The following is Tip #21 from "25 Exchange 2003 Tips in 25 minutes." This content is excerpted from Scott Schnoll's book, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," brought to you by © (2004) Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Addison-Wesley Professional.
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The Information Store Viewer, MDBVU32.EXE, also known as the Message Store Viewer, is used to view and configure message storage files in a mailbox store, a public folder store, a .PST file, or an offline store (.OST) file. MDBVU32.EXE uses MAPI 1.0 calls to connect to a MAPI-based message store. As illustrated in Figure 10.2, you can use it to view or delete messages, folders, rules, and scripts; access system mailboxes; and change raw data.
When you encounter this tool, you might get a chuckle out of its icon, which is a flaming drum of toxic nuclear waste. This should be your first clue that this tool can be very hazardous to a message store. Because it provides write access to raw message store data, a wide variety of problems can occur if the wrong item is changed or deleted. More importantly, the tool has no "undo" feature, so you should make sure you have a current full backup of your message store(s) before using this tool.
For details on how to install and use MDBVU32.EXE, consult the Read Me file included with this tool.
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About the author: Scott Schnoll, an Expert on SearchExchange.com, is an MCT, MCSA and a long-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).
In addition to writing "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," he is a co-author of the upcoming "Exchange 2003 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press" and lead author for "Exchange 2000 Server: The Complete Reference."
Scott has written numerous articles for Exchange & Outlook Magazine, and is a regular speaker at Microsoft conferences, including MEC and TechEd, as well as industry conferences such as Comdex and MCP TechMentor, where he covers topics such as Exchange, clustering, Internet Information Services and security.