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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Exchange: Understanding the Checkpoint File

Summary:

Before I delve into the importance of the Exchange checkpoint file, I'll begin with a real life scenario that will elaborate the importance of the checkpoint file within Exchange. Company ABC implemented a new Exchange server and was put into production. However the database was lost for reasons beyond the scope of this article. Since this was just put into production and backups had not been performed yet, there was no way to restore the database.

Solution:

This is where the Exchange log files and checkpoint file come into play. Exchange log files records all transactions before they are written to the Exchange database. Transactions could be new messages, mailbox moves or any other type of data manipulation. So how can we restore the database? This is where the checkpoint file comes in. The checkpoint file keeps track of what how much data from the logs have been written to the database. These files are in the format E01.chk. Therefore to restore the database, you want delete the checkpoint files. When you mount a new database, the database will replay all the log files. Since there is no checkpoint, the Exchange database has no way of knowing where it last left off so it is forced to replay all the log files again.

For more information about Exchange logfiles and checkpoint file refer to KB article:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides
/UseE2k3RecStorGrps/d42ef860-170b-44fe-94c3-ec68e3b0e0ff.mspx?mfr=true

James Chong
MCSE M+, S+, MCTS, Security+
msexchangetips.blogspot.com


How useful was this article? Want to see a tip not listed? Please leave a comment.

14 Comments:

Blogger Christine said...

Thanks heaps!! You've explained things in terms that was really easy to understand. I found it very useful for my assignment questions!!

7:18 AM  
Blogger harry said...

Thanks Dear :) .

You have explained Transaction logs file in a very simple manner.It's very easy to understand.

Thanks a ton .

3:35 AM  
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Anonymous Marc Lenin said...

Thanks for the detailed and informative post about Exchange transaction and checkpoint file.
In case of unavilability of the above said files or severely damaged database, a third party Exchange recovery software may also help the users to regain control over their Exchange Server data.

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xml:lang="en" lang="en"> MS Exchange Tips: Exchange: Understanding the Checkpoint File