exchange restore - emergency

raid 5, one disk is down.

we have mail store/DB file all on the D drive.

Can we dismount the DB, COPY everything out to a temp disk
disable the exchange service
boot server, redo another raid, also give make it D drive in the OS
login OS, copy everything from temp disk to D
enable the exchange service,  remount the data store.

does anyone know these steps will work to restore a exchange 07 server?


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robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
for some reason, DPM wont work to restore...
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
What's the Emergency?

With RAID 5 and one disk down, the server should still be functioning happily, if not a little slow.

Replace the failed HDD and all should be well.
robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
it is a 3 disk raid 5, we ordered the hot swapable disk, the system just does not take it.
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robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
and the mailbox server is very slow now, and we do not want to take the risk to reboot the server.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
What make / model of server do you have?

What type are the HDD's?
robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
HP server DL 380...the original disk is WD, the replacement disk is seagate. this might be the reason...
Since you have no current backup (I assume, due to the urgency), then agreed, priority is to do a backup while beginning a parallel effort to replace the failed drive.   Note that you already have risk of data loss.  If there is a bad block on any surviving disk then you HAVE lost data, but hopefully that is not the case.

Also when you get the replacement drive, all the I/O on other disks put a great deal of stress, and many times failures come in two ...

I would scramble and get a small USB drive, shut down the DB and kick off a backup since DPM doesn't work.  If you have plenty of network bandwidth, then use one of the nice automated FTP file transfer programs.   Prioritize the files that would put the greatest hurt on you if you lost them.   (Use both network and direct copy if you can).  

But once you back up, then what is your concern with just replacing the failed drive and letting it rebuild?  Even if you have ancient 4.5GB or even 500MB disks, then as long as it is same interface then most RAID controllers would accept a larger capacity disk and do a rebuild.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I wouldn't be personally concerned as you have an HP server.  As mentioned by dlethe, as long as the drive you replace the failed one with is the same size or larger, it should accept it and rebuild the array.

What Generation of DL380 is it and are the disks SATA or SCSI?
robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
so, you mean if i physically COPY these storage group/DB folders, files and keep them in the same structure.
after i rebuild the array - the new D driver, - i COPY these files back.
restart the exchange related service

can i successfully re-mount the database, or saying restore the exchange server?

robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
sorry, it is DL 180g6
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I would invest in a couple of new drives (same size or larger) and then build the array with a Hot-Spare, so that should a drive fail next time around, then the Hot-Spare will kick in a rebuild the info that was sitting on the failed drive automatically.

Is there anything other than the Exchange Database(s) on the D: drive?

Dismounting the stores and copying the .EDB and .STM files to a USB drive would work happily, then re-mounting the stores would give you a backup you can easily recover from.
Yes, but rebuilding the array is not destructive .. the controller stays online, your data stays on line.  I"d only be concerned if you went out to a local PC store and got a retail desktop drive, instead of the nearline SATA disks with the HP firmware on them.

(But if no backup, again, prioritize doing that first. )
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You may also have to get a Battery Backed Write Cache to be able to add the Hot-Spare Drive, but it will be money well spent IMHO.

Do you have the P410 controller?
robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
yes, we will buy couple new hard drives and raid 5 as well.
the only problem here i aam not quite sure, - i used to restore exchange server from some backup software - either DPM or backupexec.

but this time, we do not have the option. all i can do might be copying the files out.
that is why i am asking: disable exchange service - dismount- copy out - redo D drive - copy back - enable exchange service, remount DB?

please confirm above steps will work.

Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You don't need to disable exchange - just dismount the stores and copy the database files somewhere.

If you do this nightly until you have your drives in a happier way, then you have a fallback plan, but you may lose some mail if your drives crap out just before you backup.

Is AD housed on a separate server?

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robinyanwangAuthor Commented:
AD is on a different server -

updates: after reboot, the server takes the new drive and the array is rebuilding.
for DPM server, also got it to work now, it is the disk space issue caused the unsuccesful backup.

we are back to good shape...thanks guys.
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