Retrieve Mailboxes From Old EDB File

Retrieve Mailboxes From Old EDB File

Extensible Storage Engine Database File or EDB is a mailbox database file that stores user mailboxes, public folders, and mail items with all information, such as email messages, attachments, folders, notes, etc. Microsoft Exchange Server utilizes the Extensible Storage Engine to retrieve or access data from EDB files. However, there are a few reliable Exchange recovery tools that can read, recover and save the mailboxes from an EDB file to Outlook importable PST format.

Although these Exchange EDB recovery tools come at a cost, they make complete sense as they save you tons of time and effort required to manually retrieve or recover mailboxes from an old Exchange database (EDB) file. Besides, there are several caveats you may encounter while trying to mount and recover mailboxes from an EDB file manually.

In this article, you will learn to manually retrieve mailboxes from an old EDB file to PST. 

Steps to Retrieve Mailboxes from an Old EDB File

To retrieve mailboxes from the old EDB file to PST manually, you need to set up an Exchange Server (if you haven’t already) and require the transaction logs to mount the old EDB file to the server. 

Please note that you can only retrieve mailboxes from old EDB files if they can be mounted. 

The detailed steps are as follow,

Step 1: Check Database  State

Copy or restore the old EDB file on your Exchange Server and then open Command Prompt window as an administrator. Then run the following command to check the database state,

cd <DatabaseFolderPath>

Eseutil /mh DatabaseFileName.edb

Change DatabaseFileName with the old EDB file name you want to restore or extract mailboxes.

It must be in a Dirty Shutdown state. 

Step 2: Recover Exchange Database 

To mount the database, it should be in a Clean Shutdown state. To bring back the database to Clean Shutdown state, run the following command to execute soft recovery,

eseutil /r <Log Prefix> /l “<Path to Log folder>” /d “<Path to Database>”

eseutil /r E01 /l “E:\DB12\Exchange Server\MBXDB14\Logs” /d “E:\ DB12\Exchange Server\MBXDB14\database”

Step 3:  Create and Mount Recovery Database (RDB)

After repairing the EDB file, run the following command to create and mount it as a Recovery Database to export mailboxes to PST format.

New-MailboxDatabase -Server mail01 -Name RecoveryDB01 -Recovery -EdbFilePath ” E:\ DB12\Exchange Server\MBXDB14\databas\MBXDB.edb” -LogFolderPath ” E:\DB12\Exchange Server\MBXDB14\Logs”

Change –EdbFilePath and –LogFolderPath parameter values with your EDB file and Logs location.

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Step 4:  Check Mailboxes in the RDB

Once the Recovery Database is created, you can mount it by executing the following command in EMS to extract mailboxes. 

Mount-Database RecoveryDB01

Step 5: Create Users and Restore Mailboxes

You can now extract the mailboxes from the mounted Recovery Database (old EDB file) and restore them to an existing or new user account. To check the mailboxes in the old EDB file (RDB), execute the following command in EMS,

Get-MailboxStatistics -Database RecoveryDB01 | ft –auto

Note down the mailbox name you want to retrieve from the old EDB file.

Step 6: Retrieve Mailboxes to PST

Once you have the mailbox name you want to retrieve, execute the following command to restore the mailbox to a user account on your Exchange Server. 

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -SourceDatabase RecoveryDB01 -SourceStoreMailbox “Singh, Ravi” -TargetMailbox “MyNewUser” –AllowLegacyDNMismatch

This will restore the “Ravi Singh” mailbox from the old EDB to the new mailbox account “MyNewUser” on your Exchange Server. To check if the mailbox moved successfully, run the following command in EMS,


Once done, execute the following command in EMS to export the mailbox from the new user to PST format.

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox RaviSingh -FilePath //RestoredMBX/PST/ravisingh.pst

//RestoredMBX/PST/ is the UNC path that you must create to save the exported PST file (ravisingh.pst in this case).

To check the export progress, run the following command in EMS,


After the mailbox is exported to PST format, you may delete the mailbox or keep it. To remove the mailbox after PST export, disable the mailbox


Repeat the steps to restore other mailboxes you want to retrieve from the old EDB (RDB) and export them to a PST file. 

Step 7: Remove RDB

After successful retrieval of mailboxes from old EDB file to PSTs, you can remove the RDB by executing the following command,

Remove-MailboxDatabase -Identity “RecoveryDB01”

You can manually delete the old EDB file from the server to save the server storage.  

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To Wrap Up

In this article, you learned the steps to manually mount an old Edb file and retrieve the mailboxes to PST format. If you are stuck at any point due to missing log files or if logs aren’t available, you can use the Exchange recovery software, such as Stellar  Repair for Exchange, to quickly retrieve emails from your old EDB files and save them as individual PSTs. You may also export the extracted mailboxes from old  EDB files directly to Office 365 or Live Exchange Server at up to 4x speeds. Moreover, it auto-maps the mailboxes with the users. It provides an option to manually edit or map user mailboxes, making it easier and more convenient for you to restore mailboxes.  

Christopher Austin

Hello, I am Christopher Austin. You will mostly find me writing articles related to gaming on Techinerd. Providing knowledge that I have related to gaming to everyone is my passion and I love to do the same. Other then gaming, I also love to write articles on other technology related topics as well. Other than that, I am the digital media manager at Techinerd as well.

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