Move a Mailbox Database Using Database Portability

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010

You can use database portability to move a Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 mailbox database between Exchange 2010 Mailbox servers in the same organization. This can help reduce overall recovery times for various failure scenarios. To learn more, see Database Portability.


Database portability in Exchange 2010 can be used only for Exchange 2010 mailbox databases. It can't be used for public folder databases or mailbox databases from previous versions of Microsoft Exchange.

Use the Shell to move user mailboxes to a recovered or dial tone database using database portability

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Mailbox recovery" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.


You can't use the EMC to move user mailboxes to a recovered or dial tone database using database portability.

  1. Verify that the database is in a Clean Shutdown state. If the database isn't in a Clean Shutdown state, perform a soft recovery.


    When you perform a soft recovery, any uncommitted log files are committed to the database. If you don't have all of the required log files, you can't complete the soft recovery process. Proceed to step 2.

    To commit all uncommitted log files to the database, from a command prompt, run the following command.

    ESEUTIL /R <Enn>


    <Enn> specifies the log file prefix for the database into which you intend to replay the log files. The log file prefix specified by <Enn> is a required parameter for Eseutil /r.

  2. Create a database on the new server, as shown in this example.

    New-MailboxDatabase -Name DB1 -Server MBX1 -EdbFilePath C:\Databases\DB1\DB1.edb -LogFolderPath C:\Databases\DB1


    To create a database, see Create a Mailbox Database.

  3. Set the This database can be over written by restore attribute using the following syntax.

    Set-MailboxDatabase <Database Name> -AllowFileRestore:$true
  4. Move the database files (.edb file, log files, and Exchange Search catalog) to the appropriate location. The database files need to be present and in the correct location for recovery operations to succeed.

  5. Mount the database using the following syntax.

    Mount-Database <Database Name>
  6. After the database is mounted, modify the user account settings with the Set-Mailbox cmdlet so that the account points to the mailbox on the new mailbox server. To move all of the users from the old database to the new database, use the following syntax.

    Get-Mailbox -Database <SourceDatabase> |where {$_.ObjectClass -NotMatch '(SystemAttendantMailbox|ExOleDbSystemMailbox)'}| Set-Mailbox -Database <TargetDatabase>

After Active Directory replication is complete, all users can access their mailboxes on the new Exchange server. Clients can connect to the new server as follows:

  • Microsoft Outlook 2010, Office Outlook 2007, and Windows Mobile 6.1 and later clients are redirected via the Autodiscover service.
  • Outlook Web App users are automatically redirected to the new server.
  • Older Outlook clients need to be manually configured to point to the new server, if the server name has changed.