Dealing with MS Exchange Mailbox Corruption – Reasons & Solutions

From the years, MS Exchange went through several updates and a new version with unbeatable features and Advantages. Even though the latest version of MS Exchange Mailbox is not only stable but also mature, it is still vulnerable when it comes to corruption. One can never guarantee the security of this platform. Corrupt data can generate erratic client-server behaviors such as improper archiving of items, Outlook synchronization issues, and even Outlook freezing, etc. on an Exchange Mailbox.

Reasons for Corruption of MS Exchange Mailbox

Some of the common reasons that are responsible for the corruption of MS Exchange Mailbox are discussed below:

1. Hardware Issues: One of the major reasons for Exchange issues is substandard hardware. Motherboard failure, hard drive with bad sectors, overheating and failure of drives lead to data corruption and inaccessibility. Event logs should be closely monitored to avoid hardware related issues.

2. Server failure: Communication problems, failure of the processor chip, backplane or motherboard and operating system stop error, etc. are some issues that can cause the Exchange Server to fail. This failure then leads to downtime that causes system, network and hardware issues.

3. Boot failure: Malware attacks, non-responsive system apps or services, OS failure and hardware issues are some of the reasons why boot failure can occur which then leads to corruption of mailbox.

4. Shutdowns: Exchange information store does not automatically save transaction log file which is the reason why sudden/accidental shutdowns can create inconsistencies in the Exchange database.

5. Database Storage Issue: An Exchange database that grows beyond its storage capacity can get corrupted and lead to unrecoverable loss as the Exchange store dismounts once the limit in the registry is crossed.

6. Antivirus: Antivirus software can cause issues of database failure if the Exchange Server’s files and directories are not added to its scanning exception list.

7. Admin Errors: Admin errors such as deletion of mailboxes, wrong database dismounting, removal of transaction log files and stopping of information store services can cause data corruption.

How to Check or Detect Mailbox Corruption?

If a user feels there is an issue with the Exchange Server’s EDB files then they can easily check the database for corruption. Logical or physical issues can be the reasons how corruption takes place in the first place in the Exchange Mailbox. The common errors that can occur in the Exchange Mailbox are listed below:

  1. Database header file corruption
  2. Exchange Server Error -528: This error occurs when the database is corrupted and the database restore action fails on the backup files of exchange
  3. Error 0x80040605: This error occurs when the system is unable to initialize the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.
  4. All types of Jet Engine Errors: These errors occur in JET Blue when the Exchange server experiences damage. JET errors lead to severe repercussions for the system.
  5. "JET_errBadPageLink, Database corrupted": Error -327 occurs when the database of Exchange becomes corrupted logically at JET engine level.
  6. Exchange Server Dirty shutdown: If an interruption occurs that leads to the shutdown of the database while a transaction was being committed to it, then the state of the database is termed as Dirty Shutdown
  7. "Non-database file or corrupted database": This error occurs when the exchange tries to access some information from the database which is either logically or physically corrupted.
  8. Jet Error Code – 1601: This error occurs due to corruption in Exchange EDB file structure.
  9. Jet Error Code – 1605: This error occurs after the exit of Eseutil/p command when repairing database.
  10. Exchange Error “JET_errInvalidLogSequence” (0xfffffdfd): This error occurs due to log files problems such as when some particular log files are missing, invalid log signature and log creation time mismatch. In such situations, where some log files are not present in database or corresponding header is unable to find matching file in the database, this error is displayed.
  11. # JET_errInvalidDatabaseId -1010: This error occurs when entered database ID is invalid.
  12. # JET_errInvalidDatabase -1028: This error occurs when the concerned file is not a database file.
  13. # JET_errDatabaseDirtyShutdown -550: This error occurs when the database is not properly shutdown. Such an error demands recovery of the previous operation in order to complete the tasks left incomplete. You can resolve this error by following the steps mentioned here.
  14. # JET_errDatabaseSignInUse -1222: This error occurs when the signature being used for database belongs to the DB that is already in use.
  15. Exchange Server Error -338 (JET_errBadParentPageLink, Database corrupted): This error occurs when a parent database is corrupted.
  16. # JET_errFileInvalidType -1812: This error occurs when the file name belongs to an invalid file type.
  17. # JET_errDatabaseCorruptedNoRepair -1224: This error occurs when repair of a corrupted database is not allowed.

Detection and Repair

These corruptions can be checked and repaired via PowerShell commands. If your Exchange is 2010 SP1 version or higher then you can check the corruption of database using New-MailboxRepairRequest command.

To only detect or check the mailbox corruption, follow the steps given below:

1. Open the Exchange PowerShell which is found on the mailbox server.

2. In the PowerShell, run the command ‘New-MailboxRepairRequest -mailbox email -CorruptionType type –DetectOnly’

Here the corruption type can either be SearchFolders, AggregateCounts, FolderView or even ProvisionedFolder.

In order to repair the MS Exchange Mailbox’s corruption run the command without –DetectOnly i.e. New-MailboxRepairRequest -mailbox email -CorruptionType type

Before making a modification, be sure that you have a backup of the mailbox or of the entire database.

For more information about New-MailboxRepairRequest, follow this article.

For older versions, you can use Eseutil command to repair corrupt Exchange database. For more information about Eseutil command, follow this article.

Data Recovery and Repair Options for MS Exchange Mailbox

In order to recover and repair the data of MS Exchange Mailbox, reliable software such as Stellar Repair for Exchange software can be used for maximum damage control. This software has the ability to repair EDB files that are corrupted and then restore the mailboxes in importable file format. Stellar offers a risk-free method for swift recovery and restoration of Exchange mailboxes.

How to Avoid Mailbox Corruption Issues?

The issues that lead to Mailbox corruption can be resolved by simply using third-party recovery tools like that offered by Stellar. You can also employ the following steps to prevent corruption:

1.    Use high-quality hardware and monitor the database’s free space regularly.

2.    Periodically perform activities and checks related to database maintenance and data integrity.

3.    Configure the Exchange Server settings carefully and enable antivirus with exceptions for Exchange files.

4.    Take regular backups of the databases.


If the administrators are vigilant in their work then a few steps can prevent mailbox corruption from occurring in the first place. What steps do you employ to keep your Exchange mailboxes safe? Let us know in the comments below.

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