Exchange: Understanding the Checkpoint File
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.
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:
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