Microsoft Exchange 2003 – Restore.env

Introduction to Exchange 2003 – Restore.env

When you restore an Exchange 2003 database, a file called restore.env is created automatically.  If you are curious to know more about the contents of restore.env then this is the page for you.

Topics for Exchange 2003 – Restore.env


Purpose of Restore.env

We humans do not normally need to read restore.env. This is just a temporary environmental file holding path information about the data.  Its purpose is to help the Exchange 2003 restore process find its files and match them with the corresponding email stores. However, if you wish, you can view the contents of restore.env using eseutil /cm, or if the restore.env file remains after a faulty restore, open it with notepad.  See more about eseutil here.

Examine the Contents of Restore.env

To discover what’s in your restore.env run:  eseutil /cm path to restore.env.  Note: you probably need to navigate to the \Exchsrvr\Bin folder before executing the command.

Example of Restore.env contents

Microsoft(R) Exchange Server(TM) Database Utilities Version 6.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1991-2003. All Rights Reserved.
Restore log file: e:\restore

Restore Path: e:\restore
Annotation: Microsoft Information Store
Backup Instance: EnglandStorage
Target Instance:
Restore Instance System Path:
Restore Instance Log Path:

Databases: 2 database(s)
Database Name: York1
GUID: A2CFF078-782F-4BFE-43944BFEA1B46055
Source Files: D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York1.edb D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York1.stm
Destination Files: D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York1.edb D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York1.stm

Database Name: York2
GUID: 6ACF4E55-C7D6-433E-88AD433E9CD5CF03
Source Files: D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York2.edb D:\Exchsrvr\EnglandStorage\York2.stm
Destination Files: C:\RestoredDB\York2.edb C:\RestoredDB\York2.stm

Log files range: E0000001.log – E0000003.log
Last Restore Time: Fri Dec 31 18:00:00 2004

Recover Status: recoverNotStarted
Recover Error: 0x00000000
Recover Time: Tue Mar 1 13:30:15 2005

Operation completed successfully in 0.37 seconds.

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Hard Recovery of Exchange 2003 Store

After you have physically restored the database files from backup, Exchange 2003 needs to get up-to-date. What it does is to replay all the transactions since that backup set. How does it do this? By reading the log files. Restore.env keeps a list of the all the database files and their paths so that restore can complete successfully.

Soft recovery of Exchange 2003 Store

Restore.env plays no part in a soft recovery. Here we have an automatic synchronization of the transaction logs with the database after an unexpected shutdown. The key file here is the checkpoint file. Exchange 2003 say’s ‘ Where was I before I was rudely shutdown? ‘. ‘ Ah I see from the checkpoint file (E0x.chk).

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Restore.env is a file created automatically during a normal Exchange 2003 restore.  If you wish to examine the contents, then run eseutil /cm (path to restore.env).

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