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Exchange 2003 failing to start, Restoring while keeping latest mailbox store. Using eseutil /r /i

I came up -just now- with a failing to boot VM running an Exchange 2003.

Thank God:
I had Backup of the VM
Had Seperated Exchange Mailboxes from system and had put them to another attached vhd.

When I tried to attach the system vhd to the host, failure was coming up…don’t even remember the exact error message since I was rather frustrated! Fortunately the mailbox vhd was attached succesfully, somehow luckily! So mailboxes are intact!

Restored both vhds from backup-while keeping in mind, that if I replace the mailbox vhd users will lose -at least- one day of mails (don’t even want to think about it).

Therefore I kept the mailbox vhd as present, while restoring the system vhd from the previous night’s backup.

Booted the VM and all services came up…with no problem…Come on, be a sport, can’t be that easy!

Well after launching Exchange system manager Mailbox store and Public Folder store were unable to be mounted!

Ok…fingers crossed and we fire up the restore process.

Navigate to your logs folder (there where the e00xxx files are in, x:\mdbdata\)

Copy in x:\mdbdata the

that you will find in c:\program files\Exchsrvr\bin

These files need to be in the same folder with the logs (just to make the process easier, while not loosing time with paths).

Fire up command prompt and type

x:\mdbdata\eseutil /r /i

and hit enter.

/i switch will ignore mismatched/missing database attachments

The process of regeneration of Exchange databases will start and you may monitor it by refreshing your application log.

Be patient, the more e00 logs you have in, the more time it will take.

After eseutil has finished its job go ahead and manually mount your Mailbox and Public Folder store.

Till next time:) Goodnight!

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host [XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX] said: 550-Verification failed for 550-No such person at this address” 550 Sender verify failed (in reply to RCPT TO command)

Well that’s something you don’t see every day! Definitely worth mentioning and writing done, since I may refer to this story to my IT grandchildren…..

A customer of ours, suppose sends an email to

The user gets a non-deliverable email from our on-premises Mail server (NDR) containing the following text:

host [XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX] said:

    550-Verification failed for <> 550-No such person at this

    address” 550 Sender verify failed (in reply to RCPT TO command)


550 Sender verify failed (in reply to RCPT TO command)!!!!

Launched telnet from my pc (different external ip from the customer) and got through the smtp commands emulating an email submission to the email server


Cmd <clrf>

Telnet <clrf>

Set localecho <clrf>

O “” 25 <clrf>

Ehlo <clrf> 

Mail <clrf>

Rcpt <clrf>

DATA <clrf>

Subject:”Your message subject” .<clrf>

“your message” <clrf>

 <clrf>. <clrf>


Bingo Message delivered. Ok what’s the problem?

I login to my customer’s server and do the same (of course I changed with No luck! Sender Verify failed!!!

I checked SPF records, I checked blacklisting….nothing, everythings clean!

But after a closer look on DNS lookups, we found out that the recipient has dns/web/email hosting to the ip (resolving it…


Apparently my client has only web hosting on the same provider and its www Host A record resolves back to the same IP!!!! No DNS, no email service is provided for the, at least, that’s what I was aware of (after making the necessary changes in the ISP’s CPANEL)

WOW!!! What is happening is rather simple….

The mail server begins negotiation with the mail server. The exchange the ehlos/helos and when the claims to be the sender of the mail server stops the submission since he THINKS thank the is spoofing the

Apparently the mail fails and no submission takes place.

How we resolved this:

Simply mailed the ISP explained what we found and forced them to be secondary dns on our Primary dns servers for the domain, threating them that I will remove the domain and hosting same day….

Case closed, but will be remembered.

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