Restoring Exchange Backup and System State to another machine

Posted on 2008-10-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-11-29

My task is this:
I have a production Exchange 2003 / Server 2003 machine that I am taking regular backups on (both System state and Exchange Info store).
I'd like to restore these backups in my lab to a test Server periodically to test them.
I've been reading and it seems like I need to have  *Exactly* the same hardware/software drivers/ etc.. on my Lab machine that I have on my production machine in order to make this work. Is that true?
My Lab machine is quite different from my production machine.

Thanks for your opinions.


Question by:michaelshavel
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 22844258
First Question:  How are you backing up your Exchange server?  NTBackup?, Backup Exec?  

Second Question:  Are you trying to restore the entire server, a mailbox, or the Microsoft Exchange Information Store?

Here is the link for MSFT's Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery guide:
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Exchange_Geek earned 2000 total points
ID: 22845198
"I've been reading and it seems like I need to have  *Exactly* the same hardware/software drivers/ etc.. on my Lab machine that I have on my production machine in order to make this work. Is that true? "

I am speaking purely about Exchange here.

1) You require only Organization Name, Administrative Group Name, Server Name same.

2) With regards to O/S - having the same O/S - for example using Windows 2003 SP1 with updates on production and virtual does help.

3) Also, please ensure that you use the same drive naming  convention - do not use D drive for database when actually it was posted on C. This will cause problems trust me on that.

Last but not the least - if you are restoring system state too. Forget about point 1 since that would be restored along with AD.

If you have any further queries please do feel free to ask.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 22845280
Hardware is never a consideration, just that there should be enough disk space. Msx Org details have to be same ......also Domain becomes a critical factor
This should guide you: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Restoring-Exchange-Server2003-Alternate-Hardware.html
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 22845293
If your test setup is not going to talk to proiduction at all then use this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555603

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