Fix Corrupted Content Index Catalog Of A Mailbox Database With Single Copy

MS Exchange

How to fix a corrupted mailbox database content index catalog if you only have a single copy of the database?

Most of the admins are familiar with the cmdlet way of updating a corrupted catalog if you have multiple copies of a database. All we need is to run the command below.

Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity DBname\ServerName –CatalogOnly

You can specify a source server to update the copy from if you wish.

Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity DBname\ServerName –CatalogOnly –SourceServer servername

But, what if we only have a single copy of the database and the content index is corrupted? How do we get it back to a healthy state? All we need is to delete the catalog folder & it’s subfolders after stopping the search service.

In Exchange 2013:

  • Stop the Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller service. Run Stop-Service MSExchangeFastSearch and Stop-Service HostControllerService if you are into Shell.

Search services in Exchange 2013

  • Browse to where the database files are located on the disk. Along with the database file, you will see a folder with a long string as the name. It will have three sub-folders as well. Delete the main folder along with the sub-folders. This is the folder where the index is stored.

Content index catalog folder in 2013

  • Restart the Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller service. Run Start-Service MSExchangeFastSearch and Start-Service HostControllerService if you are into Shell.
  • Give it a minute and a new folder will be created and a new index will be built.

In Exchange 2010:

  • Stop the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer service. Run Stop-Service MSExchangeSearch if you are into Shell.
  • Browse to where the database files are located on the disk. Along with the database file, you will see a folder with “CatalogData-random string” as its name. Delete this folder, which stores the corrupt index.
  • Restart the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer service. Run Start-Service MSExchangeSearch if you are into Shell.
  • Give it a minute and a new folder will be created and a new index will be built.

You can also use the ResetSearchIndex.ps1 in the scripts directory in 2010. But, the 2013 scripts folder doesn’t have this handy script for some reason!

Other Popular Articles


MS Exchange

Keep Track Of Exchange 2013 Database Failovers

MS Exchange

Playing With Exchange 2013 Performance Logs

MS Exchange

Tackle .Net Framework 4.6.1 On Exchange Servers

  1. We do have Two CAS & 2 Mailbox Servers , where all the Content Index are in Failed state on both Mailbox Server, even after trying Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity “Database\EX2” -Catalogonly. (Note: EX1 is Active & EX2 is passive mailbox server)

    We got the Error Stating that “A source Side operation Failed. Error An error accurred while performing the seed opertion.
    Error: An error occured while updating the search catalog files from server “EX1″ to EX2″ Error: Can’t Dismount the search catalog.”

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    I have the same problem and have by now tried PS, Stopping service and removing folder, to suspend the copy DB and resume. Yesterday I had 5 DB with FailedAndSuspended Index state.
    Now I have 3 and on these 3 non of this 3 methods have worked, they always return to the index state: FailedAndSuspended.
    Last Error Message in PS
    ————————————————————————————
    WARNING: Seeding of content index catalog for database ‘UNF MBX 1’ failed. Please verify that the Microsoft Search
    (Exchange) and the Host Controller service for Exchange services are running and try the operation again. Error: The
    seeding operation failed. Error: An error occurred while performing the seed operation. Error: An error occurred while
    updating the search catalog files from server ‘SOBEX13.sobernet.net’ to ‘SOBEX13.sobernet.net’. Error: A transient
    exception from Exchange Search was encountered. Error: -1..
    [PS] C:\Windows\system32>
    ———————————————————————————
    And before you ask, both Search services are running.
    I have gotten this message several times, I have tries restarting the services, stopping and starting them and even restarted the server (a lot more then once).
    Right now I’m dabateing with my self if I should be as drastic as to through away the copies, rename the cataloges, restart and then ad new DB copies.
    Du you have any idea’s before I take such a drastic step ?

    Reply
    • I have the same problem. We just had a failed member of a 2 node DAG cluster. We rebuilt the server then reinstalled exchange. We recovered the server, resynced the dbs, and now 1 of our 5 is doing this thing where it stays in FailedAndSuspened. I can’t sign off on the restoration until it is resolved. :(

      Reply
  3. The Exchange Mailbox database was in carwling state and sometime after got failed.

    Have used Update-Mailboxdatabasecopy -Identity DB1\SeverName -CatalogOnly to bring back the ContentIndexingState to helathy.

    The Command was completed successfully but still the Indexing state is failed.

    Then used Update-Mailboxdatabasecopy -Identity DB1\SeverName -CatalogOnly -SourceServer ServerName

    but states the previous seeding is already in progress and found the SeedingSource was from a Lagged Passive database copy so unable to bring up the Indexing state to helathy

    Site A – 1 Active, 1 Passive and 1 Lagged Copy
    DR – 1 Passive Copy

    Reply
  4. Experienced the same issue with a corrupted content index catalog.
    I’m on Exchange 2013 here and followed your guide step by step, except deleting the main folder. I just added OLD to the name…just in case :)

    Crawling took a couple of hours and users weren’t able to use the search function.

    However, content index state is now back to ‘Healthy’ and service is back up and running.

    Thanks for your post Rajith, really appreciate it

    Reply
      • Rajith:

        I’m not sure if I did a bad thing or not. There was nothing wrong with my Content Index-State but I thought I needed to rebuild it because it was taking over 15GB of space. I stopped the Exchange Indexing Service on the active server, deleted the Catalog folder for one of my mail databases, then restarted the Exchange Indexing Service.

        I did the same thing for the passive server.

        Now both sides are saying Crawling for that particular database’s Content Index-State.

        How long do I have to wait for it to become Healthy again? Did I damage anything?
        Also am I able to run full backups and truncate transaction logs while it is still Crawling?

        Reply
  5. Thank you this seems to have fixed my stalled mailbox migration. I did the MS KB article about creating the ContentSubmitters AD group and applying network services full security on it, but that didn’t fix the issue. Your procedure worked in Exchange 2013. I had a mailbox copy stalled Relinquished something or other it said. Once I did your procedure it changed to copying items.

    I still see in Get-ServerHealth that SearchCopyStatusH… for each DB (I have 4) is in Unhealthy state. Is this because search has yet to complete a full index?

    Reply
  6. I was following the mentioned steps. But i didn’t find any index folder in database folder.
    Even if it is missing or it was deleted, why it was not recreated again? Please advise.

    Reply
  7. I run these cmdlets and follow the instructions to the letter and the catalog still comes up failed and suspended. It returns an error that the object cannot be found on (my domain controller). Any ideas?

    Reply
  8. I had an issue where search was missing months of emails. Followed the steps in this article and now everything is indexed correctly in search. Thank you!

    Reply
  9. I have a database folder with 2 mailbox databases and 1 archive database. At the same level as the .edb files I have 5 content index catalog files ending with .single. I don’t know when one to rename/delete so I can reseed the index. How can I match them to the databases?

    Reply
  10. What if that Mailbox Database folder has no subfolder to rename? This process doesn’t seem to work if that folder is non-existent.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  11. I am having this issue now. I have stopped the Exchange Search and Host Search services. I then went to the mailbox database folder and deleted the folder with the long GUID name. I created the ContentSubmitters group and added the Network Service and Administrator via the security tab and gave full access. I then started the services.

    I was hoping to see the index state change to Healthy or at least Crawling then Healthy but it sat at “unkown” for a minute or two before going back to “FailedAndSuspended”.

    Reply
  12. hi

    what if your active database has a corrupt content index? Do you still use the Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy –identity DBname\ServerName –CatalogOnly command if you have othe passive copies or do u manually rebuild the index?

    Reply
  13. Hi there,
    I have the same situation. I noticed index state was failed, I reseed search index but perf mon crawler is telling me there is one mailbox to be seeded. This lasts from two days now. Also, I noticed error id 4087:
    Failed to move active database ‘Mailbox Database DB1′ from server ‘ExSrv1′. Move comment: Database failover initiated by Responder ‘SearchLocalCopyStatusEscalate’ target resource ‘Mailbox Database DB1′

    Error: An Active Manager operation failed. Error: The database action failed. Error: This operation is not supported on standalone mailbox servers.

    Could you tell me what’s going on? Will crawling process stop? If not, how could I find the one mailbox that is been crawled?

    Reply
  14. Hello,

    I’ve run into this problem recently and have managed to reset the indexes.

    Is it normal for emails to be unavailable to users during this time? Or should they be available?

    Reply
  15. I have the ContentIdexState of Active and passive database copy of a mailbox database in ‘FailedandSupended’ and ‘Crawling’ State respectively.

    What can I do to fix the content Index state of both the database

    Stoping the MSExchangeFastSearch is failing the content index states of other DBs on that server to go on failed state :/

    Reply
    • Cheers !!! :) This was successfully resolved by suspending all DB on one server and performing the steps in the post and then , when the active copy of DB’s content Index was fixed

      The content index of the passive copy was reseeded with the following command

      Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy QA13-DBName\QA-ServerName -CatalogOnly -DeleteExistingFiles -Confirm:$false

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s take on making life easier for Windows users using the power of AI. This article explains how to disable the feature using Intune, if your organization is not ready yet to walk into the AI world.

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

We need to create a Configuration Profile for Windows devices in the Intune portal to disable Windows Copilot. Below are the steps that we need to create the profile.

Launch the Intune Portal and login as a Global Admin or Intune Admin.

Navigate to Devices -> Windows -> Configuration Profiles.

Windows Configuration Profile Intune

Click on Create -> New Policy.

Select Windows 10 & later as the platform and Settings Catalog as the profile type & click on the Create button.

Settings Catalog Intune CoPilot

Give the policy a meaningful name & description and click Next.

Policy Name Disable CoPilot

Within the configuration settings, click on the Add Settings option.

Add Settings Disable CoPilot

Search for ‘copilot’, Windows AI will come up as the category. Click on Windows AI and the Turn off Copilot in Windows (User) setting will come up. Check the box and click Next.

Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune
Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune Summary 1

Specify scope tags if required and click Next.

Select tags CoPilot Intune

Select who this policy should apply to in the Assignments section. I have selected to add all users. If you want to test the setting, you can create a test group and select that group here.

Similarly, you can also exclude certain group from disabling AI (say IT team) if required.

Add all users disable copilot intune

A summary of selected settings will be displayed. Click on the Create button to setup the policy to disable Windows Copilot.

Create configuration policy disable CoPilot Intune 1

Wait for the replication to complete in the cloud backend and login to your machine. Your chatty Copilot should now be disabled.

Disable Windows Copilot On Windows 11 Pro

Follow the steps below to disable Copilot on a personal Windows 11 Pro machine (say your own laptop).

Search for ‘group’ in Windows 11 and click on Edit Group Policy option.

Group Policy Windows 11 Disable Copilot

Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Copilot.

Windows Copilot GPO setting

Double click on Turn off Windows Copilot setting on the right pane.

Select Enabled and click OK.

Turn off copilot gpo Windows 11 Pro 1

Close the Group Policy Editor. This will disable Windows Copilot on a Windows 11 Pro machine.

Summary

We have learned to disable Windows Copilot using Intune and Group Policy on Windows 11 machines.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

Domain controllers are the backbone of any Active Directory domains in the Microsoft world. Any Windows server can be promoted to be a domain controller. In this article, we will go through the steps of promoting a Windows 2025 Server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025

The latest version of the server operating system has been named Windows Server 2025. You can start with a 2025 Server & create an AD domain or you can promote a member server that is already a part of a domain.

The Windows Server 2025 needs to be installed on a machine before it can be promoted to be a domain controller.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

If you have been working with Windows servers long enough, everything starts with the Server Manager app. Promoting a server to a domain controller is no different.

Launch ‘Server Manager’ & click on Add roles and features.

Windows 2025 Server Manager

You land on the summary page that explains what is required to run this wizard successfully. Click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Add Remove Roles

Select Role-based or Feature-based installation and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Role Based Install

Select the server that needs to be promoted and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Destination Server

Select Active Directory Domain Services (second option) and click on Add Features.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services

Go with the default options for features that need to be installed.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services Features

A summary of AD DS pops up next, click next to continue.

Windows Server 2025 AD DS

Select Restart the server automatically if required and click Install.

Windows Server 2025 AD Restart Server

You get to keep an eye on the progress of the installation.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Progress

Once the role has been installed, you will find an exclamation mark on the top right corner of the Server Manager. Click on that and select Promote this server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue

You get an error straight away (which you have never seen before) – Error determining whether the target server is already a domain controller. Role change is in progress or this computer needs a restart.

Windows Server 2025 Domain Controller Setup Error

We never needed to restart the server after installing the role in the DC promotion process. Given that it is an insider build of Server 2025, I am hoping that this will get fixed before the public release.

Restart the server, launch Server Manager and click on the Promote this server to be a domain controller option again.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue 1

I am setting up a brand new AD forest and hence I select the third option (Add a new forest) and enter my root domain name.

Windows Server 2025 Add a forest

Next window brings the option to set your forest & domain functional level and the DSRM password. In the insider build, it shows what looks like a variable (the Windows server version on which the you are working).

Windows Server 2025 Forest Functional Level

You can leave the default options in the DNS options wizard and click next.

Windows Server 2025 DNS Options

Enter the netbios name of the domain in the next window and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Netbios Domain Name

You can stick with the default paths for the AD database, log & sysvol folder or pick a location of your choice.

Windows Server 2025 AD Paths

Review the selections that you have made so far and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Options Review

Wait for the green check mark on the prerequisites page and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Pre reqs Check

Click Install in the final window & wait for the magic to happen. Once the machine gets restarted (which it will do automatically), you will have a brand new domain controller based on Windows Server 2025.

Windows Server 2025 AD Snap In

Summary

Promoting a Server 2025 to a domain controller follows pretty much the same steps as previous operating systems. The Insider build has few errors that needs to be fixed, but hey, it is an insider build!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Install Windows Server 2025 – Full Guide

Microsoft has released an insider preview of it’s next server operating system named Windows Server 2025. We will have a look at the installation steps involved in setting up a 2025 server.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft has gone with the same look and feel of Windows 11 operating system in it’s current server operating system – Windows Server 2025. As the product is in insider preview, there might be slight changes before it hits the public shelves.

It is refreshing to see a ‘modern’ feel in the installation process of a server operating system. Gone are the days where the installation of a consumer based OS felt much better compared to it’s server counterpart.

Installing Windows Server 2025

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in setting up a Windows Server 2025 machine. First step is to download the ISO from the Windows Insider portal.

Next step is to boot the virtual / physical machine from the ISO which will kick off the installation of Server 2025.

First option to select is the language settings. Pick the one based which relates to you and click next.

Windows Server 2025 language settings

Select the keyboard settings in the next screen and click next.

Windows Server 2025 keyboard

You get the option to select whether you want to Install Windows Server or Repair the installation. The bottom left corner also has the option to go to the previous version of setup.

Windows Server 2025 setup option

You are asked to enter the product key, which is available in the Windows Insider portal.

Windows Server 2025 product key

Next option to choose is the type of image you want to install – Windows 2025 core or full blown desktop experience.

Windows Server 2025 Desktop

You need to agree to the licensing terms to move forward in the next step.

Windows Server 2025 Agreement License

Select the partition on which the server OS should be installed and click next. You also have the option to slice the partitions the way you see fit in the same screen.

Windows Server 2025 Disk Partitions

The Ready to Install window comes up, click the install button.

Windows Server 2025 Install 1

Installation of Server 2025 is underway and you get to see the progress.

Windows Server 2025 Install Progress

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter an administrator password of your choice to finalize the setup.

Windows Server 2025 Password

And there you go! You see a Windows 11 login screen staring at you ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Login Screen

After logging in, you get to set the options around sending diagnostic data to Microsoft, which I always set as ‘required only’.

Windows Server 2025 Diagnostic Data

The Windows Server 2025 desktop looks similar, doesn’t it? ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Desktop Feel scaled

Now that the server is up and running, you can promote it to be a domain controller.

Summary

The Windows Server 2025 has the same look and feel as a Windows 11 operating system. The installation options also provide that modern ‘feel’ and makes it a bit soothing to the eyes!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.