Exchange 2003 DB recovery

Posted on 2008-10-24
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Is it possible to restore exchange DB from backup and mount to another server?
I'm looking for other alternative way to recover a dead exchange server beside the famous /disasterrecovery mode
I'm aware about Ontrack Power Tools to extract DB but we dont have enough budget
Question by:ryder0707
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Expert Comment

ID: 22794341
To give the smallest one liner answer for the question "Is it possible to restore exchange DB from backup and mount to another server?"

Yes you can.

Let's take a small example to make you understand this answer in detail (You may want to take a cup of coffee while reading this)

Say for example you have 2 E2k3 boxes Ex01 and Ex02 installed in same Organization and same Administrative Groups.

You got users equally divided on both servers. One fine day Ex01 decides to screw your weekend royally - blue screen occurs and it goes beyond recovery leaving you with two options.
One, work with new hardware on same box OR work with new server al together.

(Both of the plans above are well documented, however they do not come cheap)

So there is a third alternative - not documented pretty well, reasons i will state later.
You can move the EdB and Stm (Database files) on to Ex02.
Run a command Eseutil /mh "Complete path to filename.Edb - including the file itself in this path"

In the output  there is one information that needs to be seen state: clean shutdown (if you see this your 50% through with your problem)

You need to now create a new mailbox store with same name as it was on Ex01 (using ESM on Ex02 you may be able to copy paste the name)
In the property point the database to its new location (place where you have kept the copied files)
Do not worry about log files.

Once done, check the box "This database can be overwritten by restore" on database tab of the store.

Once done, you should be able to mount your stores and you would see all the mailboxes in disconnected state. Reason why they are in this state is since users do not know that their mailboxes have actually been hijacked and planted some where else (AD is dumb on this part or probably Exchange is over smart).

So, we go to a tool called Admodify. Select a bunch of users (for trial basis)
Change three attributes to point to your new server.

1) msExchHomeServerName - this is the DN value of your Ex02 server
2) msExchHomeMDB - this is the DN of the store which you just mountd on Ex02
3) msExchHomeMTA - this is the DN of the store which you just mountd on Ex02

IF this all goes fine - all you need to do is wait for AD replication to work quick. Once your through with AD replication - you can expand your mailbox store click on mailboxes (above logons) right click and select "Run CleanUp Agent"

95% there should not be any complication - in case if there is any you may you mailbox recovery centre (located under tools in ESM) to resolve conflicts. I have used this umpteen times and it works pretty smooth. Oh yes keep your fingers crossed for Outlook to automatically discover the new box after AD replication.

By now your coffee should be over - right ?
LVL 24

Author Comment

ID: 22794573
wow super great the way is it possible do this on different admin group but same exch org?
i mean the exch backup is from admin group A & i want to restore it on admin group B
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22794725
Nopes - you would end up with event 1088 stating that the AG is different - stores wont mount ever.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22794733
By the way how was the coffee ?? :)
LVL 24

Author Comment

ID: 22795268
it was not bad....i have to drink extra :)
so it is not possible for different AG
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Exchange_Geek earned 500 total points
ID: 22795317
Hey get me another cup of coffee if your going towards the cafeteria. :)

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