Exchange 2010 test recovery

ITSMEPJB used Ask the Experts™
Can anyone point me to, or supply, a walk through of an Exchange 2010 test recovery procedure?

I backup my entire exchange server and check the backup logs etc. but as I am only too aware this doesn't necessarily mean the backup files are any good. As part of our disaster recovery plan I need to regularly (once a month) bring back the whole (or part of) the exchange database to prove its consistency without affecting the online database.

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I've never seen this fully described anywhere online, although someone else may know of one.  But I will share a recent experience with you, in case it helps.  I recently did a baremetal backup/recovery of my E2010 server.  I did this so that I could replace the fixed disk, which was running out of space.  I have to say it worked beautifully, and I am amazed how easy the whole thing was.  If you wanted to include baremetal recovery as part of you backup strategy, it would be a simple thing to try, but you would need a spare server (I'm sure just a spare PC would do for this purpose) to restore to as part of your test (do it in isolation, so as not to confuse your AD).  Or even just a replacement fixed disk placed in your existing server, if you wanted to try to restore the OS to that.  Of course, you'd need to do that when no-one else is around.

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