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Exchange Backup

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  • Exchange Backup

    Hello everybody,

    I was wandering what's the best possible way to backup the Exchange data. Now I make a full copy (with open file backup enabled) of the whole Exchange folder with the MDB files included.

    Now I'm wondering if restore will work in a case where the compleet server is destroyed and I have to build a new one..
    Can I retrieve the mail data from that backupped copy of the complete exchange folder of the destroyed server?

    Can anyone enlightening me and any suggestions are welcome..

    With best regards,


  • #2
    Re: Exchange Backup

    I don't think your restore will work, because you need to backup more than that. For a very good rundown on what to do see for Microsoft Technet video training on how to backup and restore Exchange Server 2003 and mailboxes. It also includes information on backing up System State and IIS. You need to backup the IIS metabase. It also talks about replacing an Exchange server, so should be of interest.
    Best wishes,
    MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008


    • #3
      Re: Exchange Backup

      Thanks Paul,

      I will follow your link..




      • #4
        Re: Exchange Backup

        Also verify that your backup server does not have a default file exlusion filter. Certain versions of BackupExec have this and won't backup the mdb files, etc. even with the directories selected. It's recommended not to try to backup the physical files directly but to use an Exchange aware backup program to backup the Information Store. Note also that backing up your mailboxes only and not the IS will also preclude a successful restore.


        • #5
          Re: Exchange Backup

          The use of an open file agent will not provide a valid backup of Exchange - the same applies to SQL files.

          Those files are databases and therefore need to be backed up using an Exchange aware backup application. Furthermore the method that you are using is not seen by Exchange as a valid backup, so will not flush the transaction logs or clear mailboxes and other items that are set not to be deleted until a backup is completed.

          You basically have two options.
          1. Purchase the Exchange agent for your backup application and configure it to backup the Information Store. The backup application does not need to backup any other part of the Exchange directories, as in the event of a restore you would only be restoring the data, not the application files.

          2. Use NTBACKUP on the Exchange server to backup the information store. While NTBACKUP is not the most user friendly application it does work correctly and is how I backup my home Exchange server. You can either backup to disk and then pickup the backup file with everything else using another Backup tool to get it to tape, or backup straight to tape.

          Simon Butler
          Exchange MVP

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          • #6
            Re: Exchange Backup

            I echo what everyone else has said about your current approach to backing up your Exchange environment. However if you were to need access to the data that you have backed up now there is software called Ontrack Power Controls that allows you to take your raw Exchange DB files and mount those and then export to .PST etc. Also once it mounts the DBs you can see each users mailbox and drill down with the interface and open messages and attachments almost as if you were in Outlook.

            There again backup the whole IS and not just the Exchange folder.