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Backup Exchange 2010 Information Store using Windows Backup

Glen Knight
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There seems to be quite a lot of confusion around the ability to backup Exchange 2010 using the built in Windows Backup feature.  This stems from the omission of this feature prior to Exchange 2007 service Pack 2

Exchange 2010 includes a plug-in for Windows Server Backup that allows you to perform a backup of the Exchange data using the Volume Shadow Copy Service.

Preparation Tasks

With Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2008 the Windows Backup feature is not installed by default so we first need to add this feature.  To do this launch Server Manager, under Features select Add Feature.   Locate the Windows Server Backup Features and put a check box in both options.

 Windows-Backup-Tools.jpg
Now that the features are installed the plugin needs to be enabled.  In the services snapin (start > Run > Services.msc) locate the “Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup” set the service to automatic and start it.

Backup the store

From Start > All Programs > Accessories  > System Tools select Windows Server Backup

In the task pane select Backup Schedule.  When the wizard opens click Next on the first screen and then select either Full Backup if you want to perform a full system backup or Custom if you just want to select the items to be backed up.  So if you just want to backup the information store then select Custom.  Click Next.

 Backup-Wizard-01.jpg
On the following screen click Add Items and browse to the folder your information store files are stored in.  By default with Exchange 2010 this is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox there will then be a folder for each store called Mailbox Database (Database reference number)

Once you have selected the Mailbox Databases and have returned to the wizard screen click the Advanced Settings button and under VSS Settings select VSS Full Backup

 Backup-Wizard-02.jpg
Configure your schedule and set the destination on the following two screens and select Finish.  This will backup your Exchange databases and flush the logs.
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Glen Knight
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Comments (31)

Dematzer - I am attempting to backup my Exchange 2010 DB and Logs (really need to flush the logs!) and am getting the following error - "There was a failure in updating the backup to remove deleted items. The version does not support this version of the file format." Any idea what's going on?
Trying to do a full backup to flush logs

Commented:
Hi,

I have a problem while backing up exchange 2010sp1 installed on windows server 2008R2, Ent .

1- i have installed CAS/HUB servers on microsoft VM.
2-i hvae total 4 server playing exchange service (Mx-01 & Mx-02 as HUB/CAs and mx-03 &mx-04 as mailbox)
3-i have 10 Database groups, 5mounted on mx-03 and 5 on mx-04.
4-i am using symentech Netbackup to backup exchange , and backup application is taking backup of databases succesfully but log are not purging.
and getting following errors--

22/03/2011 2:24:46 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472 ERR - Error encountered while attempting to get additional files for Microsoft Information Store:\East_Database\Logs_1300782888\
22/03/2011 2:24:46 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Exchange granular restore from this image may not work.
22/03/2011 4:30:45 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Error encountered while attempting to get additional files for Microsoft Information Store:\West_Database\Logs_1300782888\
22/03/2011 4:30:45 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Exchange granular restore from this image may not work.
22/03/2011 8:16:50 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Error encountered while attempting to get additional files for Microsoft Information Store:\South_Database\Logs_1300782888\
22/03/2011 8:16:50 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Exchange granular restore from this image may not work.
22/03/2011 9:13:31 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Error encountered while attempting to get additional files for Microsoft Information Store:\North_Database\Logs_1300782888\
22/03/2011 9:13:31 PM - Error bpbrm(pid=11472) from client mbhi-mx-srv-04: ERR - Exchange granular restore from this image may not work.

5-While taking backup from Windows image backup from active node of DAg for that database it stuck on " running consistency check" and after a long time backup fails with VSS error.

Kindly suggest...
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Commented:
STNoida,

This question is completely unrelated to the article, I would suggest you open a question in the Exchange and NetBackup zones,

Thanks
demazter
I used this article to backup my exchange and flush the logs after my hard drive was full with logs. The steps worked perfectly for me. Thank you so much.

Then I accidentally killed the vm the exchange server was on and then reinstalled windows and exchange using the recovery flag for exchange. that allowed me to recover all my exchange settings without having to delete all the exchange folders in AD.

I then used the companion article to this one:

https://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2975-Mailbox-Recovery-Exchange-2010.html
 
 to restore the exchange data and it worked better than planned. I only needed about half the steps because AD had already don't much of the work. I just restored the files and mounted the databases and it was running. before any of  that command line stuff. You might want to mention that. Seriously, thank you for helping me get my data back.

Then after all that i wanted to use this article to do other backups on other windows 2008 machines. I found that indeed as others have said, not all versions of windows 2008 server seem to allow the granularity this article needs. My Exchange server is on windows 2008 server R2 enterprise. That worked fine, but in standard windows 2008 server it did not. I was able to follow the directions properly to set the exchange backups fine both the first time and again now after reinstalling and restoring. so lets assume I didn't miss anything on the other server, save for the fact that i couldn't start the service “Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup” because exchange isn't installed on that server.

so is there something magical about “Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup” that allows this to happen or is it just the windows server version? if I want to backup up files with granularity on a machine without exchange, is there some other service i should install/start?

I know this is only half related to this topic but I do think it adds at least a bit of clarity to the dispute over granularity.


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