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Restore Exchange Mailboxes from WSB backup but without a server.

Posted on 2014-08-04
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Last Modified: 2014-08-07
I have a client with a Small Business Server 2008 that has failed.  The server is 5+ years old and as there are only 6 users we have decided not to repair / rebuild, but to move to Hosted Exchange and use a NAS drive for file storage.

I have a full backup on a USB drive made using Windows Server Backup.  As this was SBS2008, this client has a separate server running SQL server.  That is still up and running OK so I was able to use WSB on that machine to restore all the data files to that server and then move them to the new NAS drive from there.  All good so far.

I have been able to recover email from each user's Outlook by Exporting to PST and importing that into the new profiles I created to connect to the new Hosted Exchange accounts.

I was really pleased with myself until I realised that the exported email taken from each user's Outlook only goes back 1 year.  I assume that the old OST files just cached 12 months data & no more.

So I have a full WSB backup with the old Exchange on.  I have access to a server running Windows Server 2008 (the SQL server) but I don't have anything running Exchange.  

Any advise on how I can recover the data in the Exchange Mailboxes that is older than 12 months (preferably without needing to install Exchange ...)
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Question by:WestcountryBusiness
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Accepted Solution

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McKnife earned 2000 total points
ID: 40238828
You might be lucky using http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/exchange-edb-viewer.html to Mount the edb database. You can get your Hands on that database of you mounted the VHD file that the Server backup creates. Windows 7 or 8 and higher can Mount vhd files directly into Explorer.
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by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40238839
Thanks for that.  It looks interesting but it looks like that software will allow me to view the contents of the ebd database and save some data as HTML but not export into PST (or similar).

If so, it would mean I couldn't use it to recover email in a format I could then import into each user's own Outlook.  Is that correct?  

It's still better than what I have now though :)
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40238858
Correct, it cannot do much other than view the mails. I would install Exchange Server Trial and Mount he database in a test System, then use powershell to Export mailboxes to pst files.
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Author Comment

by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40238867
Thanks.  I thought I might need to do that.

I'm going to message the guys providing the Hosted Exchange service in case it's something they can do too.

I'll give your suggestions a try when I'm next on site with this client, which will probably be Wednesday, and report back.
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Author Comment

by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40238927
Looks like the Hosting Service can't help with the recovery so it's down to me.

I see I can download a Trial of Exchange 2013 from here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-IN/evalcenter/hh973395.aspx

Do you know if I will be able to restore the SBS2008 backup directly into Exchange 2013 or will I need to run some sort of conversion?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40238988
No, you will have to try.
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Author Comment

by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40238997
Fair enough.  I'll give it a go ..
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Author Comment

by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40245588
I managed to get to old server up and running (at least temporarily) but long enough to export the data I needed from it.  Very relieved.  Thanks for your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:WestcountryBusiness
ID: 40245590
Although the accepted solution wasn't the solution I ultimately went for, it would have been my best choice had I not been able to recover the original server, so no faulting the advice given.
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