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  • restoring exchange backups

    Hello,

    my situation is as follows.

    We have a number of Windows 2000 servers and a couple of them are running Exchange.
    Last weekend one of the exchange servers crashed. We have reinstalled a new server with Windows 2000 and exchange. Now all went well. Except for one minor thing. We had full C drive backups and M drive backups.
    We have restored the backups of the users email on the new server which works without any problems. Only the contact and calender items are not readable by any of the users. We can see the .ELM files in the directories (message, email and calender *.elm files) although with Outlook they aren't readable.

    The server's backup program is simple ms backup on DDS4 tapes.

    Any help to make the contact files and calenders readable for the users is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: restoring exchange backups

    From reading your post I see that you people have done something terribly wrong.

    Repeat after me:

    I will not backup the M drive, nor will I scan it for viruses, as it is not a real drive but only a representation of the Exchange DB.

    Good MS got rid of it (at least on the surface) on EX2003, and totally got rid of it on E12...

    Had you backed up your DB by using a normal Exchange-aware backup software, or even good ol' NTBACKUP, all would have been fine. The restore would have been quite simple to perform. But since you did something that is totally worng to do, I think you should be glad you were lucky enough to get at least some of the info back.

    If I didn't understand correctly, please correct me and provide all the relevant info.
    Cheers,

    Daniel Petri
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
    MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: restoring exchange backups

      I will not backup the M drive, nor will I scan it for viruses, as it is not a real drive but only a representation of the Exchange DB.

      sorry. . and indeed I know. For your information, the admins on our network have separated tasks. Meaning I initially only did network and AD design and 2 others are in control over backups, day-to-day operations and such. Now it has gone wrong and my phone rings again.

      Your conclusion is correct.

      So hypothetically, if we would just have backup-ed the C drive we could have restored the database files of Exchange from the C drive and all would have gone well?
      In that case we could use the backup of specific files on the C drive to restore them. Or did we really needed an Information Store backup in NTBACKUP.

      Btw. thanks for your quick reply.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: restoring exchange backups

        No, backing up C doesn't help, unless of course the Exchange DBs were located on C (which on itself was a wrong thing to do, performance-wise). To backup Exchange you use 3rd-party backup tools that are Exchange-aware and can backup the DB while it is online, or use NTBACKUP on one of the Exchange servers, it too will allow you to backup live DBs. The backing up of the IIS Metabase has nothing to do with the Exchange DB (although it should be also backed up due to other reasons).

        Now what do you do now. I don't know. If you think you can salvage the old Exchange stores (i.e. the EDB and STM files for each store) then you might be able to do something with that. If not, say thank God you got something out of the M drive and plan for the future. If I were you I'd go for a complete store re-build, grab anything I can now from the user's mailboxes by eporting items to PSTs, and the importing them to the new store into brand new mailboxes. No dot count on your current store, as it seems to be in a very bad shape.

        I have some articles on my site talking about backup and restore operations. Read them for your future planning.
        Cheers,

        Daniel Petri
        Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
        MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: restoring exchange backups

          The Exchange server which crashed was a minor one (we have 6 servers on different locations, this one was the smallest holding just over 150 users). Most other locations are using Veritas to backup everything. So it's typically a situation in which the weakest chain in the network has gone down.

          As it was a minor server (just mend to be used for about 2 months, it's has been running over half a year now as local government budgets don't allow us the flexibility we want to. This will be a good case to get a bigger budget for ICT resources) all data was stored on the C drive. So we should be able to recover the individual store files.

          I just hoped MS would have a “secret” restore option I wasn't aware of to get the data back.

          Anyway. What we'll do now. I'll see what we can salvage from the EDB and STM files. Export all users Exchange data on the current email server as PST's. And import it together with whatever we can salvage from the old stores in new user Exchange profiles.

          Thanks for your guidance, and if you like I can let you know how it turned out in a couple of days ?

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