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How to restore distribution groups in MS Exchange server 2007?

We need to find out how to restore a distribution group in MS Exchange Server 2007 that contains both internal and external contacts.  I am trying to find out of a way to restore the distribution group without having to restore the whole server.

I am also trying to find out if Exchange has a configuration file where it keeps the distribution list and members.  I could restore this file from a backup if I knew it existed, and where.

Luis
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Luis Mendoza
Asked:
Luis Mendoza
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3 Solutions
 
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
distribution groups are active directory objects and not on the exchange server itself
unless you have the AD recycle bin enabled or do AD restore, you won't get it back
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Distribution Groups are stored in Active Directory. So this AD Object is currently in the hidden deleted items container in Active Directory. You can use LDP.EXE to restore objects that are in the Deleted Items container. The below link will illustrate how to do this.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/5549.recover-active-directory-deleted-items-using-ldp-exe.aspx

Will.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
@Seth -
unless you have the AD recycle bin enabled or do AD restore
You can restore objects from the deleted items container (hidden container) in active directory without having the recycle bin feature enabled.

As long as the objects have not reached their tomestoned period 60 days for 2000/2003 and 180 for 2008 and up by default.

Will.
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
looking into these options.  thanks guys!
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
ok,
1.  We are on the correct level forest but we do not have the AD Recycle Bin enabled.

2.  I try to use the ldap.exe program to find the tombstones but did not find any of the deleted objects, output was zero entries on a test OU, and No children found in the CN=deleted objects partition.

However, we were able to recreate the lost group by reviewing the email headers on old archive mail.

Any thoughts on why I could not find anything?  I followed at least a couple of different articles about using this feature but did not work on our 2008 R2 environment.

thanks,
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
I try to use the ldap.exe program to find the tombstones but did not find any of the deleted objects, output was zero entries on a test OU, and No children found in the CN=deleted objects partition.

Did you follow the correct steps? If items were deleted recently then they will in fact be in the hidden deleted items container. You need to follow the steps carefully. and it is LDP.exe not ldap.exe.

Will.
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
Correction, I used the LDP.exe program.  I tried to follow the steps as close as possible.

Question:  If I delete something in (for example), OU=test_user, DC=mydomain, dc=com, when searching do I search in this location for a deleted object?

or do I search in what seems to be the default location for deleted objects, cn=deleted objects,dc=mydomain,dc=com?
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
I have used the article that I have provided many of times with no issues. In fact I just used it in my lab and it worked no issues. Just follow the exact steps (screenshots provided).

Question:  If I delete something in (for example), OU=test_user, DC=mydomain, dc=com

Based on the comment above you have the incorrect syntax. Test_user is not an OU is a CN=test_user.......

Also to answer your question you use the "cn=deleted objects,dc=mydomain,dc=com"

Make sure that your syntax is 100% accurate or it will not work.

Will.
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
I was able to recover the email group, and members from an archived email a while back.  However, I think the solutions you provided may have also addressed the issue.  Thanks,
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
No objections.
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Luis MendozaAuthor Commented:
Not the best solution however, it was the last resort without having to restore the exchange server in a test environment.
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