Fixing Error Exchange database content index state failed

Being a complex server having multiple structural entities, the Exchange Server is surrounding with different errors which may be structure based, database based or services based. Here, we are going to discuss one of these errors which could be the cause of concern among most of our Exchange Server administrators. The error indicates “Exchange database content index state failed”. It is generally caused due to issues in the Exchange Information Store.

You can understand the Exchange Information Store in an Exchange Server as the source to handle and respond to several users’ requests. Having this error means interruption in multiple functions offered by the Exchange Information Store which can be – Messages saving into draft while saving, DAG related issues, blockage in passive database copies during switch over of the database, halt or interruption in the search function with Outlook or Outlook related applications like Outlook on the Web.

All these effects on the Exchange Server functionalities cannot be ignored and you should check or confirm your Exchange database content index status as the very first step receiving any of these problems.

An Exchange administrator generally came across the issue while trying to run the health check command like this.

Get-ServerHealth <database name=””> | ?{$_.HealthSetName -eq “Search”}

You can take aid from the Exchange Management Shell directly by running this command as an administrator (run Exchange Management Shell as an administrator) to know the current status of your Exchange Server database.

Get-MailboxDatabase <Database Name> | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index*

Enter your database name in the above command (in place of <Database Name>) and press enter to execute the cmdlet.

From the output results, you can check whether the Content Index State is running or failed.

Another command which can display the status of the content index is.

Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus * | ft –auto

So, as you now know that your Exchange database content index state has failed and suspended, you would be worrying about finding a solution to make it healthy and working again. We would surely help you in this by providing workable solutions for fixing “Exchange database content index state failed” error.

Methods to Fix “Exchange database content index state failed

To repair the corrupt or failed database content index state, you can utilize Exchange PowerShell cmdlets but it wholly depends on the condition whether Exchange database is utilizing Database Availability Group or not. Also, this method applies to Exchange Server 2010 and above versions only as it includes the use of the Exchange Management Shell application commands.

Let us know these fixes in detail.

Note: User performing this method must be the Exchange administrator or have assigned administrative rights.

Start your Exchange system and run the Exchange Management Shell application as an administrator. For that, select the application, right-click on it and select Run as administrator option.

Now perform these two solutions on different Exchange Server conditions.

Condition No.1 – Exchange Server is NOT a member of Database Availability Group

In this condition, there is a single database copy which includes a failed or corrupt database content index state. Execute these commands one by one to make this content index healthy again by rebuilding the fresh database content index.

  1. Stop these two Exchange Services – Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller by running these commands in the Exchange Management Shell.
    To stop Microsoft Exchange Search service, run this command:

    Stop-Service MSExchangeFastSearch

    To stop Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller service, it is the command

    Stop-Service HostControllerService
  2. Move to the Exchange database folder saving location on the same system, search for the long string GUID folder there and delete it completely with its sub-folders. This long string folder contained the content index of the database.
  3. Next, step is to start those two Exchange services again. For that, you just need to run these simple commands one after another.
    Start-Service MSExchangeFastSearchStop-Service HostControllerService
  4. Wait for some minutes. You would find the new database content index created within the new long string folder.
  5. Check the indexing state of the Exchange database now for healthy status using this command
    Get-MailboxDatabase | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index*
  6. You can now use the Exchange services and functions without any content index related issues.

Condition No.2 – Exchange Server is a member of Database Availability Group

It is a condition where your Exchange Server is a member of the DAG and you have multiple database copies which are affected or not affected with corrupt or failed content index state. Let us know the process to resolve this situation.

  1. First, know about the affected database copies by executing this command.
    Get-MailboxDatabase <Database Name> | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index* 

    Note: Enter the Exchange database name in place of <Database Name> in the command.
    The output would display the healthy and failed database content index state.

  2. For all the affected (failed and suspended) database copies, run this command for each of this one-by-one.
    Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy <Database Name>** –sourceserver Server Name* –catalogonly 

    This command is to repair the corrupt catalog of each affected database. You need to provide the failed database name in place of <Database Name> in format of Affected Database Name\Server Name and provide the Server name in place of Server Name of which content index is found healthy. Execute this command carefully for other affected database copies as well by providing its affected database and healthy server name in the same command.

  3. Once, all affected catalog are repaired, confirm your successful effort by running the command again to view if all database content indexes are healthy or not.
    Get-MailboxDatabase <Database Name> | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index*

We have just discussed the use of Exchange Management Shell commands in fixing the “Exchange database content index state failed.” To run these commands, the user must have administrative rights and have technical skills to run these commands correctly otherwise failures due to chances of manual errors are high.

While the manual solution is feasible to fix this issue, we also suggest you to the most effective Exchange Recovery tool which holds the capacity to fix all sorts of Exchange database related issues and retrieves the complete data and its items with original structure and hierarchy. The tool supports all Exchange Server versions from oldest to the newest. You can know better about the tool by working on its free demo version which is made available for you at the software website.

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Conclusion

The blog introduced the potential manual method to deal with Exchange database content index state failed issue with some Exchange Management Shell cmdlets based on the membership of DAG. Keep reading such help blogs to get relief from more Exchange related issues.