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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Dealing with Exchange Server Database Error 1018 and Physical Database Corruption

Exchange Server administrators are very familiar with the Exchange Server Database Error ‘-1018 JET_errReadVerifyFailure,’ which indicates the physical corruption of the database. The corruption occurs due to the physical corruption of data stored on the disk. It happens at the lowest level-the file system level. In most cases data gets destroyed and you will have to restore the data from the backups that are available.

What causes Jet Engine Error 1018?

Error 1018 is reported when incorrect data is written or it is written to a wrong place in the storage media. The same error is reported when the data is damaged, or when it is changed after its storage on the media. Though Microsoft attributes the causes of this error completely to the quality of the hardware, experts are not in full agreement with this view. However, all admit that it is difficult to eliminate this error completely.

Detecting and Resolving Physical Corruption of Exchange Server Database

It is not much difficult to detect the Exchange Server database error 1018 that happen due to the physical corruption of Exchange Server Database. Quick detection is important for quick resolution. Quick detection can be done in two ways:

Method 1 – Viewing the error code in the Application Log of the Event Viewer
Method 2 – Attempting online backup

Viewing the Error Code in the Application Log of the Event Viewer

When the Exchange Server database gets physically corrupt, the most common error code generated is Error Code 1018. The error message can be viewed in the Windows Event Viewer. One can open the Event Viewer from the Administrator Tools of Windows Server to view the Application Logs. Application Log records all the events executed by various programs, including the error messages. One can note the events related to Exchange Server from the log and can easily view the errors generated: -1018 (JET_errReadVerifyFailure) The data read from disk is not the same as the data that was written to disk.

Attempting online backup

Microsoft recommends backing up Exchange Server data online. It has the additional advantage that it is an excellent way to find out the physical corruption of the Exchange Server database. During the process of backup, the database engine checks and verifies every single page for checksum consistency. If checksum discrepancy is detected, the NT Backup software logs Error code -1018, to indicate physical database corruption.

 How to Reduce the Chances of Physical Corruption and Error 1018?

There are no perfect ways to eliminate the physical database corruption. However, the following practices can ensure that its chances are less in your Exchange Server environment.
  1. Use high quality hardware for Exchange Server infrastructure. Be vigilant about issues like bad hard disks, disk controllers etc.
  2. Make sure that the system configuration is correct.
  3. As physical corruption occurs at file system level, limit the use of file-level utilities (e.g.antivirus software) on Exchange Server computers.
  4. Turn off wire-back caching to avoid the chances of error.
  5. Backup the data regularly as a precautionary measure.
What to do after you Receive Error Message 1018?

If you get error message1018 from Exchange Server, find out if good backups that run without errors are available. If available, you can restore the data from the last good backup available. And bring the system to a consistent state by rolling the log files forward.

Think of using Eseutil utility only as the last resort as this tool deletes damaged pages completely while attempting to run the database again.

An alternate option available for fixing the Jet Engine Error 1018 through this Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager Tool ( ) to fix Jet Engine Error 1018 and recover corrupted EDB files databases of Exchange server. 

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