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Exchange 2000 introduced mailbox deletion
retention. If you configure deletion retention on an Exchange
server, Exchange doesn’t immediately remove a mailbox from the
information store, and you can therefore “undelete” it using
Exchange System Manager.
This is a great feature for sticky situations
such as when an overly zealous administrator deletes a mailbox from
the server, only to have a user request its contents a few days
To configure your server for mailbox deletion
retention, follow these steps:
- Open the Exchange System Manager, and
navigate to the server you want to configure.
- Right-click Mailbox Store,
and select Properties.
- On the Limits tab, the Keep Deleted Mailboxes
For (Days) box specifies the number of days that deleted mailboxes
remain on the server. If desired, change the number of days, and
click OK to apply the change.
Keep in mind that the longer the retention
period, the longer it is before the used space is free, so you want
to keep it within reason. Most administrators find that 30 days of
retention works well for their organization’s needs.
To restore a mailbox that someone has deleted
within the retention period, follow these steps:
- Open the
Exchange System Manager, and navigate to the server that
stores the mailbox.
Mailbox Store, right-click Mailboxes, and select
Run Cleanup Agent.
the mailbox you wish to recover, and select Reconnect.
- Select the
user account you want to associate with the mailbox, and click
While this method of restoring mailboxes isn’t
likely to keep you from ever needing to restore a database to
recover a mailbox, it definitely helps.