How do I backup exchange server 2003 when the active directory is not available?

choy77 used Ask the Experts™

I am currently haviing some problems with a sbs 2003 in that the active directory is just not working. This is currently a topic on my login.

However I don't have much time as this company goes live on Monday and some idiot who has configured this server originally has messed up the DNS, which seems to have been a problem for some time.

I am thinking about doing a rebuild as last resort.

There are currently only 4 users with mail boxes in exchange and all information is held on an N drive so the data is not a problem as It is being backed up offsite plus I will make another backup just to make absolute sure.

If I do rebuild the server can I still backup Exchange mailboxes ready for importing back to a new build even though the AD is not working?

If so how would I do this?

Any suggestions?

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If you creating a new domain and reinstalling exchange then exmerge the mailboxes out:

As you dont have access to the AD server see if exmerge already exists in: c:\program files\exchsvr\bin (i think from the top of my head)

it may not work if your account does not have the permissions already failing this there is another utility called Kernal it comes at a price though about $400 very useful tool to have for any exchange admin ina dr scenerio where the only thing you have is an EDB and STM database

or you could create a new dc and exchange org and use recovery storage you will need a backup of the DC etc see:

If your users already have their mailboxes cached then within outlook you can export out to pst

Hope this helps
Awarded 2009
Top Expert 2010

For Exmerge to work the mailbox stores need to be mounted, if you have DNS issues and Exchange cannot connect to Active Directory the store will not mount.

Your best bet is to get your active directory sorted. to find your other question....
Subash SundharanIT Infrastructure Architect

Exchange is totally dependent on active directory, If AD is not working then exchange will not function. With out AD the only option will be a Offline backup.

Offline Backup and Restoration Procedures for Exchange 
Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project Lead
Top Expert 2013

Take a flat file backup to a network location ........ I'm Copy Paste ...... or else put a pendrive or external drive and get the data to a safe location. rebuild the server and put the data back.
Awarded 2009
Top Expert 2010

I don't think that's necessary having looked at the Active Directory post I think we can fix this.

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