I use NTBackup / Windows Backup to backup my Exchange 2000 server's information stores and recently the drive containing them died. The drives that contain the Windows 2000/Exchange installation and archive logs are fine. When I tried to restore from the backup file (.bkf) on the same server with a new hard drive, I get the message "The backup file is unusable. You must erase it, or choose another file." and cannot continue.
The Microsoft Support article (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=269826
) for this error is of no help. It basically says to delete your corrupted backup and "too bad" and "hahaha sucker, you should have had 'verify' turned on." Yeah, yeah, I know...now that it's too late.
All attempts to repair the .bkf file have failed. A quick googling revealed that there are several utilities that can repair suck files. I have tried four (4!) repair utilities, including "Advanced BKF Repair", "Repair My Backup", "BKFRecovery", and "Nucleus Kernel BKF", and they all have failed. They'll finish and either report that there are no files found. They'll each run for at least an hour or so, so I know they're doing something. I personally don't think that any of them are capable of handling .bkf files with Exchange information in them, only normal files and directories. I don't think any of them actually state that they can do Exchange backups.
If I hex edit the .bkf file, I can see some email information in there. Email addresses and subjects are easy to pick out in all the gibberish. I even see lots of strings that end with .eml, leading me to believe that there are just a ton of .eml files in these backups. If only I could extract them...
I have sent the physical drive out for professional data recovery as recommended by others on EE (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21783520.html
), but if they can't help me, I better be able to make something of this backup file. The CEO of my company is really on my back about retrieving some irreplaceable emails and contacts.
So my question is: Is there any way to salvage Exchange information from a "corrupt" .bkf file or are there any utilities that can actually repair my file?
One more thing. I have archive logs going back 50 days. If can't get back the original information store, is there any way to play back the archive logs on an empty store to get _something_ back? I have tried remounting one of the offline stores and it automatically runs through all the archive logs (as shown in the application log), but after an hour, no .edb/.stm files are created and an nondescript error message is displayed.
Thanks in advance!