Perform Soft & Hard Exchange Recovery using Eseutil Commands

Eseutil utility is an in-built Exchange tool that has been developed specifically to tackle any kind of data disastrous situation (Exchange Errors) encountered while using the Microsoft Exchange Server. This situation could be the result of improper shutdown which in turn makes the database dirty. Eseutil handles such situation by performing the defragmentation of the database offline. It further checks for the integrity of the database and at last repairs the damaged or lost database. It can be used for both soft recovery and hard recovery. Besides it is advised to always keep backup of the data, so that when any data crisis occurs this data can be easily restored.

Eseutil Utility Location

Eseutil tool can be easily located at the \EXCHSRVR\BIN directory. The exact location is –

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin

How to Use Eseutil Commands to Perform Soft & Hard Exchange Database Recovery?

For using Eseutil utility, database should be dismounted from the Exchange Server. One can run Eseutil from command prompt also.

It is recommended to copy or take a backup of the original database and log files to a different location as Eseutil commands can perform certain modifications on the files under the soft or hard recovery. Also, ensure that there you have administrator permissions and about 1.2 times of the Exchange database file storage space available.

  1. First of all it is recommended to check whether the given database is corrupted or there is any other kind of issues.
  2. To exactly view the database state, use the command –
    ESEUTIL /MH “database name”

    The searched results of Eseutil command will show whether the database is in healthy or dirty state.

  3. Once it is confirmed that the database is in dirty state, check the status of the log files as well by running the command –
    ESEUTIL /ML “database name”
  4. If log files are in healthy state, perform the soft recovery. Run the command –
    ESEUTIL /R/L “log files path location” /D ” database path location”

    Next, mount the stores again.

    Note: After running the above command for soft recovery of the database, the following error may occur.

    Operation terminated with error -1216 (JET_errAttachedDatabaseMismatch, An outstanding database attachment has been detected at the start or end of recovery, but database is missing or does not match attachment info) after n seconds.

    In such a situation, you can try running the ESEUTIL /R command with the “I” switch to fix the mismatch issue.

  5. But, if the log files are not in healthy state or are unavailable, you need to perform the hard recovery.

    Note: Here, first you need to restore database from backup (if available) and the temporary folder containing restore.env file just created and move to other location.

    Then, run this command.

    ESEUTIL/CC “restore.env file folder path”

    You can consider the hard recovery successful if that temporary folder is empty now. Next, mount the stores again.

  6. Use the utility command ESEUTIL /MS to defrag the database offline.

    Note: Defragmentation means to reorganize the way data is stored on the disk so that data is stored in contiguous format. It is necessary to defrag when numerous mails may have been either added or deleted.

  7. The next step is then to check the integrity of selected database by using command –
    ESEUTIL /G. Type the following command: ESEUTIL /G C:\Program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database name.edb
  8. In case there is no .STM file present, one can create it with the command –

    However while using ESEUTIL/P switch there are chances of data loss hence back up of data is really very important.

    The commands can be repeated for complete repair and recovery on the Exchange Server database files and then database can be mounted using the command –

    Mount-MailboxDatabase –identity <database_name>

A number of switches are also available which can also be used depending on the requirement as below

ESEUTIL/R: It performs the soft recovery and brings selected data into a consistent state.
ESEUTIL/Y: This switch efficiently copies large database files or mailboxes with high performance.
ESEUTIL/C: It is capable of performing hard recovery during an online backup.
ESEUTIL/K: This switch provides the user to check that whether the repair was successful or not. The output of successful repair is indicated by zero wrong page numbers and zero bad checksums.

If it fails to repair corrupt Exchange Database Server using the above Eseutil commands or you feel any complexity in running these commands or database is not getting mounted after the recovery, then you can use third party Exchange recovery software. This tool can repair all corruptions within the Exchange database and make Exchange Server free of errors. This solution is reliable and secure from all directions. Users can rely on it as it integrates powerful and smart algorithms which maintains the data integrity and structure throughout the repair. Moreover it supports all Exchange Server versions.

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We have learnt the use of Microsoft inbuilt utility Eseutil for the recovery (soft and hard) of Exchange database and the related complications. To combat this issue more efficiently and complications-free, we introduced an efficient, easy-to-work-with and reliable tool.

About Vineet Bhatt

Vineet has written on QuickBooks, Sage50, MySQL Database, Active Directory, email recovery, Microsoft365, Pattern Recognition and Machine learning. He is passionate about researching, exploring new technologies and creating interesting technical blogs to help organizations or database administrators solve multiple problems.


  1. I am very grateful to found this post. By the help of this post I retrieve my Exchange Database. This manual methods are free for everyone.

  2. Thanks for sharing this helpful post, I was looking for an easy manual process to get back my some important data. Because of every single step is explained, I don’t feel any hassle to recover my data. Thanks a lot.

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