ESEUtils Version 1.0 – A GUI for ESE

Having been an Exchange admin for a number of years it has been destiny that I have had to use Microsoft's ESEUTIL's to perform some work on some Exchange databases that I have come across. Thankfully it has been a rare occurrence, but one thing that has always struck me is that the syntax for the tool is somewhat complex (perhaps for good reason) – therefore I decided to write a front end for the tool.

Now some of my Exchange peers might regard the fact that producing a GUI to ESEUtils is a very dangerous thing (and I would agree with them) however, I have found over the years a number of “accidents” that have happened with ESEUtils has occurred due to the incorrect use of the command line, plus I would not expect anyone to use ESEUtils without some understanding of what they do, and how dangerous they can be – add this to the proliferation of articles both within the knowledge base and many forum posts that recommend using them I figured “well it’s not as if I am adding to a bad thing” – perhaps in some way I am helping.

This article is going to be based around my little program “ESEGUI” however before I begin there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of;

  • ESEGUI is NOTa replacement for ESEUtils on an Exchange server – it requires ESEUtils to be present in the default Exchange installation folder (c:\program files\exchsrvr\bin).
  • The current version of ESEGUI only supports the distribution of ESEUtils that is shipped with Exchange 2003 SP2 – it may work with other versions, however it has not been tested so there could be some unexpected results.
  • Whereas I have tested this program during its development, I cannot guarantee its fitness for purposes – therefore if something should happen that is unpleasant to your Exchange organization as a result of using this tool, please do not blame me – use it at you own risk.
  • Support for this tool is limited to incorrect function (e.g. it does the wrong thing when spawning the command line) and suggestions for improvements – please place all comments and suggestions on this post.
  • The following features of ESEUtils have not been implemented in ESEGUI Version 1.0 if people like the tool then I will add them in:
    • Restore Mode
    • File Dump
  • There is very little help implemented in the GUI (I have only been working on it a week) I am hoping that most of the interface is pretty self explanatory, and if you know a little about ESEUtil (as you should) then you will be fine.
  • This version of the ESEUtil GUI is for EXCHANGE 2003 ONLY do not use it with Exchange 2007

First things first – download the software package from here: ESEUTIL-GUI.exe – recommend virus checking it before execution (it was clean when I uploaded it, however I do not host my own web presence, therefore I cannot speak for my providers servers (I have never had a problem before).

Copy the SFX file to you Exchange Server and then double click on it – you will be presented with the following dialog box:

RAR1

Choose a path on your local C: drive to Extract the files to (I would suggest C:\ESEGUI) and then click on Install.

Now, just like the command line ESEUtil program – many of the functions that are available require the database stores to be dismounted – so, before you begin dismount the stores that you wish to work with.

When the installation has completed – navigate the the C:\ESEGUI directory and Run the ESEUtilGUI.exe file, which will present you with the following dialog box:

GUI1

For the purposes of this article I will take you through how to checksum your Database – firstly you need to click on the “Open” button and navigate to the Exchange edb file that you wish to checksum, when you have done that you will see the path of the edb displayed in the area next to the “Open” button.

Select the “Checksum [/k]” Radio button from the “ESEUtil Actions” area and then click on the “Start” button.

You will then be presented with the dialog box which looks like the following:

GUI2

From here you have a number of options which related to the function of performing a Checksum on the edb database which are as follows:

  • Set the Streaming file– if the Streaming file is located somewhere else to the location of the edb file you can specify it here – normally the ESE program will get this information from AD – but you can override it here.
  • Set the Temp Location for the EDB – Many options of ESE require a temp database to be created, which can cause space issues on your disks, by setting this option you can specify a drive that has enough space for the process.
  • Don’t Checksum the EDB file – pretty much does what it says
  • Don’t Checksum the STM file – again as above.

When you are happy with you options click on the “Execute” button.

As ESEUtil-GUI in effect spawns a ESEUtil interface – and then closes it, the output from this process can be found in a file called c:\CS.txt.

When you are done, you can click on the “Close Button” and return to the main menu to perform further actions.

I recommend that you have a play around with this tool in a test environment to get to know it, and if you have any comments or suggestions (or find any bugs) please comment on this post here – if people are really interested I can run some further “how” guides on the tools and if there is enough cause add in the remaining missing features.

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