SBS 2008 R2 Exchange Database Backup

Hi.. can anyone please advise me how to make a backup copy of our Exchange Database (Email & Shared Calendars)? We are using Windows SBS 2008 R2 on our server.  I would prefer not to use the Windows SBS Backup utility (if possible), but would like to COPY the data files to an external hard drive for safe keeping while our boot hard drives are replaced.  Thank you for your help.  - Bill
William LarkinAsked:
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Hello,

Dismount your stores then copy the directories containing your database and log files to the external drive.

JJ
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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
You have a few options. You can export all email accounts to PST files using powershell:
foreach ($i in (Get-Mailbox)) { New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox $i -FilePath "\\server\folder\$($i.Alias).pst" }

http://www.stevieg.org/2010/07/using-the-exchange-2010-sp1-mailbox-export-features-for-mass-exports-to-pst/

You can use windows backup which you have said you do not wish to use

you can purchase or even evaluate for 60 days Backup Exec 2010.

I would recommend looking at Backup Exec if you are planning on doing this a lot but exporting to PST files works very well as well but takes manual intervention.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. can you please be just a little more verbose.. I'm not a novice at computer work, but have never dismounted an exchange directory.. (that I can recall) Would it be possible for you to explain that a little more.. and how to find the location of the database and log files? thanks again. - Bill
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. thanks for your comment.. Zindel1.. does this work for shared calendar files also? Thanks. Bill
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
1. Open Exchange System Manager
2. Expand Server Configuration - Mailbox
3. Click on your server in the top pane
4. Right-click your storage group in the bottom pane and select Properties
5. Note the Log Path
6. Note the Database File Path
7. Right-click the database and select Dismount Database.
8. Copy the two folders you noted above.
9. Right-click the database and select Mount Database
10. Repeat 4-9 for each database

JJ
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
I would recommend against exporting to PST as a disaster recovery option. It will be far easier to recover if you have copies of the database and log files.

JJ
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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
wmlarkin...this will work for all files and folders. If you have public folders then that is a different story but the shared calendars will be exported with whoever owns the calendar. I would not recommend dismounting the database and copying the files, though it does work i think working with a PST file is much easier.

if you need a public folder exported its best to use outlook to export it to a pst file.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
In a disaster scenario, all he has to do is copy the database and log files back to the server and you will not only recover the mailbox data but also metadata, such as mailbox rules and permissions on those shared calendars. Rebuilding from PST files would be a lot more work, including losing those rules and permissions.

JJ
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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
The best way to make sure to prevent a disaster is to use a system state backup using windows backups. But you are correct that you would be able to do a restore with the database. Or hey even do both just to be 120% sure.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Yes, I agree. Ideally, what should happen here is that he should take a system state and Exchange backup using either Windows Backup or a 3rd party backup solution. Without a system state backup, AD will not be backed up and a recovery will not be possible.

JJ
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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
I would recommend using windows backup for this, it really is a good tool for a one time use or like i said do an eval of backup exec as this is easy to setup as well. just whatever you do, take a full system backup and you will get everything you need.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. I'm "soaking" this all in.. really.. our major problem is that we are running out of space on our boot hard drive.. so, I'm not sure that I have enough free space to install any backup utility.. and this is why I wanted just to "copy" the files.. now it sounds like that might not be possible if a disaster happens and I need to restore.. so.. I will attempt to do the SBS backup and make the necessary backups (system state, and exchange) and see if it will finish properly.. (though it has been freezing.. I believe due to lack of hard drive space).  Thanks again. - Bill
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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
What you can do if hard drive space is an issue, just install a new drive that is larger and move your database to the new one. That is a very easy thing to do through exchange management console.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd351168%28v=exchg.141%29.aspx
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. the goal really is not to "move" my exchange database.. but to back it up properly so I can put in a larger boot hard drive as I am out of room, but not due to exchange data.. I just want to make sure that it is "safe" in case of disaster.  Thank you for your help.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
update.. I did not have enough disk drive room to use SBS Backup.. so I am using BackupExec System Recovery (that was already installed) to see if it will complete.. then I will go about changing my drive setup to have a larger boot drive.  Thanks. - Bill
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