How To Restore Public Folder Database From .edb File – Exchange Server

I accidentally deleted all of the public folders today from a public folder database. Pretty silly yeah? But this is the reason I am always going on about having a solid backup routine.

So I have my backup which I took right before I started working.

I thought now I just need to find the walk through on how to actually restore a public folder database. This wasn’t very easy to find and I actually ended up just trying something and it worked.

I found one that said to use PFDAVAdmin to restore them but when I tried it just wouldn’t find any. It would just crash out when you tell it to Show Deleted Subfolders. I would get the following error:

Unhandled exception has occurred in your application. if you click Continue the applicaiton will ignore this error and attempt to continue. If you click quit, the application will close immediatley.

Name cannot begin with the ‘0’ character, hexadecimal value 0x30. Line 1, position 441


Error when try to see deleted public folders
Error when try to see deleted public folders


The method I used to Recover the Public Folder Database

  • Restore Exchange to a different location from a backup using Windows Server Backup
  • Open the Exchange Management Console
  • In the left menu thing navigate to Microsoft Exchange > Server Configuration > Mailbox
  • In the center it will have the Server list. Select the Server
  • Below where you selected the Exchange Server select the public folder database you want to restoredismount exchange public folder database
  • Then you need to dismount the database by selecting Dismount Database on the right hand actions panel
  • Now the Public Folder Database is dismounted select the Properties button just under where you selected to dismount the database
  • At the bottom there is a check box that says “This database can be overwritten by a restore” check that box and press apply.Allow restore of public folder database
  • Now open windows explorer and go to the directory that you have restored the exchange database to and find the public folder database. It is usully located under <Drive Letter>:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Mailbox\<Storage Group Name>\ but it should tell you the path under database file path in EMC
  • Copy the restored copy of the Public Folder Database
  • Navigate to the public folder database that you just dismounted
  • Rename the original database (I usually just put a .old at the end of the filename)
  • Paste the restored Public Folder Database file and make sure the name is the same
  • Now go back to Exchange Management Console and select re-mount

If Mounting The Public Folder Database Fails

  • Open the Exchange Management Shell (the powershell command for exchange)
  • Navigate to the folder that your public folder database is in
  • Repair the database by running the command (replacing <PFD name> with the name of your public folder database file name)

eseutil -p <PFD name>.edb

  • Open the Exchange Management Console and mount the public folder database
Output of the eseutil -p command
Output of the eseutil -p command



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13 thoughts on “How To Restore Public Folder Database From .edb File – Exchange Server

  • You are the man. This worked beautifully for me and I have successfully recovered a public Folder Database to a different server. First article that I found that actually made sense.


  • Great write up. My situation, however, is a little different.

    Due to misconfigured age limits on the Public Folder database (Exchange 2007) a handful of items (no folders, just contents) have been deleted from our Public Folders database. We have a backup of the EDB from before the deletions, so now we need to merge the contents of the current database and the backup database.

    Any suggestions on best solution for merging the contents of two Public Folder databases?


    Frederick, MD

  • Thanks mate. This is written like a manual and helped me to solve a situation with public folders which disappeared suddenly for some reason. Your post helped me with the procedure to restore the public folder database from a backup.

    Regards from Germany

  • Thanks for sharing this informative article.
    Few days ago, I was reading another good article that covers some good points in order to restore the data securely during the time, when you face Exchange server corruption issue. I would like to share that link here that might be interested for you all :
    By the way, one another good article has been bookmarked into my list and I hope, it will help me to obtain some more information in depth.

  • Just wanted to comment and say this worked (over a year after you typed it). I appreciate it! Found myself in a sticky spot when I cleaned out some legacy names from my DCs and BOOM public folder DB decided to die. This revived it!

  • Thank you!!!!!!!!!! It’s so hard to find easy helpful articles like this, managed to recover some public folder emails from our backup with your help!

  • What will occur when power shell cmdlets scripts and MS Data Protection Manager does not extract the data from broken or inaccessible exchange database. In several conditions, it has been noticed that due to any reason like human error, network issues, improper execution of the PowerShell Scripts, hardware or software problems, it gets a very tough task to recover a single mailbox. And, the professional who is a technically expert in Power-Shell scripts, can only run the cmdlets scripts appropriately. It is not compulsory that each an every Exchange Admin is a master in PowerShell scripts, so in that situation, you can opt any expert exchange recovery tools such as –


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