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Exchange Server is an email-based communication server used in conjunction with MS Outlook by most organizations to maintain smooth and efficient business communication. Exchange also offers great ease and flexibility to the users to access their mailbox information either using Outlook or Outlook Web Access, as per their needs.
In order to save the user mailbox information, the MS Exchange information store relies upon Exchange database files (EDB). Sometimes, due to a faulty shutdown, the Exchange may terminate abruptly. The termination may lead to file corruption or loss of access to the database. When the Exchange database is corrupt, it will not mount on the server. When the users try to open a client application like Outlook, they will not be able to access their mailboxes.
The following are the problems that can cause the dirty shutdown error-
To resolve dirty shutdown error, try an automated tool Kernel for Exchange Server recovery. The tool also enables you to recover and migrate corrupt Exchange mailbox data into PST, Live Exchange and Office 365.
In such a scenario, the user gets an error message indicating:
Exchange Server database is designed on JET engines, in which log files are given a significant role to keep a constant record of input and output operations going in the EDB files. But when these log files are left in the cached memory without being committed to the Information Store, then JET engine term them as DIRTY. And in this incomplete process, if the system is turned off accidentally, it displays dirty shutdown error. If the database is down, inconsistent or unhealthy state, it cannot be mounted again on the server and hence, blocks the data accessibility.
The main reason for dirty shutdown is caused due to the inconsistency in transactions of the transactional log files. The database goes in the dirty shutdown state when EDB or STM files are not properly detached from the transaction log files. Because of this issue, the server is unable to read the transaction logs and hence create transactional discrepancy. And in this situation, when the user tries to open the EDB files, it displays the dirty shutdown error.
Note: A transaction log file is a highly important piece of information for database as it consistently keeps a track of all changes made in the Exchange database. And the changes made on those user mailboxes are first registered in these log files and then to the database. The log files are generated in sequence and helping users to understand the complete log history.
You may verify whether the database is properly detached from transaction files or not, in order to check it is a clean or dirty shutdown state. To analyze the state of database, follow the below provided steps:
Go to the ‘Start’ button and then type ‘cmd’ in the run textbox and hit enter.
Note: here it is assumed that your Exchange Server is installed at this location ‘c:\program files\exchsrvr folder’ and the database is saved in:‘c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata folder’
Now, type the given command, for private folder database file::
Type the given command, for public folder database file:
Verify the exchange database state, as:
In order to resolve the issue of dirty shutdown error, it is required to bring the database back into a clean shutdown state. For this, transactional log files have to be replayed in the database. The solution is definitely complex, and requires running certain commands in the ESEUTIL application for the database repair. The process may seem long and fixes minor glitches only. Follow the below mentioned steps to achieve clean shutdown state using manual technique:
This was the manual way of fixing Dirty Shutdown state of the Exchange database using the in-built ESEUTIL application provided by Microsoft. However, if you do not achieve the desired results using the manual technique or find the aforementioned technique an arduous task, then try using a reliable third-party Exchange Server recovery tool. Kernel for Exchange Server is a result-oriented yet friendly-working tool to repair corrupt EDB and STM files within a matter of minutes.
In three simple steps, users can successfully bring the database to a clean shutdown state. Other than dirty shutdown error, this tool can repair corrupt EDB files; it is capable enough to restore the recovered files to various platforms like live Exchange Server, Outlook, Office365, email server, or webmails in a single attempt.
Proposed by Mr Ahmed MALEK, Senior IT Security Manager at INSEAD(MCC, MVP)