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Can we restore a mail server image containing duplicate mailboxes that have already been migrated to another server

We are recovering from a near-disaster.  Our Exchange 2003 EE server (Win2003EE) was on a VMWare VM.  We had had no issues with it until the file system (VMFS) apparently got corrupted.  Once a VM was shut down, all the files for the VM became unavailable.  Browsing the datastore showed 0 folders as if it was freshly formatted.
Once we were aware of the problem,  we began migrating user mailboxes, folders, etc to a backup mail server (another VM elsewhere).  The migration was successful.  However while trying to back up the original mail server.  It crashed and all files were lost.  We have a good image of this original  mail server from the day before the migration.  Therefore it still has the mailboxes on it.

My question is,  can we restore the original mail server's image,  but delete the mailboxes.  Then somehow migrate all the mailboxes/folders, etc back to the original mail server from the second mail server.

I' wondering if there is an easier method than the one I am pursuing.  Restoring the original mail server, the DNS Server and a Domain Controller to an isolated network, removing the mailboxes, etc, then removing it from Active Directory.  Once this is done cleanly,  re-add the mailserver to the current domain migrate the mailboxes, etc and hope that it works.
1 Solution
If you take the machine off the domain then you will lose Exchange.
If you have a backup then I would look at doing a restore in to an RSG and then merging the data. What you have done is a variant of dial tone restore, so switching the data around shouldn't be too difficult. Google for dial tone restore, there is info on it at both Microsoft.com and msexchange.org.


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