Backup Exchange 2010 Mailboxes

I need to backup either the entire database or the mailboxes on a Exchange 2010 server b/c it's in a 2003 domain.  I have to wipe out both servers, load with Server 2013/Exchange 2010 and restore the database or mailboxes.  What's the safest way to make sure I get all the mail data back.
Dunbar StPaulPresidentAsked:
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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:

The best way would be to create an another machine of Windows Server 2012 install Exchange 2010 in that make sure that the Cumulative update of the Exchange is same as production and then try to perform a hard recovery. You can also try moving the mailboxes to another DB hosted on another server if you're running DAG

Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:

You can try referring the below link for Soft & Hard recovery for exchange.

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The safest way is a swing migration.
The wipe/restore method isn't a good route to go through for a server OS upgrade because it puts you at risk. What happens if your backup fails so the backup you have isn't valid. It isn't unusual for a backup to report it was successful but a restore to fail.

Your reason for doing so isn't clear.
Is the server also a domain controller, or are you trying to move to a new domain/forest? A domain upgrade doesn't need the server to be wiped.

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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:

Even if the servers are not part of a DAG. You can move the mailboxes from the production server to the new server instead of getting into hard recovery or soft recovery mechanisms. Just install the new Exchange 2010 server in Windows Server 2012 R2 and then start moving mailboxes from the production system.

Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Add a new 2012 server with the version of exchange you want, migrate the mail to the new server and then decomission the old servers. After that, you can format them and install an updated version of Windows server on those units.

This is the safest and most supported process. I've done it multiple times and it works well.

Hope this helps!
Vincent BurtonCommented:
Above suggested steps and references looks good to get this job done.

However, to gather more information in depth, you may also walk through below given link.

Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Server Backup and Recovery:

Hope it helps you!
Dunbar StPaulPresidentAuthor Commented:
Server #1 is SBS2003
Server #2 is Server 2008 R2

The client was exceeding the limits (75GB) of the SBS Exchange database so I joined Server #2 to the domain and installed Exchange 2010, then I migrated the mailboxes from S#1 to S#2 - this got them by for a year but something went haywire (virus, who knows).  I need to wipe out both servers, create a new domain and install Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 or 2012 on S#1 and Server 2008 or 2012 and terminal services on S#2.  That means both server need to be erased at the same time and I need the data somewhere else so I can restore it back into Exchange.  If Server #1 (SBS) goes down, Server #2 can't load Exchange.  What if I make Server #2 a backup domain controller, then maybe it would stay running long enough to migrate the mailboxes to a newly formatted and loaded Server2012/Exchange 2010 server.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
For that scenario, you are not going to be able to backup the database and restore it.
While it is kind of possible to get a database to mount in to another forest, it will be a huge mess. Therefore you are looking at a PST export rebuild and then a PST import.

If you have licences for Windows 2012 then I would use VM technology so you can have domain controllers on both machines (you get two VM licences with every standard edition of Windows).

Don't try and load too much in to a single instance of Windows - it will cause you loads of problems. Terminal Services needs to have its own server, not coexisting with anything else and Exchange shouldn't be installed on to a domain controller.

You need to do a lot of planning, this isn't something that can be done overnight - you need a three day weekend at least. It can take a day to build the domain and Exchange alone (with patching etc). That isn't taking in to account the data export and then the recreation of the accounts, permissions, group policy etc. Then each workstation has to be added to the new domain, profiles moved about etc.


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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
I object to closing this ticket with no points awarded. I suggest awarding 25% of the points to each exports that responded.
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