Which files should I include in straight copy of Exchange server

My backup drive died physically.
Veritas takes about 58  70 hours to run backup and I dont think the backup is any good anyway.

I am thinking of stopping the service on the weekend, un-mounting the mailboxes and making a copy of the Mailboxes, logs and settings.
Which files should I include in straight copy of Exchange mailboxes, logs and settings?
WesZalewskiAsked:
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TWBitCommented:
Have you considered using NTBACKUP?  It is Exchange aware, does not dismounted the stores, and will flush the logs.  This creates a BKF file that you can then backup to tape.  
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WesZalewskiAuthor Commented:
I will try after, since I don't know how long it is going to take.

What files should I copy any way beside the mailboxes?

Thank you.
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TWBitCommented:
Well you aren't coping 'mailboxes' per se, but rather the entire store (Private and Public).  If you really want to copy files, back up the entire MDBDATA folder, including the LOG files.

Not sure if it helps, but my stores are about 50GB, and a backup to disk using NTBACKUP takes just over 2 hours. there isn't any compression, so make sure you have enough free disk space after the backup is finished.
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WesZalewskiAuthor Commented:
Thank you.
I wanted actually to copy, in Windows, the whole Mail store and log files. They are sitting on two separate logical drives.

If your NT of 50 GB runs only about 2 hours, than I will try mine, to external USB drive. My Private and Public store are total about 15GB.
Although I have additional 50 in pst files. But NT Backup will allow me not to dismount the store.

Is there anything I sholud watch 'not to include' in the backup, that would corrupt the store?
Thank you.
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TWBitCommented:
When doing a file leve copy, the stores have to be stopped, to there isn't anything to exclude that could corrupt the stores.

Using NT Backup (or any Exchange-aware backup solution), it doesn't matter if the Stores and logs are different drives.  

Writing to a USB attached drive would take substantially longer than writing to a local drive, even with USB 2.0.  Do you have any benchmarks on writing a GB to it that you could use as an estimate?

Here is a screenshot of selecting the stores in NT Backup
ntbackup.jpg
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WesZalewskiAuthor Commented:
Thank you.
I started the NT Backup through USB. Unfortunately it is not a 2.0 USB and the esitmated time to finish from the NT Backup screen right now is 9 hours. It was 1 day and 2 hours before.

I have to see what size is going to be the .bkf file to check whether I have enought room on the drive to run it to a drive first and than copy the .bkf file to external drive later.

This is a few years old server and I am going to change it to Exchange 2007 soon with new hardware.
Any experience, knowledge on how it runs?

Thannk you.
Wes
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TWBitCommented:
The size of the BKF should be slightly larger than your EDB and STM totals.  I hope there is about 15GB on your server - mounting a RSG or an offline defrag would require that much, so it is a good practice to have at least 110% of your store free on that drive.

I haven't touched 2007 yet.  If it ain't broke....But if you are moving to a new server, it would be a good opportunity to upgrade.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Just to be clear, recovering exchange is not as easy as simply stopping services and dropping the logs and exchange databases back into place.  Further, you cannot get rid of the logs (and they will continue to grow in number and amount of used space ) if you don't perform a proper backup of the information store.  The accepted solution is the proper way for doing that.

(It sounds like you were doing a Brick-Level backup, which takes SIGNIFICANTLY more time than a proper information store backup).
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