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Need to properly setup and verify exchange backups using NTBACKUP

Posted on 2004-08-15
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I'm running a small network with two servers: one is a Win2k domain controller and the other is an exchange server.  These are backed up nightly to a Dell Powervault DDS drive.  In order to be fault tolerant, I'd like some real assurance that the backups taking place will in fact allow our company to recover from a serious disaster.  

I have a machine that I would like to use as the test restore machine; win 2000 server is installed on it (this install is as vanilla as it gets, I've only installed win2k server on there, haven't configured it in the slightest).  I assume that the first step is to have a very recent backup, which I've got.  THen I assume the step after that is to install Exchange on the fresh Win2k machine.  But after that, I'm kind of hazy on how to proceed.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Very urgent.  Thank you.
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Question by:QuiteSupersonic
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Cyber-Dude earned 250 total points
ID: 11807423
Been there before... It is so true... you cannot be assurred all your data is truely backed up until you actually succeeded in recovery all data...

There are many guides on how to do such things...

In my opinion, you may need to do the following in order to truely simulate a disaster:
1. Prepare the suppose to be restored Exchange Server using the same configuration as the one that is in 'Production' (i.e. IP address, name, domain and forth - do this while the Exchange is disabled from the network).
2. Now, heres the tricky part - shut down the 'production' Exchange and remove the tape (do not turn on the Exchange until the whole process is complete), attach the tape to the 'New Server' and install all propper software (i.e. NTBACKUP)...
Please Note: If you have a DDS tape somewhere all early shutdown procedures are not nesessary; just install the other tape on the 'New Server' and install all software you need.
3. Now, begin restoration process:
http://www.mailmsg.com/Email_server_exchange_backup.htm
4. Attach the 'New Server' to the Network (while the 'Old Server' is unplugged)...

After verifing everything is working than, everything is cool...

Two strong suggestions (Use them even if you wont accept my advise):
a. Commit the test in time where you have the lowst activity (i.e. at night).
b. Write every step you make - This will be your best Disaster Recovery (DR) booklet.

Good luck

Cyber
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by:parkerig
parkerig earned 250 total points
ID: 11807433
Hi,

ONLY DO THIS ON AN SPARE BOX. I DON'T WANT YOU TRASHING YOU LIVE SYSTEM.
I am assuming you are running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 5.5

Having done this a number of times I have found that the below method works well.
This will only work if you have Active Directory working from the live system as mailboxes are mapped against unique ID's.

Restore the mail database files to a separate directory
( The Exchange System Manager will "tell" you the name of the Mail Database Files. )

Run Eseutil exhange utility to check database OK ETC ( Have a play with this util - lots of stuff to learn)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;182903

So long as you know what you are doing you can then use the Exchange System Manager to shutdown public and private stores. Rename them ( the dummy ones ( just in case)) and COPY the restored files across. Restart the public and private stores.

Also have a look at isinteg
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=301460
not required anymore but still fun to have a look

This is a very simple example for a case where the Active Directory is OK.
Also note it takes a bit of playing round with Eseutil  and isinteg to get the commands right - but on a test box this is no problem.

Cheers
Ian
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