Stellar Repair for Exchange – Best Tool to restore the mailboxes with minimal downtime
When an Exchange Server disaster strikes you need an application or a rescue tool that will make your and the user’s life easy and get back to your normal duties with minimal impact to your business. There are many tools on the market but one application that stands out is Stellar Repair for Exchange. They just released their new version which apart from having a revamp of the user interface making it look like the Office 2016 interface it comes with some nifty new features which we will explore.
Starting off with the installation, it’s simple and fast with a very small installation and mostly automated. You start off the application and immediately you are asked for the location of the corrupted EDB in question. If you are a newbie in the company and don’t know exactly where the EDB is you can simply click the find button and the application will scan for any EDB files in the selected drives. After you select the EDB to recover you will be asked if you want a quick scan or an extensive one. Mostly one would go for the quick scan as it’s the recommended for most cases as it will take less time to complete as the extensive one will take a considerate amount of time. It depends at what corruption level is your database. The newly added feature will allow you to add multiple EDB files to scan and export as required. This could come in handy when having more than one corrupted EDB file.
After a scan is complete, the best thing to do is to save your scan for future restores or exports. All you need is to click on the Save Scan and Load Scan once you re-open the application again. You will be astonished after the scan as the application will show a whole tree of the EDB file/s with all the mailboxes, folders, subfolders and all the other options like calendar, tasks, journal and contacts.
You can feel free to browse the mailbox as for example you can view a particular folder in an email and in the middle pane you will get a list of all the emails. On the other pane you can preview the email itself in a very readable format including attachments as well. To top this up, on the header of each criteria you can simply click and search for something as you type. This comes really handy as there are less clicks and the integration in the UI is great. If you would like to search for anything in particular but globally in your EDB file you can do so with a number of search criteria like To, From, Body, CC, Subject, Importance, Item Type and the date range which could really come in handy when you would like to export a specific date or range. You can search by any field. From the buttons on the bottom as one would expect in Outlook you will have the Mail button, Calendar, Contacts and all the features. You can view and preview any calendar entry, the same way as you look at a normal Outlook calendar. Contacts can be viewed and also the suggested contacts as well.
Once you select the specific mailbox folder or feature you can simply export to the commonly used formats such as PST, HTML, EML, PDF, MSG and RTF. The magic comes as you can export directly to Exchange being version 2010 upwards till 2019 which is the latest. Before you had the same feature but now you can map multiple mailboxes and export them simultaneously with the option to create a new user or us the existing one. This could be great in some cases where the EDB file got corrupted and you created a new EDB file. The users are back sending and receiving emails which you are restoring their old emails directly to their mailboxes. This works like a charm, but what about if you have a hybrid setup with Office 365? The same concept works for Office 365 mailboxes and it works as easy as 1, 2 and 3.
This is not even just a recovery tool but also a migration tool as you can use it to export directly to your newly created Office 365 tenant. It can also be used for exporting old EDB files example the company moved to either a newer version of Exchange or Office 365 and you would need to recover some emails, whole mailboxes, or contacts from an old archive. Of course you wouldn’t need to leave an old Exchange server running for this as it will not be compatible or wise to leave it due to security and incompatibility.
When exporting to a particular format you can also apply a filter where you can exclude the Junk and Deleted emails, setup a date range of inclusion or exclusion and senders to be excluded. You can only have one date range and multiple excluded senders, but you can have a mix and match of all the filter criteria.
Stellar Repair for Exchange runs smoothly and the performance was great. Yes, using the conventional native tools like the EseUtil and New-MAilboxRepairRequest could do the job or you can never manage to recover from the disaster. One must also consider that the native tools take a huge amount of time to scan and finish and it could be the result that the EDB file is unfixable and a total waste of time for the users not being able to access their emails. This is where application like Stellar Repair for Exchange comes to the rescue to limit the downtime, restore the mailboxes, keeps the users at bay and make the life of an Exchange Admin a better one with a piece of mind.