Need Exchange Recovery Advise - Ugly Situation

lrobertson used Ask the Experts™
I have server that lost its data drive.  It was also running exchange 5.5.  The exchange data files were on the D: drive that was lost.  The C: drive booted fine but exchange would not restart.  

Tapes were provided that only had full backups of the D: drive.  No current C: backup was available (not really sure why).  Restored the D: however, Exchange will still not start.  

Began investigating and found that there are not priv.edb or pub.edb files only 3.6Gb of .log files.  Here are my questions:

1.  Can the exchange server be recovered w/o the .edb files?  If so, how?
2.  The system was using Backup Exec 8.5 and was suppposedly backing up the Exchange server as 'Full-commit and flush logs.' What happened to the priv and pub files?
3.  I do have a full system backup with all of the files (including priv and pub) from 2 months ago.  I am sure I can restore to this point.  Is it possible to roll the current .log files up into this directory?  If so, how?

Thanks for any and all assistance.
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Oh boy, this isn't good. You cannot do a restore without the .edb files, they contain all the data. Are you sure you had the public and private information stores selected in Veritas? You can restore from two months ago and use the current logs, but the logs will only contain data since the last time you did a full backup, so you will still be missing almost two months of data. All you have to do is retore the backup from two months ago, then copy over the log files with the more recent ones.

Now here comes the speech - you should always store your exchange database files on a RAID 5, or preferably RAID 0+1 array. You should also do periodic test restores to make sure your backups are functioning properly.

Better go put on your fire-retardant underwear and tell your users two months of mail is lost.

Good luck


Yeah, you confirmed what I had already suspected... we must have the edb files to make it work.  However, the interesting part is the log files... I have 3.6Gb of them.  My thoughts are that there has to be some mail in them from the past two months.  

As far as breaking the bad news, the users are already aware.  The crash happened 3 days before we were to swap the server out with a new one.  Everyone knew going in the existing setup was a time bomb... and as for the backups, that is the responsibility of another party.  I'm am just the janitor... here to clean up the mess.  And what a mess it is.  
Your log files are pretty large, so you may be able to recover a substantial amount of the missing mail. If the databases were not backing up properly, the log files wouldn't have flushed.

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.

I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

Answered by: jjmck

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