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rebuild exchange server

Posted on 2005-02-27
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I am having to completely rebuild and exchange server.  My problem is my exchange server will not back up.  I have installed windows 2003 and exchange on a new hard drive.  I have also reset the exchange server account on my dc.  I am about to rejoin this computer to the domain.  How do i then recover my mailboxes if i have no backup.
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Question by:marria
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:samccarthy
ID: 13415016
Do you have an old Exchange server in place and this one will take it's place, or did you drop the old one and rebuild it into this new one????  If the old server is still in place, the easiest thing to do is to join the new one to the existing Exhchange organization, move your mailboxes through AD and everything else like public folders and then drop your old machine.

If this is the only exchange box and you dropped it, reformatted and rebuilt it and now want to bring it back up.  If you do not have a backup of your information store then you would have nothing to restore.  In other words, if this is your only Exhcange box and the old IS does not exist as there was not a backup, unfortunately I think you are out of luck.  How can you resotore what you don't have.
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Author Comment

by:marria
ID: 13415282
When i rebuilt the exchange server, i rebuilt it on a new hard drive.  The old hard drive is still operating at the moment.  In other words, the old exchange server is still in place and i need to replace it with the newly built hard drive.
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by:samccarthy
ID: 13415335
As I said earlier, the easiest thing to do is to join the new one to the existing Exhchange organization, move your mailboxes through AD and everything else like public folders and then drop your old machine.  So, the best way to do this is to join the domain with the new machine first.  Run setup /forestprep and /domainprep first from the Exchange CD.  If you bring up Setup, it will walk you through adding an additional exchange server to an existing organization.  Follow the prompts and this machine will then be integrated.  You can then follow the examples on copying over your public folders and system files.  Once done, move all your mailboxes to the new box.  When your users logon the first time, they will get automatic redirections to the new store on the new server.  Leave that up for a few days to make sure everything switches.  Be sure to point your MX records or Firewall redirects to the IP address of the new server.  

When happy with the new box, go into the Exchange Operations manager and make the new server master and remove the old server from the organization.
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Author Comment

by:marria
ID: 13415344
i guess i'm not explaining this correctly.  I only have one machine.  I will not have them both online at the same time.  I have to replace the hard drive on the old machine with the new hard drive, thus the old machine will not be online to move the boxes.
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Expert Comment

by:samccarthy
ID: 13415454
You will definately have a problem there.  Was the old Exchange 2003 to or 2000???
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Author Comment

by:marria
ID: 13415831
2003
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samccarthy earned 1000 total points
ID: 13416536
Ok..........  Here is what I see you need to do.   If your old drive was logically sound, but you just wanted a different physical disk, I would say use Ghost to put that image on the new drive.  If not, lets go to plan B or Plan C.

Plan B

Export your mailboxes to a .pst file.  Either use Exmerge or just log on and access the mailboxes and export to a .pst file.  Depending on your number of users one might be eaiser than the other.  Then bring up your new mail server and import the mailboxes.

Plan C

Build up that new drive offline, with the exact same everything as the old one.  What I mean by this is the exact same Name and exact same Exchange organization.  On the old Box, shut down Exchange and copy off the Information Store and logs to somewhere else on the network.     Drop it off the domain and let that replacate.

Here is a link for the backup and restore   http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296788 

OK, now you can put the new hard drive in and bring the machine back up, joining the domain as the same name and same IP address.  Now, with Exchange shut down, restore the Information Store and logs.  Restart Exchange.  If all goes well, you have your new drive with all your old exchange.
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