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Recover exchange database from sbs 2008

pabgm asked

I need to import an exchange database from a hard drive which was in a sbs 2008 server. Where are the files normally kept and how do I import them?
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I'm going to tell you that you should probably call microsoft and pay the charge they are going to bill you.

The files you want are here::

c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata

These files are encrypted. You cant export them without mounting them. And to mount then you need a server that has the same name and organization as the SBS 2008 server it was on.

Can you not boot the SBS 2008 server? Or is all you have is the hard drive?
Distinguished Expert 2018

If I understand you correctly, the old SBS server is no longer bootable or functional?  If at all pssible, it is best to get the old SBS server booted and do a proper export and import of Exchange data using the Export-Mailbox and Import-Mailbox Powershell cmdlets.

If you can boot back the old SBS 2008 server you can use exmerge to extract the mailboxes:


For the public folders you'll have to copy them to PST from outlook.

You could also try DisktoVHD and then boot the old server as a Virtual maching then migrate the data.



I have trouble with my AD so I cant boot the server, and I don't have a local admin user to enter into Directory Services Restore Mode to try fix my ad....

Do you have a backup of your AD?

Alot of times when I run into this MS will have me install a separate install of windows so I can restore the AD files to the broken version of windows.


nope. Is it possible just to replace the edb files?

The only way that would work would be to make sure the server the edb files are going to is practically identical to the old server in terms of server name and exchange organization.

Distinguished Expert 2018
You can't replace the edb files, but you can mount them into a recovery storage group and them transfer the data. The process is documented here:
No you DO NOT replace the edb files.

What I suggest you to do, is the extract the .edb files from the hard drive (if you don't know how to do it bring the hard drive to any computer repair specialist shop they have the tools to take files off your hard drive).

Then have a look at the following link.

Exmerge ONLY works with pst less than 2Gb.

Recovery Storage Group mentioned above will also work too.