If you are not confident where your database files are located, or what the names of the files are, you can locate them in Exchange System Manager by accessing the database properties. The Database page has a listing of file names and paths.

2. Dismount the EDB database from the Exchange server

Prior to trying to repair a database, you should make sure that it is dismounted properly. To carry out the same, open the Exchange Management Console (EMC) and navigate to Organization Configuration -> Mailbox, then choose the Database Management tab. This tab comprises of all the databases in your Exchange organization.

Find the database, you desire to repair and make sure that the Mounted column shows ‘Dismounted’.

If the database is mounted, you can dismount it by right-clicking the database and select the Dismount Database command.

3. Disk Space

Confirm that you have enough disk space to perform the repair task.  You should have the empty space of at least 20% of the total database size. If you are not having that much empty space on the drive where the database files are, you can use command line switches to redirect the temporary files formed throughout repair to a singular drive.

Exchange administrators can take the help of Eseutil and Isinteg utilities to repair corrupt exchange databases. Both Eseutil.exe and Isinteg.exe utilities are inbuilt with MS Exchange Server and facilitate soft and hard database recovery from the corrupt Exchange Server. By default, these tools are stored at the following drive location:

C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin

Before I explain how to use ESEUTIL, I have a few words of caution. Even though now ESEUTIL does a better job of repairing databases than it used to be, there is still a high probability that you will lose some data when using it to repair an Exchange database.

ESEUTIL rebuilds the database and deletes any invalid data that it encounters during the rebuild process. Therefore, it is imperative that you back up the database before attempting a repair.

If you aren’t sure when the database was last backed up, you can get that information using ESEUTIL. To do so, navigate to the folder containing the database and enter the following command:

ESEUTIL /MH “<mailbox database name>”

Perform the following steps to run Eseutil.exe from command prompt:
    1. Click on Start -> Run
    2. In the run box, type “cmd” and press “ok”
    3. Go to C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin directory
    4. Type Eseutil.exe in command line

Esutil.exe has two repair switches “/r” and “p”.

Eseutil /r command is soft database recovery mode of the Exchange Server.

If EDB files are badly damaged, then you should make use of Eseutil/p command. The command line to repair badly damaged public or private exchange database file is:

Eseutil /p C:\Program files\Exchsvr\mdbdata\ primary name.EDB

The simplest method to perform this is to have both database files (. EDB and.STM) in the same directory (which they typically are). If they are placed at different locations, then you need to point to the files on the command line.

Eseutil can be found in the \exchsrvr\bin directory formed when you install Microsoft Exchange on a server. You may need to put in \exchsrvr\bin to your system path for handiness.

Here is a loaded up Eseutil repair command line:

Eseutil /P c:\exchsrvr\mdbdata\DB1.EDB /Sd:\exchsrvr\mdbdata\DB1.STM /Te:\TEMPREPAIR.EDB

This command line will repair DB1.EDB placed in C drive along with its matching .STM file placed in D: drive and will place the temporary file on the E: drive.

If your streaming database file (.STM) is not matched to the database file (.EDB) or it has a problem that is blocking repair, you can repair it without adding the /createstm switch to the repair command line. This will destroy the .STM file and repair only the data in the .EDB file. What do you lose if you lose the .STM file? It depends upon what types of clients connect to your Exchange server. If everyone uses Outlook (MAPI protocol), then there will be very modest user data in the .STM file. You may lose some in the transfer of messages that have not been distributed yet. If clients connect via POP3 or IMAP, then most of the things will be in the .STM file, and its loss will be disastrous to them. If clients use Outlook Web Access, messages will be in the .EDB file, but attachments sent will be in the .STM file.

Repair can take some hours, but when it ends, it will leave you with a very comprehensive log file of what it did - call <database>. integ. raw.

Defrag the Exchange Database

Run Eseutil in /D (defragment) mode.

Repair may leave the index and space distribution tables in the database. Along with compressing the physical size of the file, defragmentation recreates the space trees and indexes.

To defragment the database, you need a space equivalent to 110% the size of the database.
As with repair, you can redirect the temporary file to a different drive if necessary, but this will take considerably longer.
  1. Run Integrity Check
  2. Run Isinteg in -fix -test -alltests mode.
  3. E.G. isinteg -s ServerName -test -all tests
Note: when you run Eseutil, you can move database files to temporary locations to make repairs. But to run Isinteg, you must put the database back in the location from which it is normally mounted.

At the end of an Isinteg fix run, you will perhaps observe hundreds of warnings. This is common as Isinteg was initially produced as an internal test utility. Just make sure that at the end of a successful Isinteg run, you have zero errors reported. Even if one error remains, you should run Isinteg once more.

If a small number of runs of Isinteg do not reduce the error count to zero, then you should not depend upon this database. You should then move mailboxes from it.

Don't run the integrity check more than 3 times as it is not suggested.

Some utter that you should anticipate spending an hour per gigabyte of data to get through the entire repair procedure.

Remount & Relax

Now remount the store using ESM and all should be well, only few emails will be lost when the server was off due to problems.

You can relax now as this whole process will take at least 2-3 days to complete for the private mailbox store.

In case, Eseutil/ Isinteg tools doesn't fix the issue, you can go for professional Exchange Recovery tool like Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery, that proficiently repairs any severely corrupt Exchange 2010 EDB file and restores all inaccessible mailboxes into a working PST. 
Thursday, 26 November 2015

4 Common Lotus Notes to MS Outlook Conversion Problems and Their Solutions

As you all know, MS Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes are two broadly used email platforms which are mostly used by small, mid-sized and big organizations across the globe. Both are worthy and have their own pros and cons. But MS Outlook is more in demand and is considered to be better for email communication as Microsoft has upgraded Outlook with the latest set of abilities and features.