Lotus Domino was formerly known as Lotus Notes Server and was initially the server component of Lotus Corp's client-server messaging technology. It can be used for enterprise e-mail, messaging, scheduling and collaboration. This provides the entire infrastructure needed to create, manage distributed, multi-lingual applications, including directory, database, application server, administration, security, connectivity, Web server, e-mail server, calendaring engine, and many more, all in one application.  

It is a myth that Lotus Notes are for just to manage and store emails rather Lotus Notes is well-versed dynamic application development platform. As this can collaborate with many open standard technologies such as Javascript, LotusScript, HTML etc. Lotus Domino is a server but Lotus Notes is the client.

Causes of Corruptions

  • Uncommitted transactions: 
    When some operations are applied to the NSF file but all operations are not flushed to the disk leaving the file in inconsistent condition leading to a condition where the database can crash.

  • Software defect:
    This is due to the application of a corrupted piece of data to the structure or content which results in the corruption of content or structure. 

  • A service called which is outside the scope of Domino:
     This issue arrives when an NSF file that is in a consistent state on a down Domino server applies a corrupt "piece of information" which makes the database to corrupt in content or structure.

Ways to fix Lotus Notes server corruptions

  • Manual method

The foremost step to recover the database can be by running FIXUP which is the inbuilt utility of the server. The most important thing which should be kept in mind before recovery is the tasks which are associated with the target of maintenance should be stopped. For example, When the Domino directory (names.nsf) or the Domino log (log.nsf) are the targets of maintenance, the maintenance should run offline and the Domino server must be stopped . An exception is there with non-system databases like email database which does not require to stop the tasks. 

Commands that should be executed

  • If the database isn’t transaction logged and does not work in the Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS)

load fixup -F database.nsf

The -F parameter is used to force the Fixup task to scan all documents of the database. Without it, it can only scan documents modified since its last run. 

  • If the database that is transaction logged and does not work in the Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS)

load fixup -J database.nsf

The -J parameter lets the Fixup task to scan a transaction logged database. It can run against a transaction logged database will assign a new Database Instance ID (DBIID). 

  • If the database that is transaction logged and does work in the Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS)

load fixup -J -D database.nsf

The -J parameter is a requirement for it to operate on a DAOS-enabled database as DAOS requires transaction logging for associated databases. The -D parameter purges or fixes inaccessible documents in the particular databases if the document is damaged, if the DAOS ticket is outdated, or when the NLO associated with the document is missing. If it runs against a transaction logged database then it will create a new Database Instance ID (DBIID). 

After running Fixup, proceed to test the condition of the database by executing the same operations or follow the same steps that were taken to arrive at the symptoms of corruption for the impacted database. If the corruption has not been resolved, the next step should be to execute compaction of the affected database.

Pros and Cons

  • Time-consuming
  • Doesn’t allow selective recovery. 
  • Can be a risk to the entire database if not performed properly 
  • Does not assure complete backup or recovery 
  • Restricted to the specific size and version of NSF file. 
  • Free of cost

  • By using a smart tool like eSoftTools NSF to PST converter software

All the limitations which are present in the manual method can be overcome with a tool which is known as eSoftTools NSF to PST converter software . This has the capability to restore data of any version of Lotus Notes (including the latest version). The process of restoration takes place by changing the file format of the NSF file to Outlook PST and hence it is a tool which can be helpful in migration from Lotus Notes to Outlook. It guarantees the data recovery and conversion without data loss without any restriction of the size of the NSF records. It is easy to use and only requires two steps to perform. First is to select the folder which should be selected as is allows selective recovery also. Select the file format in which it should be restored. These may consist of the file formats such as EML, PST, EMLX, TXT, etc.

Pros and Cons

  • The fastest way to restore data from Lotus Notes
  • Allows complete and granular recovery of data 
  • Works well with all version of Lotus Notes and Windows 
  • Free of cost available in the form of the trial version. 
  • Has the option to convert NSF to HTML, EML, TXT, PST, EMLX, MSG, MBOX and many more. 
  • Allows the user to restore each and every element (like messages, calendar, tasks, journals, etc) of the mailbox easily with all the properties. 
  • Retains the directory structure of the mailbox. 
  • Live preview of the working mechanism of the software is available for a better experience of the user.

Also read more ways to convert NSF to PST free here.