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BIG Problem with Exchange 2007 Mailbox Database

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Please help!!!

We have and Exchange 2007 server running on Windows Server 2003 R2 within a virtual enviroment (VMWare).

Recently BackupExec started failing to backup the store due to connectivity issues, however our clients could still connect without issue-sending and receiving messages.

The first storage group mailbox database is 99Gb.

I attempted a Microsoft Backup of the store which failed again due to a read error.

Prior to running ESEUTIL I really want a backup/copy of the database so I resorted to unmounting the database and undertaking a manual copy.  With 5 minutes of the copy to go, this failed with the following error in the Event Viewer:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      symmpi
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      9
Date:            21/02/2011
Time:            14:57:54
User:            N/A
Computer:      xxxxxx
Description:
The device, \Device\Scsi\symmpi1, did not respond within the timeout period.

Worrying that there was a problem with the disk a ran a Windows Disk Check, this reported no errors.

I then decided to clone the machine in the hope to have a backup prior to running ESEUTIL.  Sadly vSphere failed with the following error:

Error caused by file [Shared_DataStore1]Hermes/Hermes_1.vm-dk

No further detail was provided.

The server is back up and running again without any error and is receiving messages.  Obviously though there is something deeply wrong.

Any ideas as to how I could get a backup of the system in this cenario????

Yours...in panic
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Question by:wilmslowhighcheshire
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Randy_Bojangles
ID: 34950182
use the trial version of Veeam to see if that will do you a VMDK level backup

http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34950443
Hi,
Thank you for this.  I am just running a backup now (looks like it's going to take a while) and will let you know if it works.
I can then hopefully try and repair the exchange database with a degree of reassurance that I have a backup to fall back on.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Randy_Bojangles
ID: 34950453
Its a great product - use it with many of the schools and businesses we support with VM environments....

Not too expensive to an academic institution either - depending on your VM license
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34950551
sadly this has also encountered errors, although I can't see that it failed to authenticate as it backed up 6gb before it failed...

Backing up object "[Shared_DataStore1] Hermes/Hermes_1.vmdk"
BackupDiskFull failed
Client error: Failed to open VDDK disk [[Shared_DataStore1] Hermes/Hermes_1.vmdk] ( is read-only mode - [true] )
Failed to open VMDK.
Logon attempt with parameters [VC/ESX: [vc];Port: 443;Login: [administrator];VMX Spec: [moref=vm-934];Snapshot mor: [snapshot-1013];Transports: [san]] failed because of the following errors:
Failed to open VMDK.
Logon attempt with parameters [VC/ESX: [vc];Port: 443;Login: [administrator];VMX Spec: [moref=vm-934];Snapshot mor: [snapshot-1013];Transports: [nbd]] failed because of the following errors:

Server error: End of file

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34951157
Do you have any snapshots currently on this VM?

~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34951405
sadly no.....
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34951432
Well, from your Veeam log, we can see that something has a 'hold' on the VMDK, because it's only 'read only mode'. Do you have any .lck files in the VM's folder?

~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34952462
the image shows all of the files in the datastore.  there is a vmdk file even with the server shutdown. Datastore
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34952832
How many volumes are on your VM? Sometimes, snapshots are not referred to as 'delta' files, but the "_n" files (i.e. the '_1' files in your screenshot). So, I assume you don't see snapshots in Snapshot Mgr?
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34958986
Hi, the VM has two volumes.  As you say, I don't see any snapshots in Snapshot Manager.
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Author Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 34960385
Thank you all for your help.  I have decided to add another virtual disk to the server (on a different datastore), I have created a new mailbox database and am currently moving all of the mailboxes to the new mailbox database.  I will then remove the virtual disk that is causing the problem and hopefully rectify the problem of not being able to backup the Exchange server....I will submit a post if this works......(finger crossed).
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34960398
Good luck "wilmslowhighcheshire". Keep us posted!

~coolsport00
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Accepted Solution

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wilmslowhighcheshire earned 0 total points
ID: 34996118
Thankfully I managed to move mailboxes except one to the new store.  Interestingly enough, every attempt to move this mailbox caused the timeout on the drive, however I was able to still retrieve messages through Outlook.
All working again now.
Thank you everyone for your help and advice.
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Author Closing Comment

by:wilmslowhighcheshire
ID: 35042280
I have flagged this as partial due to the fact that the problem was not fixed as such, simply worked around.
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