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Move a Mailbox Database Using Database Portability (Exchange 2013)

Database portability is a feature that enables a Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 mailbox database to be moved to or mounted on any other Mailbox server in the same organization running Exchange 2013 that has databases with the same database schema version. Mailbox databases from previous versions of Exchange can’t be moved to a Mailbox server running Exchange 2013. By using database portability, reliability is improved by removing several error-prone, manual steps from the recovery processes. In addition, database portability reduces the overall recovery times for various failure scenarios.

What do you need to know before begin:

1- Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes, plus the time it takes to restore the data, move the database files, and wait for Active Directory replication to complete

2- You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the “Mailbox recovery” entry in the Recipients Permissions topic.

3- You can’t use the EAC to move user mailboxes to a recovered or dial tone database using database portability.


Using Power Shell to move user mailboxes to a recovered 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.
To commit all uncommitted log files to the database, from a command prompt, run the following command.

ESEUTIL /R <Enn> /L Log Path              Example: Eseutil /R E00 /Ld:\exchsrvr\logfiles

2- Create a database on the new server, as shown in this example. The paths used in this example are for illustration purposes only.

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

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>
7- Trigger delivery of any messages remaining in queues using the following syntax.
Get-Queue Queue Name | Retry-Queue -Resubmit $true

To verify that you’ve successfully moved a mailbox, do the following:

  • Open the mailbox using Outlook Web App.
  • Open the mailbox using Microsoft Outlook.



  1. Sean C. says:

    … in a DB portability scenario for recovery, how are in-place/online archives handled?

    I have successfully used this scenario for primary mailbox DB’s but the in-place archive does not re-home.

    • JohnYassa says:

      I didn’t do that before , but i found some guy on internet did the below steps

      I didn’t do the rehoming, as this mailbox DB is used for the archive, instead, I have changed these attributes manually from Active Directory of one test user :

      attributes: “msExchArchiveDatabaseLink” to point the new DB and “msExchDisabledArchiveDatabaseLink” to point the old DB.
      you might also change “msExchArchiveGUID” and “msExchDisabledArchiveGUID” and switch their values,
      Connected again to the user mailbox and the Personal archive has open,

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