Exchange 2010 Database copy on server has content index catalog files in the following state: Failed

From time to time i have issues with my Content index catalog files. in my Exchange 2010 SP1 DAG

When Activating my LabDatabase1

Environment setup.

EX1 and EX2 part of the DAG
EX3 Hub Transport & Client Access server

The following message is shown when Activating the LabDatabase1 on the second Node.
In this case node EX2.



The Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase indicates that database “LabDatabase1” on server
has issues with the Content index catalog files.

I connected to EX2 and started Exchange Powershell window.

I ran the following command:

Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus –Server EX2 | fl Name,*Index*

FL Index

ContentIndexState : failed
ContentIndexErrorMessage : Catalog needs a reset for database {GUID}

I ran the following command to suspend LabDatabase1 on server EX2

Suspend-MailboxDatabaseCopy – Identity LabDatabase1\EX2


When LabDatabase1 is in suspended mode on server EX2. I connected to server EX1

On server EX1, i started an Exchange Powershell window.

I went to the scripts folder “c:\Program files\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts\”
In the \Scripts folder i ran the following script file.  ResetSearchIndex.ps1 –force LabDatabase1


ResetSearchIndex.ps1 does the following

1. MSExchangeSearchService on EX1 is stopped
2. It deletes the Catalog for LabDatabase1
3. MSExchangeSearch Service is Started

Upon restart of the MSExchangeSearch Service the Catalog {GUID} folder for LabDatabase1 is recreated.

On server EX1 i ran the following command to update the CatalogOnly for node EX2

Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity LabDatabase1\EX2 -SourceServer EX1 -CatalogOnly


To check the the ContentIndexState for LabDatabase1 on server EX2 i ran the following command

Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus –Server EX2 | fl Name,*Index*


ContentIndexState : Healthy
ContentIndexErrorMessage :

I went back to Exchange Management Console. And was able to activate the LabDatabase1 successfully on server EX2


Additional information.

Reseed the Search Catalog

Comments (18)

  1. Raj says:

    I have a similar situation. however, the index is in failed state on both ex1 and ex2. can I still use the same steps? will it affect production, ie. dismount database? The database is mounted on ex1 and healthy on ex2.



  2. Dave says:

    very useful – worked for me. thanks

  3. Jose says:

    Excellent article, I was able to update the catalogonly.


  4. Robin Kay says:

    Ok I think in my case using -DeleteExistingFiles instead of -CatalogOnly will do the trick.

  5. Robin Kay says:

    Ok in the end I was able to use your method but I had to run the Reset search script on my broken server (= your EX2) to delete catalogs there as catalogs were too old for the db.  After that I could update EX2 copy with -catalogonly from EX1 and then resume and activate the copy.

  6. ntent indexes says:

    We have restarted Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer service. After restarting service all mailbox content indexes are Healthy.

  7. Pankaj says:

    It just solve the problem in one shot.  

    tones of thanks

  8. Toan says:

    I followed your instructions. The content index on DB1EX2 (passive) went from a failed state to healthy. However the content index state on DB1EX1 (active) went from healthy to crawling.

  9. Abi says:

    can we right way do the following -catlogonly swith, insteda of doing suspend and delete catlogs etc ..

    Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity LabDatabase1EX2 -SourceServer EX1 -CatalogOnly

  10. Markus says:

    Thank you for that information.

    br, Markus

  11. Ralph says:

    Great info that helped me out.  Thank you!

  12. John says:

    Restarting the Exchange Search Service resolved my issue.

  13. Ian says:

    Abi, you can do the update-mailboxdatabasecopy -catalogonly command without suspending but I'm not sure the consequences. Even changes state to 'healthy' when all copies of DB were 'failed', which doesn't seem logical given the command (copies from one DB copy to another… if all are failed…?)

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  16. MTAbubaker says:

    That did the trick, Thank you.

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  18. Arun says:

    Will give you the description. DB's are having 3 copies. One is Mounted second one is in passive and third one is mounted on DR site.

    So we had issue with indexing, I have reset the CI, currently half of the mounted DB's CI status is showing "Crawling" state. this almost 10 days, still another 5 DB's to complete. but let me know any alternative way to speedup this Content indexing, or any article or anything

    Really appreciate your help