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Need to recover email from backed up Exchange database

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

I have a client whose Windows 2003 Small Business Server crashed -- motherboard problem and it's not worth fixing. They've been dutifully backing up their Exchange database every night using NTBACKUP, so I have a copy of the most recent backed up database.

My problem is...I have no idea what to do with it! They're a fairly small organization and have decided to NOT replace the server -- they've signed up with a hosted Exchange service.

So I won't ever have a server with the same configration back. Even if they did buy a new server, it would be runnign Windows 2008.

I have a Windows 2003 Standard Edition server in my office, but when I try to restore the Exchange backup, it's looking to restore it to an Exchange installation.

Is there a relatively easy way to just get the emails out of there in PST format? Maybe even a service for hire to do something like that?

Thanks,

Tom
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Question by:tgreendyk
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6 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
cdsathya earned 167 total points
ID: 34903496
Hi..

Install Exchange 2003 in new server (windows 2008)
Install service pack

after Exchange installation

follow this steps

1.Click Start, point to Run, type NTBACKUP and click Ok (or press Enter).
2.If the Backup or Restore Wizard appears, on the Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Advanced Mode.


3.Click on the Restore and Managed Media tab.
4.On the Restore and Managed Media tab expand the Catalog file that holds the backup set you wish to restore. Select the specific store you wish to restore.


In case that the catalog is not displayed in the list of available catalogs, click on the Tools menu and choose Catalog a Backup File. Browse to the file you want to use and click ok.



5.After selecting the correct store, click on the Start Restore button.
In the Temporary location for the Log and Patch files box enter C:'Temp or similar. If this is the only (or last) Restore Set (i.e. You won't be restoring any more files) make sure you select the Last Restore Set check-box.

When you're ready to begin, click Ok.



6.The restore process will begin. Wait till you get a Complete status and then go back to the Exchange System Manager snap-in.
7.In Exchange System Manager, browse to Administrative Groups'First Administrative Group'Servers'servername'First Storage Group, and then click Mailbox Store or the Public Store, depending on the store you've just restored.
8.In the console tree, right-click store and then click Mount Store.
If all goes well, you should be getting a progress window telling you that the store is currently mounting (BTW, this is one of the weirdest GUI progress bars I've seen, as it always stays at 66%...).

After the store has been successfully mounted, test it by trying to log on as one of the users that has a mailbox on that store.

Note that you might have older mailboxes on the restored store (it all depends on the restore scenario you had), and then you'll need to reconnect these mailboxes to a new users in Active Directory. I'll discuss this process in an article that's about to be published soon.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:omesie
ID: 34903513
Are you able to restore the actual exchange database / log files to disk?
There are applications you can get to convert the database to PST files but you'll need to restore the database first.
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Author Comment

by:tgreendyk
ID: 34903532
I've seen the applications that can convert EDB to PST, which I'd like to use. I'm trying to figure out how to restore the files to disk, though.

Could I be using the NTBACKUP restore feature incorrectly? When I start it and catalog the Exchange backup file, I can see the Logs, Mail Store and Public Store folders. When I check the boxes to restore, the path and Browse button get grayed out and a dialog box opens up with a server name to restore to. I don't currently have an Exchange installation -- is that the bad news? That I need to create an Exchange 2003 environment to restore to?

Thanks,

Tom
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:Postmaster
Postmaster earned 166 total points
ID: 34903662
There are tools that can get a PST directly from a tape - no exchange needed - but they can be costly.
One that I know of (but have not used direct from tape) is OnTrack.

http://www.ontrackpowercontrols.com/

It may even be worth outsourcing the work to them or another data recovery business.
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Assisted Solution

by:zipp83
zipp83 earned 167 total points
ID: 34904376
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Author Closing Comment

by:tgreendyk
ID: 34905757
OK, thanks everyone. I guess the part I was hoping to avoid was to build a server just for restoring the data, but it looks like that's the route I'll have to take.

Tom
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