Sunday, July 15, 2007

Recovering deleted public folder

So you thought you could use the Exchange Server 2003 recovery group to recover a deleted public folder? Sorry to tell you that you can't. The Exchange recovery group is only for Mailboxes, not public folders. So how do you restore it? Unless you have a backup program like Brightstor or Veritas, with the appropriate agents then you have these options.

1. Attempt a restore of the deleted folder.

Go to Microsoft website and search for PFDAVadmin.  Download the public folder tool and you can recover your deleted folder
 
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287110/en-us
The above is a command list.
 
You can also try and use Outlook to recover the deleted folder by going to the location where it was deleted, on the user that deleted and select Tools | Recover Deleted Items.
 
Another method is to use OWA.
 
1. Go to OWA and login as the user that deleted the folder.
2. Click on the button for public folders and it will open up a new windows with the public folder structure.
3. Browse to the parent folder of the deleted item, right click on the parent public folder and select "Open in New..."
4. Change the URL from
http://servername/public/toplevel/subfolder/?cmd=content
to
http://servername/public/toplevel/subfolder/?cmd=showdeleted&btnClose=1 (replacing servername with the name of your server).
4. Find the deleted folder, highlight the folder, and click Recover.
 
2. Restore the Exchange store
 
If the above options fail then you are going to have to restore the whole public folder store. If you attempt this on the same server it will overwrite the public store that is already there. To avoid this you will need to build a new server ( same name ), with the same AD name, install Exchange and then do a complete restore of the databases from the original server. Then you should be able to recover the deleted public folder.
 
The second option isn't that nice but it maybe you only option. This issue should make you stop and think about wide spread usage of public folders, because they are so cumbersome to restore.