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How To Recover Deleted GroupWise User Accounts

(Last modified: 30Jul2003)

This document (10010473) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


How To Recover Deleted GroupWise User Accounts


Novell GroupWise 5.2

Novell GroupWise 5.5

Novell GroupWise 6.0


Error occurs when launching client

Error:  User not found

User database no longer appears in the /OFUSER directory

User cannot log into Groupwise


User was deleted from Groupwise accidentally


One of the following will need to be done to be able to access the deleted users data.

(1)  Restore the ENTIRE post office from backup in order to get the NGWGUARD.DB and the WPHOST.DB files from before the deletion.  The WPDOMAIN.DB file also needs to be restored.

Note:  Restoring the entire post office will affect all users in that post office.  All mail and admin changes after the backup will be lost.

(2)  If the user database still appears in the <post office>\OFUSER directory you can:
        A. Restore the WPDOMAIN.DB file from backup from a date before the user was deleted.
        B. Rebuild the WPHOST.DB file.  In NWAdmin highlight post office in GroupWise View  then select : Tools | GroupWise Utilities | System Maintenance | Rebuild Database | Run.
        C.  Launch the client against the deleted users' mailbox.

Note:  All administrative changes that have been made since the WPDOMAIN.DB backup date will be lost.

(3)  Restore the deleted user's entire post office directory to a temporary location and log into the PO via a UNC path.  You will be able to do this without any agents loaded only if the PO was set to Direct Access mode or Direct Access and Client/Server modes.  If the user had a password you will need it as well.

If the PO was set to Client/Server only:
1. Restore the WPDOMAIN.DB as well as the Post Office
2. Connect to the restored domain structure.In NWADMN Choose TOOLS | GroupWise System Operations | System Connection.
        Specify Other Domain and connect to the restored WPDOMAIN.DB.
3. Open the GroupWise View from the TOOLS menu.
4. Change the Post Office access mode to direct only and change the default security level to low.
        NOTE: Make sure you do this from the GroupWise view and not the NDS view.
5. Rebuild the PO to the location where your restored the PO.  See Step 2B.
        NOTE: Make sure you don't rebuild to your live PO directory.
6. Make sure you are connect back to the live domain from GroupWise System Operations.
7. Archive mail and calendar items and export their address books, if desired.
8. The account can then be recreated on the live system.  The Archive FID Editor (GWAFE510.EXE on the website) can be used to modify the archive's FID so the new account will be able to access the archive.

This can be a difficult thing if drive space is limited. To be prepared for this type of thing, however, it is advisable to obtain a sufficient sized IDE drive (very inexpensive these days) and stick it on a PC somewhere. Whenever the post office needs to be restored, restore it to this drive. Practice going through the account recreate procedure and get familiar with the archive FID editor utility. After a few practice runs, you will become an expert and these 'emergencies' won't seem so bad.

Note:  See also TID 2931246 (Recovery Technique: Deleted GroupWise Account)

GroupWise 5.5 systems can take advantage of a new utility called GWRESTORE.EXE from The readme.txt contains instructions on how to use the utility. To use this utility you need a backup of the post office.


The Origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information. However, the information provided in this document is for your information only. Novell makes no explicit or implied claims to the validity of this information.
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  • Document ID:
  • 10010473
  • Solution ID: 5.0.252956.1685658
  • Creation Date: 30Jun1998
  • Modified Date: 30Jul2003
    • NovellGroupware


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