I would like to copy my production exchange database to the new exchange lab

Hello exchange admins,
I would like to get some help if the universe has help for my issue.

 Here is the background, Lab: I finished setting up a test lab& it has 2 DC, 2 dns, 1 dhcp, ad 2003, exchange 2003 front-end and back-end and 2 PC for user based testing. No internet connection ( I used my wireless set-up temporary to update all the servers then set the servers up with static IPs and cut off internet connection).

Issue: I would like to copy my production exchange database to the new exchange lab.

What has been done:
I copied the information store from my production server (back-end) and placed it on an external hard drive.

I then copied the .edb and .stm from the external drive over to the L3 (back-end server in the LAB) on the exsrvr folder, I have not merge the information... I have not done anything else.

What do I do next?
How do I complete this process?
Also, how will AD act???
This is a flat network&&
Thank you&

TenchaAsked:
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tigermattCommented:

Do the lab and the production network have the same Exchange organization name, Active Directory domain name, server names etc.? If they do, you should be able to replace the databases on L3 with your existing .edb and .stm files, and then mount them. The mailboxes should come back, but to have them reconnected to user accounts, you'd need to re-create all the user accounts so they are on the lab network too, then re-connect the Exchange mailboxes in Exchange System Manager to each user's account.

When I set up labs, I just create several test users on the Active Directory, along with mailboxes, rather than trying to copy the live user base across to the lab environment. You should worry more about configuring the settings of the software applications the same, rather than bringing over data which will instantly be out of date.

It is doable, but not the main concern in a lab environment.

-tigermatt
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butor69Commented:
firstable , you have to copy the AD also to the new environment. several solution, : if the production DC hardware is the same as the labao DC hardware : full backup and restore.

If not, install a DC in the production environment,  set it as GC, be sure that synchro is OK then take it to the labo environement and seize the role (see on google seize role )
You will have the complete AD  in you lab.
Then for the Exchange, you have to install an exchange with the same name, create a store as it is created on the actual one, dismount it,  and then you can normaly replace the edb and log files (e carefull to use the same locations)  and then remount it.
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TenchaAuthor Commented:
Exchange
No the name is no the same...
prod is CXXXXCITY(all caps, no space)
test is CXXXX City (space caps and lower case)


AD lab:
l1.cXXXXXcity.ad  is a DC and it has all the roles, I seized them last week to get exchange to run. (Problems with froest prep).


I can recreate the user accounts and connect them (I assume) if I can get the database to load...any other suggestions?
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tigermattCommented:

Since the test network has a different name to the production network, you cannot just copy the Exchange .edb and .stm files across from the old server and expect them to work. Those files NEED the domain name, Exchange organization name and the Exchange server name to be the same on the lab network as on the production network.

Your only option as far as I can see is to do a backup of your Information Store using NTBackup, then copy the backup file to the lab and restore that to the lab network. You will still need to reconnect accounts to user accounts, though.

-tigermatt
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TenchaAuthor Commented:
Thank you, I will backing this afternoon.
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TenchaAuthor Commented:
I have move forward and created some other accounts. I am moving along with the install of Exchange 2007 in lab.
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