Unable to do an online backup of the information store

I am running a Windows NT 4.0 with MS Exchange 5.5 Enterprise Edition. We are running Veritas Backup Exec. Apparently since the last 10 days, the backup gets aborted when it reaches the IS. Unfortunately the last successful backup is of last monthend. We are planning to move all the mailboxes to a temp server and then delete the priv.edb as the solution seems to be fine and we can do it.

We are also running a Desktop Fax application Facsys 4.7 which is integrated to Exchange 5.5 and see an existence of the connector, etc. on the mailbox resources. We would like to know if we were to delete the priv.edb and recreate it, would it impact the Facsys applications.

The error that we recieve on the backup log is below and have understood it to be JET related error and the database is corrupt and either has to be restored from a good backup or otherwise recreate the the priv which seems to be a better solution.

"The Exchange Store service is not responding. Backup set aborted."

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Exchange_AdminConnect With a Mentor Commented:
While EXMERGE is a good idea (I think it is a great utility), rakeshmiglani made a good point in that it will break Single Instance Storage for the messages that are exmerged.

Another option is:
1. Install Exchange 5.5 on your temp server. When prompted select to join an existing site. Then when prompted enter the name of your existing Exchange 5.5 server. You do not need to run the performance optimizer at this point.
2. Apply the same service packs and hotfixes as is on the existing server.
3. This is an important step. Run Performance Optimizer. You do not have to change the locations of any of the files if you do not want to. Performance Optimizer does much more than just moving files around.
4. Then from the Exchange Admin program move your mailboxes to the new server. Any corruption will not move. You will not have to visit the desktops to make Outlook profile changes. As long as the original server is still up then the clients will redirect to the new server.
a) Do not try to move them all at once. Move them in blocks of 5 or so. You don't want to saturate your network.
b) Make sure that your users are not logged into the mailboxes with Outlook.
c) Make sure that you move any hidden mailboxes also.
5. If you have any problems with mailboxes that don't move then manually export these to PST files.
6. After all the mailboxes have been moved, stop the information store service. Move the PRIV.EDB file to a safe location.
7. Start the Information Store service. You may get a message that Exchange is creating a new database.
8. Move the mailboxes back to the original server.
9. Remove the second Exchange server.

Hope this helps.
Try taking the backup using NTBackup utility. If its also failing, you know its Information store issue and better is to do an ExMerge and then delete and re-create the database file. Put the data back using ExMerge.

I dont think, your Facsys application would have any affect.

Amit Aggarwal.
ISS_ExpertAuthor Commented:

thanks for the quick response but we have already tried the NTbackup but that failed too.
Could you please explain ex-merge? Never used it.

Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

XADM: How to Use the Exmerge Utility to Extract Data from a Damaged Private Information Store

You need an older version of ExMerge (For Exchange 5.5)

Amit Aggarwal.
>We are also running a Desktop Fax application Facsys 4.7 which is integrated to Exchange 5.5 and see an existence of the connector, etc. on the mailbox resources. We would like to know if we were to delete the priv.edb and recreate it, would it impact the Facsys applications.

You mentioned  that you see the existence of the connector on the mailbox resources. Where in mailbox resources? Do you see it when you double click on an object under mailbox resources and then it brings up the properties of the mailbox and then under the email address tab? or somewhere else.

if it is under the email address tab then re-creating the database would remove it because it is stored in the dir.edb file

regarding your second question, Exmerge is used to export mailboxes into a.pst file which can later be imported into an exchange database.
Exmerge breaks single instance storage, so you you might see an increase in the database size when you import the .pst files into the new database
ISS_ExpertAuthor Commented:
Question to all 3 on using the exmerge: Can I use this tool on Windows NT 4.0 with Exchange 5.5 or do I need to have a Windows 2000 server?

Secondly, If i physically copy all the exchsvr(the edbs, logs, etc) information from the old server and put these files into a temp server with the same name, site, organisation etc. Will i be able to bring the server up with IS working fine? The reason for asking this is because we have exported the mails of the last 15 days into pst and going to restore the IS using the last successful backup and then import the psts back. But we would like to test exmerge, fixing the corrupt database using the eseutil and isinteg and see if we can get everything in order. But of course the important thing can we just use these files and put into a test server and get the IS up and running.

Once again, thank you all for all your help.
aa230002Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, you can use ExMerge on Windows NT 4.0 and Exchange 5.5. But, you need an older version of ExMerge for this. The latest version available for download on MS site doesnt work on Exchange 5.5

You give me your email ID, i will mail you the older version that will work on Windows NT 4.0 / Exchange 5.5

2. Physically copying the edbs and log files on another server will not solve your problem. There is a physicall corruption in the database, so you need to create a new .edb file (creating new mailboxes) and then moving messages (one by one) from old database files to new database files. For this, best is to use ExMerge or you can also use move mailboxes as suggested by Exchange_Admin. Moving mailboxes also creates new mailbox on the destination server, copies messages one by one from old mailbox to new mailbox and finally deletes the old mailbox.

Amit Aggarwal.
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