Exchange 2007 server rebuild

Hello, I need your advice

We have an Exchange 2007 server Ver 8.1 (build 240.6), running on Server 2008.
The Operating system has become unpatcheable, and it does not matter how many times I run the sfc /scannow and the sp2 prep pack, it still will not sort itself out.
I have come to a crunch point, as Backup exec kept locking the server up whilst backing up, and had a major or caused a major RPC memory leak, so uninstalled Backup exec, and tried to install Windows Backup, and that won’t happen either.

So after deciding to rebuild and very little ability to backup, I have borrowed a server, put Windows 2008 64 bit (not R2) so it is identical to the current server, and then installed Exchange 2007. I have left 2007 unlicensed as I should have this all finished in 2/3 weeks.

I have been able to move a couple of test mailboxes to the new server and able to send and receive external email.

Questions (as I have not had to do this before, so looking for reassurance from the Experts)

What next,
1)      move all mailboxes, re-home the connectors on new server, set up Public Folder replication ? Have I missed anything
2)      Uninstall – Decommission the first server, are there instructions, as this is the first exchange server in the site and AD Forest
3)      Rebuild, re-install the OS, Reinstall Exchange, Apply Licence Keys
4)      Move everything back to original server, ensure it all works, and then decommission to remove the 2nd server

Any links to Trustworthy articles on how to do this would be much appreciated, as this is making me as nervous as hell, and with no working backup, Time is not on my side, otherwise we are going to end up in log floods, and all sorts of Nasty stuff.


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A simpler option might be to perform a recovery. This would certainly be quicker in the long run. This guide should give you all you need to know.

Basically the high level steps would be

Backup or copy the exchange databases / log files to another location
Take note of server name, IP address, storage locations (mount points if your using them) etc as these all have to be the same.
Blow away the old server (just reinstall Windows)
Reset the computer account in AD for the Exchange Server
Build the new server with the same partition sizes, drive letters and application paths (if Exchange binaries are on D: for example)
Rejoin the Domain
The Re-install Exchange using the recoverserver switch, this re-installs Exchange back to as it was before you blew it away. (All the configuration data for Exchange is stored in AD)
The you can copy the databases/logfiles back to their original locations, mount them and job done.

Now of course this is going to consume a degree of downtime and if your not happy doing this and want to continue with the transition appoach then your pretty much there already,
You would move all mailboxes from old to new (enable circular logging to manage transaction log growth, be aware this limits recoverability though)
You would run the AddReplicaToRecursive.PS1 script to add the new server as a replica for public folder replication. Depending on the size of your public folders, this may take some time.
You would then run the [PS] C:>Update-PublicFolderHeirachy to ensure the move process includes the default site folders
You would then run MoveAllReplicas.ps1 from old to new to effectively move all the public folders from old to new and remove old from replication
You would assign the mailboxes to use the new public folder database (get-mailbox | set-mailbox -Publicfoilderdatabase (new))
You would move OfflineAddressBook Generation to the new server

At this point you should be able to uninstall Exchange 2007 from the old server although in my experience your likely to get tied up with a legacy unmovable folders such as ExchangeV1 that prevent you from clearing down the old database. If this happens, you would need to dismount the database and remove it in ADSIEDIT but if it clears down cleanly and uninstalls cleanly (not 100% certain due to its inconsistent condition) then you can rebuild the server, re-install Exchange again and run though the second part of this post again, re-create connectors, move mailboxes, sync public folders etc etc before then having to decomission the temporay environment.

These are high level steps, I hope I didnt miss anything but as you can see the recovery process might end up being quicker.

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bubble3Author Commented:
Thanks for the Information, I have had a read through, and will be attempting to Move and rebuild this weekend. I will award the Points once done succesfully and and cebrating finsihing this particular Headache
bubble3Author Commented:

Followed your advise and it worked a treat. Something was certianly wrong on the old server, as it took weeks to move the mailboxes to the Temp server. Once the Original was rebuilt, moved everyhting back in a weekend.

bubble3Author Commented:
If you are not an Expert in managing Exchange, then read the Microsoft Documents in dpreston68 post, and make sure you understand your senario and the Follow your senario.
You need to undertand/research how to shift Certificates, the Exchnage URLs for the Exchange WebServices, but change your DNS, then clear teh bugs that crop up with other excellent posts within the forum.

If you have a clean backup, which I did not, then use Recovey method as suggested by Radweld.
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