Exchange Me!

Apr 2 2008   5:39PM GMT


B00M3R John Bostock Profile: B00M3R

If you’ve been in this industry for many years as most of us have and worked with the different variants of Exchange Server I’m sure you would have come across a corrupt Information Store at some stage. In the upcoming blogs I’ll show you the most common type of database corruption and we’ll talk about what we can do to fix each type.

Most of the time database corruption refers to ….the data in the store becomes corrupt/invalid or unreadable. If the wrong data is written to the database or written to the wrong location or physically damaged after being written.

Now..How does this happen? If the hard disk has many bad sectors or becomes physically damaged, transaction logs get read incorrectly and the update is incorrect. I’ve also had it happen when power failures cause shutdown. Whatever the reason you most understand there are several places corruption can occur?

The page Level. – This is an individual place inside the database where data is stored. Miss read Tran logs or power failures normally cause this and you’ll find this type common. Most corruption issues will be page level corruption.

The Database Level. – This is where the individual pages are OK but the database file is invalid. Like if the file header is damaged or part unreadable. This problem at the database level often means the jet database cannot interact correctly with the associated EDB file.

The Application Level – This refers to the entire store itself the database is relational which means that the databases depend on each other for info. Example Although Exchange 2000 doesn’t have directory service it depends on the Active Directory.

Also you must consider other possibilities too. If Exchange isn’t working correctly then don’t always presume it’s the store or the database is corrupt. Exchange depends on Active Directory, IIS and Windows and of course the hardware. So if one of these is having issues then Exchange will be too. If your server has a memory related problem, then items stored in memory may be corrupt. Therefore, if Exchange sends the system to send the contents of a particular memory block to the database or to a transaction log, then the database or transaction log would become corrupted as a result of the memory problem.

You can see that the way Exchange databases are layered and all the components that depend on each other leaves heaps of room for issues.

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