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Restore database without Active Directory info

Posted on 2004-10-20
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I have an single Exchange 2003 server (on Win 2003 and not a BDC) and a single PDC (Win 2003.  Just to be honest, I screwed up something majorly the other day in Active Directory on the PDC using the ldp utility by accidentally hitting a wrong button on the drop-down menu.  I swear this is how it happened.  Although I probably didn't go about it correctly, I disjoined the Exchange Server from the domain because it'd hang on boot trying to start the System Attendant et al.  

I have since rebuilt the Domain Controller with the exact same internal domain name etc, as closely as possible to the original.  I've recreated all users etc.  What I need to do is somehow rejoin the Exchg 2003 machine to the domain and get the db re-mounted.

All database/log files etc. on the exchange server remain as they were when the machine was disjoined.  I've read tons of guides on-line, but what I am looking for is some solution revolving around reinstalling exchange and creating the exact same organization name (??).  I realize that domainprep and forestprep will extend AD with the requisite exchange info for basic usage, but I also need to populate the directory with Exchange System Objects that existed at the time of implosion.  Namely, public folders, of which there were a ton.  If there is an easy way to grab the public folders from the old db import them or something, I'd settle for that.  Most of our small number of users have laptops, so we've exported PST's for now...

Ideas?
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Question by:Russianblue
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PLeclair earned 1500 total points
ID: 12361879
Do you know the original Org name?  Basically, because you recreated all users, they will no longer match up to the mailboxes due to the new sids.
You should be able to build a regular old exchange 2003 server, and restore to the recovery storage group.  Use Exmerge to get at the mailboxes for an export to pst.  Mailenable all new user objects, then exmerge back to the production Information store.  As for the Pubfolders, I'm not sure what options the recovery storage group can provide for them, but if you had the proper Org name, you could probably just run a restore from your backups, or start the store with the former pub.edb file in the MDBdata dir.  You'll likely have to re-associate all permissions on public folders to your new users.

This is my best guess.
Paul
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by:PLeclair
ID: 12361916
Also, worst case scenario, check out Ontrack's PowerControls v1.0 Restoration and Administration.
This tool allows you to open an offline edb file to extract data from etc..
Paul
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by:Russianblue
ID: 12362560
I do have the original Organization Name.

I'm building an temp exchg server as we speak but not sure it is necessary.

I was (sorta) aware that I could use exmerge or eseutil to extract data, but i believe i have to get the information store up and running.

if this is the case, then shouldn't i be able to just reinstall exchange (setup.exe /disasterrecovery) in DR mode and then apply the orginal orgainization name, at which point I could re-mount the pub.edb like you say.  permissions wouldn't be that big an issue if i get the old store remounted, because it seems as if i could just add the domain users group to all public folders and it'd populate with the resolvable SID.  However, I WOULD like to avoid putting all that bad SID info into AD.  

I assume once Exchg has forest and domain prepped, the services can start as normal.  At that point it's a matter of mounting the old db's right?  

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Expert Comment

by:PLeclair
ID: 12363022
The /disasterrecovery is only going to work if your AD is in it's original condition.  The /disasterrecovery process pull the configuration information out of AD, so if that's been blown away as you said, then you can't use /disasterrecovery anymore.

Look into the recovery storage group, it will allow you to mount a foriegn database, it just isn't accessible to the organization, it's only mounted for recovery purposes.  So therefore, set up a brand new exchange server, recover the old DB to the Recovery Storage Group, use exmerge to extrack messages.  You may even be able to mount the old databases by replacing the new database files with the old ones.  But like I mentioned, read-up on the use of the Recovery Storage Group for more info.

Hope that helps
Paul
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by:Russianblue
ID: 12369794
Looks like the Recovery Storage Group will only handle user mailboxes.  Although it's a bit atypical, in this situation the public folders are my primary issue.  I'm gonna go through the RSG exercise for practice however.

I'll allocate/award points when/if i finish this later today.

Thanks!

RB
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Author Comment

by:Russianblue
ID: 12369807
By the way, I did run eseutil /mh on my db's.  Everything reports a clean dismount, so at least the db's are not corrupted.

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