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How do I recover e-mails that were deleted before a daily Exchange backup?

The mailbox store properties of my Exchange 2000 mailbox store are set to:

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  1. Keep deleted items for three days.
  2. Do not permanently delete the mailboxes and items until the store has been backed up.

The problem is that I do a daily normal backup of my Exchange 2000 server at 10 p.m. A user has deleted a couple of his mails at 5 p.m. and wants them back at 7 p.m. So I backed up the mailbox store and restored, but I did not get the mails my user had lost. Could you please explain to me where I made a mistake and how to get my user's mails back? Thank you very much.
To be clear, are you saying that the user deleted the messages, then you backed up the mailbox store and then restored it? It sounds like you were expecting the restore process to restore things that have been deleted before the backup occurred. You won't be able to do this.

Instead, the user should just use the deleted item recovery feature in Outlook/Exchange. If they select their Deleted Items folder and choose Tools -> Recovered Deleted Items, they should be able to recover the deleted messages without needing a mailbox store restore.

This was first published in January 2003

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