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Excahnge 2007 backup and restore with NTBACKUP

I am running E 2007 and have a DB that is about 100GB. I use NTBACKUP for backing up each night. I find the follwing:
1. If I backup with NTBACKUP selecting "Microsoft Information Store" (and DO NOT check the files in Exchange\mailbox) in order to back up the E 2007 DB, I cannot restore anything but the complete data base to anywhere but the original location...somewhat limiting if all I want is a single post office. I will used this backup in case of catastrophic failure.

2. Because of 1. (above) I make two backups each night. Once as above and one where I do not check "Microsoft Informaiton Store" and DO check the EDB files under exchange\mailbox. I use this second backup to restore individual post office or other mail files.

Can someone give me a solution using NTBACKUP where I only have to make one backup each night and can recover from a catastrophic failure (i.e. do a bare metal restore) as well as restore individual mail boxes or mail store to someplace besides the production system?


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8/22/2022 - Mon

The behaviour you are seeing is correct.
That is how Exchange is designed to be operated. You backup the entire store and then when you need to restore, you restore the entire store. Third party vendors may offer brick level backups, but those are slow and inefficient.

You should not be touching the raw files.

To reduce the recovery time you should split the store up. On Exchange 2007 standard you can have four storage groups. Therefore you could split that store in to four. that will reduce the time take to restore.

However the question I have to ask is why are you restoring data? I haven't had to restore individual user's data for over two years. With deleted item retention in the store most recovery options are not required.


It has to do with an ex-employee with whom we are now in a law suit. I am under court order to save everything and be able to restore individual mail boxes/stores. I am presently split into 11 stores. I have to be able to recover from catastrophy AND/OR restore individual mailboxes.

The problems is exascerbated by several departments who send huge (10-40mb) graphic files around. That makes the store grow quickly and there for time retained shorter to maintain the store < 150GB.

I use Ontrack Power Controls to extract stuff out of the EDB and it works great.

I was afraid that was the case. I guess I will keep on doing it.

You have behavioural problems rather than technical problems with the users emailing large files around. The only way that can be stopped is to put limits on the sizes of the messages that can be sent.
There are tools designed for eDiscovery which may well be better suited.
However it is very unusual to find an environment that large backing up using ntbackup  -with the exception of Microsoft of course, although they are probably using DPM now.

Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

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