SBS disaster. How to restore.

First of all i would like to apologise if this question has been answered elsewhere, i've been looking for a while and cant seem to find a definitive answer

I am having to restore my Small business server due to a corrupted OS and the embedded SATA RAID had degraded. I have read the .doc from microsoft that seems to explain the process quite well apart from what to do with exchange after you've restored the system state.

I have a backup of system state (created with Arcserve) & exchange (online backup) created with ntbackup.

This is how i understand the process so far.

1. Install small business server
2. Cancel Continuing Microsoft Small Business Server Setup Wizard
3. Install service packs that were previously installed (Server 2003 SP1 & SP2 + SBS SP1)
4. Restore system state

Now im slightly unsure as to how to go about getting exchange back installed. I'm assuming that i will have to run the "Continuing Microsoft Small Business Server Setup" Wizard in order to install exchange? But i dont really want to have to reconfigure the domain settings and things like that becasue im assuming that will overwrite the system state restore.

I've read a vague article about using cd2 to kick off the exchange install with a /disasterrecovery. could someone please explain this process to me please?

I have read a few articles on about how to restore using a Recovery Storage Group and then extract mailboxes using Exmerge but obviously i need to install exchange and SP1 & SP2 first + the registry hack to increase the storage limit.

However the process is very vague in that it doesnt tell you how to restore from a windows backup file of exchange. Im assuming if i click on recovery storage group and then Add Database To Recover i wont be able to point it at the windows backup file of exchange that i have.

Basically i've read so many different articles that my brain is about to expload with all the conflicting suggestions.

I have got to the point where i have just the OS installed and chose not to run the continue SBS setup wizard. i installed server 2003 SP1, then client deployment for XP, then i tried SBS SP1 but that failed with an error that i unfortunately didnt write down. i guess the SBS SP1 wont install becasue non of the SBS components are installed at this point. so i have now moved on and installed server 2003 SP2. after a restart i am now missing the continue SBS setup icon on the desktop which is a little strange. i am now going to attempt to restore the system state data from tape and then try and figure out what to do with exchange.

I really hope someone can help me.
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CaTFiNcHConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
There is a limit imposed by the GUI in ESM and AD that only allows you to go just over 2GB.

You have to go through Adsiedit and override the setting manually on a per user basis.

Thanks for your comments Olaf but you didnt really solve any of my problems so no points im afraid.
Olaf De CeusterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you have a working SBS after restore and you have a copy of the exchange db's and namespaces are the same you can stop the information store rename the mdbdate file on new server  to something else and replace it with the mdbdata file from the backup.
CaTFiNcHAuthor Commented:
olafdc: well if i have a working SBS after restore then surely the namespaces are the same. as i mentioned above i have an online backup created with ntbackup and not an offline backup where i copied the mbddata folder contents.

I have managed to restore system state data from tape backup. upon restart we get a blue screen crash and the server restarts.

Should i be running through the continue windows small business server setup wizard, opt not to install exchage at this point and then booting into directory restore mode to restore system state.
It just seems a bit strange to be restoring critical system data without the components installed.

if i can then get system state to restore i can then install exchange with the /disasterecovery switch and take it from there?

Thanks for your comment
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Olaf De CeusterCommented:
Usually you only get a blue screen if you restore to new hardware or your raid controller uses the wrong driver.
Just run a repair on the the operating system by booting to disk 1 of the SBS disks.
Also what files do you have in the NT Backup for exchange (after a restore)? Priv.edb and pub.edb?
Pitty you did not use the SBS Backup. You would have most likely been up and running again.
CaTFiNcHAuthor Commented:
Yea i wont be using Arcserve again. Becasue i cant get system state to restore i've had to re-build AD manually. this has meant that my exchange backup wont restore becasue it see's my new setup as a new domain even tho i used same names.

It looks like im going to have to purchase Ontrack PowerControls. Unfortunately there not open at weekends and you cant buy online. the UK site doesnt even include pricing.

I wont be ending up in this situation again i can tell you that.

Cheers for your response.

I have managed to extract the Priv.edb and pub.edb etc files but i cant get them to mount.
Olaf De CeusterCommented:
I think there is a few third party apps to get pst files from your edb files. Than use exmerge to reimport. Worth investigating.
Good luck,
CaTFiNcHAuthor Commented:
Thanks olafdc, that software looks quite good. I purchased Kroll Ontrack PowerControls first thing this morning. It costs a lot at £649 but its a fantastic program for extracting edb files from different backups (in my case NTbackup) and then extracting mailboxes from the raw database files is simple, intuitive and very quick. I at least thought it was very quick on my Sony VGN-SR19VN laptop. One users mailbox did take 1hr 41min, but it was a large one with 97947 messages and a resulting .pst file of 4.99GB.

I'm going to struggle to import that back in at the minute though. i imported one earlier today that was 3.1GB and thats exceeded the maximum limit I could set in exchange. I set this manually in the users storage limits. SO i'll be looking for a way to override that setting tomorrow. It must have been done before becasue all that mail was in there before the crash last week. I cant remember having to do that last time. I knew i had to edit the registry to increase the 18GB limit. I wonder if its a group policy.

Any ideas?    
Olaf De CeusterCommented:
For server:
For users system wide:
System Manager (Exchange)> your server>first storage group>Right Click on Mailbox Store.Properties>Limits and change to suit.
Olaf De CeusterCommented:
No probs sorry I couldn't help,
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