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Cannot View Individual Mailboxes During Restore

Posted on 2008-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
We are running Backup Exec 12.5 on a Windows Server 2003 OS and backing up an Exchange 2007 mailbox store that is running on Windows Server 2008.  We are backing up to a Quantum stand-alone tape drive.  The backup completes with no errors, but during the restore process we do not have the ability to perform a granular restore of individual mailboxes when backing up to tape.- it gives us the option to only restore the transaction logs.  We ran a test and it backs up and restores perfectly in a backup-to-disk scenario, and when we duplicate the job to tape it works - it only happens when we backup and try to restore from directly to/from tape.  We have checked the box to allow the restore of individual mailboxes on setup.  After at least 6 hours of telephone time with Symantec they decided it was a MAPI issue.  We called MS and ran several tests with them on the MAPI setup and they feel that the MAPI service is setup and running properly.  We are out of ideas and really need to get this up and running.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:cgwillis
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Expert Comment

by:Rahul Misra
ID: 22780007
Duplicate the existing backup set currently on tape to a B2D folder on the media server and then check the restore selection


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Author Comment

by:cgwillis
ID: 22781480
We did also try that and it will not allow individual backup of mailboxes.  For some reason it has to go to disk first.
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Author Comment

by:cgwillis
ID: 22781511
Let me ammend that last response.  It will not allow restore of an individual mail box.  It does not show it as an option, only the choice is for restoration of the transaction logs.
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Expert Comment

by:Scripting_Guy
ID: 22802299
quick question: you mentioned " it gives us the option to only restore the transaction logs". Are you performing a Full Backup or a Transaction Logs Backup?

Don't trust Symantec when they say its a MAPI issue. This is because MfcMAPI does not work properly anymore on Windows 2008. This however is normal behaviour. They did the same on me, I think its the "we have no idea what it is"-excuse. You can fix MfcMAPI on Win2k8 by adding the server itsself to its own hosts-file. This also made my restore jobs working , but in your case I think your catalogs are not set correctly, so the error happens before that.

for this, open c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on your exchange and add
host 1.2.3.4
host.domain.tld 1.2.3.4

Where host is the CAS of your exchange server, host.domain.tld is the FQDN of your exchange server, and 1.2.3.4 is its IP-address.

Note that its documented in the Administrators Guide ( ftp://exftpp.symantec.com/pub/support/products/Backup_Exec_for_WindowsNT/308400.pdf, Page 275) that Exchange GRT Backups will not work it the destination device is a Tape drive and the Backup method is incremental.
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Expert Comment

by:Scripting_Guy
ID: 22802311
Also note that its recommended by Symantec to have a backup-to-disk folder as destination device if you're performing GRT Backup jobs, as described on Page 273.
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Author Comment

by:cgwillis
ID: 22806053
I am performing a full backup of the Exchange stores - not just the logs.  I agree with you on Symantec, they just punted me to MS.  I think the mfcmapi is failing because in Exchange 07 administrators no longer have default full access to mailboxes, they need to be individually granted the permission.  The error that I am getting with mfcmapi points to permission issues.  Once I grant send as/receive as rights to the backup account for a mailbox I can access the mailbox from the mfcmapi tool.  In Exchange 03 this was done by default.

I did change the hosts file on the Exchange server about a week ago, no luck.  For now I am backing up to disk and duplicating the job to tape.  I really need to get the direct to tape backup working as disk space is becoming a premium on my backup (utility) server and Exchange server.
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Expert Comment

by:Scripting_Guy
ID: 22806617
okay, then I'm out of ideas... sorry!

let me point out something else. although exchange GRT is a nice to have feature, it is somewhat unnecessary. because the outlook client has the restore deleted items-feature (not sure what its called exactly), you will probably never use your GRT backup, because users can restore individual items themselfs. same is even true for whole mailboxes. you can define how long the exchange server should keep deleted objects in the properties of your exchange database (management console).

with this feature, the only thing you need your backup for is a desaster recovery, and there you will not need the GRT feature anyways.

if you really wanna keep with exchange grt and space is an issue, why don't you buy a 500gb sata disk or a NAS. you'll get these strating from $100, and since it is not the final backup device, you don't need any redundancy. however, this will probably be the better deal for your company than paying your salary for another couple of days until you got this working (if at all).

just my two cents :) good luck
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Author Comment

by:cgwillis
ID: 22807402
Thanks for your time and help.  You, of course, are right about the new drive cost vs. value of time.  Thanks for the reminder about the Outlook feature.  It really bugs me that software that is generally considered the best in the industry does not work as advertised, especially given the cost of the software.
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Expert Comment

by:Scripting_Guy
ID: 22807737
Backup Exec is a piece of crap. The problem is that for some reason, everyone whos using it is stuck with it. The other problem is that there is no other software out there that is significantly better for about the same money.

Backup Exec is a rather cheap solution, compared to really professional solutions. Take EMC Amavar for exemple. This is professional stuff, starting at $100'000.
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Expert Comment

by:Scripting_Guy
ID: 22849046
oh, just something else that came to my mind: you are using the same policy for the full and the incremental job, right?
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cgwillis earned 0 total points
ID: 22857576
I am not using incremental jobs - every job is a full backup.
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