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How Browse Old System State Backups?

Posted on 2013-05-20
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Last Modified: 2013-05-27
My company is migrating to Exchange Online from on-premises Exchange 2003.  

When a user is migrated, the info pointing to the correct on-premises Exchange database is removed from AD, though I expect that a system state backup still retains that info.

Is there a tool available that works like this:

1.  Locate system state backup from correct timeframe and restore to a file

2.  Use this tool to browse the file for the AD user object of a person prior to migrating to Exchange Online

3.  Extract the Exchange database information in the AD user object

4.  Restore this Exchange database to extract the e-mails for the person to a .pst file

I explicitly want to stay away from our production AD and don't have a dev AD for this purpose.  Maybe that's part of the real solution!

Thanks for your help - Brian
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Question by:brodeck
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 39184717
If you are in the process of migrating, and you are looking at old backups, the real question is what capabilities does your old backup software have?

Most backup packages don't have a granular restore of AD, so you wouldn't be able to do that. Does your backup software catalog your Exchange backups? You should be able to browse the catalog if there is one. How many databases do you have? I would think that with a reasonable number of databases you would be able to just browse then for the mailbox.
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Author Comment

by:brodeck
ID: 39186111
Thanks for your reply Kevin.

We use CommVault v8, and to my knowledge it does not catalog the Exchange backups.  

We also have approx 50 Exchange databases to look through - 5 per storage group, 4 storage groups per server and three active servers plus a failover.

Am I correct in the understanding that a system state backup includes the Active Directory user objects and their properties?  I want to get a copy of the system state restore file and use some sort of tool to browse it.

Thanks again -
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 39186218
The system state backup of domain controllers includes AD, and the Commvault agent may have a separate job for AD. This sounds like something you should talk to a Commvault support engineer about. I have never used it.
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Author Comment

by:brodeck
ID: 39200200
Thanks everyone for your help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:brodeck
ID: 39200205
At least I have a direction for investigation.
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