Restore Exchange Backup -- AD backup?

Hi,

I have a soon to be live Exchange 2003 server and a test Exchange 2003 server in my lab.
I have been running emails though the 'live' server and it's working well.
I  ran ntbackup and created a backup of the Information Store for Exchange.

I want to restore the IS onto my Lab machine to see if my backup plan is working correctly.

The Lab machine was built the same as the 'live' machine (OS is same build, Exchange is same build).  The only thing is I didn't create any users and mailboxes on the Lab machine.  

My questions: Do I need to manually create all my users on the Lab machine before I can run my restore  or can I backup  AD on the live machine  and restore that to my  Lab machine?
I'm assuming I can do that but I don't know exactly what to backup for AD -- do I just need to backup and restore the System state or is there something else?

Thanks,
Mike



 
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michaelshavelAsked:
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ormerodrutterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes you need to backup the System State on your live server and restore it onto your Lab server in Directory Services Restore Mode.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727048.aspx

Manually creating user accounts might not work because they will have different SIDs to your backup.
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ans-ansdenverCommented:
Yes your exchange server needs to talk to an AD source so an AD backup/restore will be needed.

How to back up/restore AD:
http://www.petri.co.il/backup-windows-server-2003-active-directory.htm
How to back up/restore IS:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-2003-Backup-Restore-NTBACKUP.html

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sk_raja_rajaCommented:
1.AD is always backed up as part of System State Data, but this does not prevent to restore AD on different hardware: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263532

2.You can backup the Active directory database Ntdis.dit
        *Boot your  server in "Directory service restore mode" by hitting F8 during startup
        *Copy Ntdis.dit to desktop or somewhere. Than you may copy it to a pen drive for other server.
        *Install Windows server support tools to that different server, boot the server in "Directory services restore mode"  
        *Search ntds.dit file. After discovering its original location copy this ntdis.dat and overwrite on the existing one (take a backup of existing) at your different server.
        *In Support tools command line type ntdsutil , authoritative restore, restore database

3.How to restore to a diff server
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=263532

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