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Disaster recovery for exchange front end server

MS Exchange 2003 SP2

I have a front end server that had a raid controller fail and the data is corrupt. The controller was replaced and I have formatted the disks and installed windows server 2003 and  joined the system to AD with the same name. When I run the install, I cannot load exchange as it complains that there is already a server in the exchange org with the same name.

There is no backup of this server. Can I use the disasterrecovery switch without a backup? Is there a way to install exchange on this server and keep the same name?
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Ponthecomputer
Asked:
Ponthecomputer
2 Solutions
 
JimboEfxCommented:
Nearly all exchange server config is in AD - user data is on the server itself.

In theory you should be able to do this as front end servers do not contain user mailboxes and are just protocol proxies to backend. This article suggests as much:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2006/08/ExchangeRecovery/

As a second tactic you could clean up exchange and AD of all references to old server and reinstall - but this can be intense if you are not used to getting neck deep in ADSIedit (it does get easier with time though!).
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bnditCommented:
Hi Ponthecomputer,

I'm not sure what you mean by "there is no backup of this server", but I'm assuming you're talking about the system state as you would (and I would hope) have backups of any store databases homed on this Exchsrvr. In any case, you can use the /DisasterRecovery switch to install Exchange Server on this server using the same NetBios name. However, you will have to make sure to reset the computer account for this server before joining to the domain. If you dont do this, AD will complain that there's a computer with the same name already in the domain. I've had to do these a couple of times recently and it's worked for me. Here's a good article that walks you through the process: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Recovering-Failed-Exchange-2003-Member-Server-Using-Disaster-Recovery-Switch.html

Good luck.
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