Exchange 2003 on DC - crashed and need to rebuild - what is best way to recover

Overview: 17 sites 19 exchange servers, 2 of which are front end servers. The Exchange 2003 is on the DC for most of the sites, don't ask why politics.  The server that crashed I do not have a backup, Don't ask politics and Money.  I have rebuilt the DC part of the server and it is back online.  I have the exchange database files and made a backup copy to a different folder.  The server is still showing in system manager as having exchange installed on it.  I would like to get exchange back on this server with the mailboxes from the saved priv1.edb database.  What is the best method for rebuilding this exchange server, getting the mailboxes back, with the problem of the pre crash server still listed in exchange?  This is NOT the first exchange server.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAsked:
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this is your exact problem i believe.

is your domain a 2000 or 2003 domain?
I dont like it when people unless a small location have Exchange on DC's but it sounds like thats out of your control. You need to get the server backonline then install Exchange in disaster recovery mode and then point to your saved edb and stm file -- note you might want to run eseutil and isinteg to verify you database is not corrupted.;en-us;325152
You should be able to re mount the database if all three are the same as before - Site, Computer Name, and Domain Name.  If this is the case then you will want to delete the exchange from the Exchange manager, and install exchange.  After this is complete, shut down the services, and remove the .edb .stm and .log files from their folders.  Move the old EDB and STM files into the MDBDATA directory, start the Exchange services, and remount the stores.  This should get you up and running.  You can then just replicate the public folders back over.  

Once in a while the machine may have a problem with an orphaned Exchange account conflicting, if so follow this.

If you cannot run Exchange System Manager, you may use the ADSI Edit snap-in to manually remove the server attributes so that you can try a successful reinstallation. This method does not perform cleanups of references to the server object outside the server's own container.

ADSIEDIT is part of the Windows 2003 support tools. You can find the support tools on the Windows 2003 CD under the folder \Support\TOOLS. Install the support tools by double clicking SUPTOOLS.MSI.

Use the /removeorg switch to remove the whole Microsoft Exchange 2003 organization from Active Directory.

You can use the /removeorg switch with the Exchange 2003 Setup program to remove the whole Exchange 2003 organization from Active Directory.

The /removeorg switch removes the Organization container and all sub-containers from Active Directory. You can run this command from any server in the forest, not just from an Exchange 2003 server. This command does not remove services, files, or registry keys.

Do not use this method unless you want to remove Exchange completely from your enterprise. The /removeorg switch will remove all the Exchange servers from your organization. If you do this inadvertently, you may be forced to reinstall all the Exchange servers in your enterprise.

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Ignore the /removeorg references.  You obviously don't want to do that, I just cut and pasted too much.
Ignore the /removeorg portion.  You obviously don't want to do that.  I just cut and pasted poorly.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Windows 2003 Network.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I have installed exchange 2003 and mounted the old priv1.edb.  Now all of the mailboxes are not associated with the accounts, and when I try to reconnect them it tells me it can not find the object.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I had to remove exchange attributes from the account, then I could reconnect the mailbox.

Recover a Mailbox
There are two ways to make an Exchange mailbox unusable: use System Manager to delete the mailbox, or delete the mailbox's user from Active Directory, which makes the mailbox unowned.

Deleted mailboxes can be recovered only by restoring them from a backup. Mailboxes that belong to users who were deleted from Active Directory can be recovered.

Note   In very specific disaster recovery circumstances, you may need to remove Exchange attributes from an object before reconnecting the Exchange mailbox.

Did you follows the instructions in the links above on how to recover a crashed server ??

If you mounted the databases on another server they will all show up as disassociated because in the directory each mailbox is listed which SG and server is belongs too -- Which means you can not just mount any db and work.

You needed to Recover you Exchange by installing in /disasterRecovery mode which reassociates the server and the prior name -- you then must put the SG's back the same way and mount your DB in which all DB's should mount and be assocaited fine due to the link to the attributes in the directory.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Disaster recovery mode did not work.  I installed exchange new and then moved the old priv1.edb over and replaced the new one.  Then I got it back into a consistent state and set the storage location check box to accept a restore, becouse it saw the file as being older.  Then brought it up and the accounts were no longer linked to the users.  Then I go in and write down any unique email accounts and then remove the exchange settings using the exchange task.  Then I go to the mailbox and reconnect it to the user account.  The default template will eventually apply and recreate the default email address, or if the user opens outlook it will apply the template at that time and create the default email accounts.  then I go in and manually enter back the unique email addressess that were in the account.
RKNicholsSystems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
installing exchange in disaster recovery mode did not install any of the services for exchange
Did you look at the guide that I sent you in the beginning --- you are going about this the hard way but as long as you get your desired results ...........
If you experience problems when you restore Exchange databases to the original server, or to the server to which you have restored the original server's configuration, ********you can restore Exchange databases to a different Exchange server. However, restore Exchange databases to a different server only as a last resort********
. The Exchange server to which you restore Exchange databases must meet specific criteria. For example, Exchange service packs and hotfixes that you install on the server must match those of the server whose Exchange databases you backed up. For more information about how to restore Exchange databases to a different server, see Exchange 2000 Server Database Recovery (

Rebuilding an Exchange Member Server
To rebuild an Exchange member server, you must:
•      Reinstall your Windows Server 2003 operating system (if you cannot start the server) and other software applications.
•      Restore the System State data.
•      Run Exchange Setup in disaster recovery mode.
•      Restore the Exchange databases.
It takes more time to rebuild a server. However, the resulting operating environment is cleaner than if you were to restore a server from a full computer backup set.
Rebuilding Checklist
      Move or copy the Exchange database and log files (optional).
      Try to repair the damaged member server (optional).
      Replace any damaged hardware.
      Install your Windows Server 2003 operating system if you cannot start the server in its current state.
      Restore the Windows backup set.
      Install service packs and software updates
      Install any other applications (not Exchange).
      Restore any additional non-Exchange data from backup.
      Run Exchange setup in disaster recovery mode.
      Install Exchange service packs in disaster recovery mode.
      Install Exchange hotfixes.
Follow these steps if necessary:
      Restore the Exchange databases from backup media.
      Restore MSSearch.
      Re-create your full-text indexes.
      Try to repair the server again if the restore fails.
      Restore Site Replication Service (SRS).
      Restore the certification authority (CA).
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