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Filesystem-Level Exchange DB restore

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  • Filesystem-Level Exchange DB restore


    First time poster, long time reader

    I was wondering if the following is possible, but first some background.

    I recently performed a hardware migration using an imaging tool (Acronis True Image with Universal Restore). I am moving SBS2003 from an old Dell PE 4600 to a new PE 2950. At first this seemed successful, the new server came up OK. Sharepoint, DNS, DHCP, RRAS and so on all functioned fine. Also, the Exchange services came up fine as well, Exchange SA, Information Store and Router.

    However, I noticed when checked the ESM that the stores could not be mounted. ESEUTIL /g told me that both priv1.edb and pub1.edb were corrupt. I tried to recover, although this also failed, telling me the logs were corrupt. After speaking to the IT manager and explaing that a repair would almost certainly mean some lost data, he agreed that we would try the repair. (PST's in homedirs are used to archive important mail). After running ESEUTIL in repair mode, it appeared to have completed successfully. Running the integrity check (/G) also reported that both the db's were clean. However, I could still not mount the databases using the ESM.

    I initally thought that there might be a problem with the DB's on the current (old) hardware, but I can mount and dismount those databases perfectly.

    Would the following be possible, bearing in mind that both the old (current) server and the new server are practically identical (same schema, domain, names, IP's etc).

    1. Dismount stores on old server.
    2. Stop all Exchange services on old server.
    3. Copy Exchange databses (mdbdata folder) to external disk.
    4. Stop all Exchange services on new server.
    5. Copy mdbdata from external hard disk.
    6. Start services on new server.
    7. Mount stores on new server.

    I know the above would not be possible in normal migration/Exchange scenarios, but I was thinking it might be worth a try seeing as the servers are identical.

    If the above is not possible, I guess I will have to re-image the old server and restore again (a lengthy process). Incidently, I know that I should be able to mount these stores once I re-image the server, as we tested this in the office with a different image. It worked perfectly, as is the way with these things.

    To make matters worse, the old PE 4600 only has USB 1..1. SLOW!!! Anyway, any thought or ideas would be appreciated.

    Say a prayer to your Exchange god of choice for me

  • #2
    Re: Filesystem-Level Exchange DB restore

    I have done exactly your process many times without error (sure occasionally something goes wrong but for the most part the process is ok).

    Did you tell exchange using the ESM that the DB could be overwritten by restore because that is essentially what you are doing?


    This is a long way around and it may or may not help.
    A similar tool that we are using to provide DR is LiveState with Virtual Machines.
    Since you can get both for free under trial license, here is a possible scenario.

    If you can get a LiveState (Symantec now, but powerquest before I think) image of the SBS.
    Then install a Virtual machine onto a secondary machine. Import the LiveState Image into the Virtual machine and determine if the Exchange DB comes up.
    If the DB is ok under the VM, extract the DB and move it to the new hardware and start the services.



    • #3
      Re: Filesystem-Level Exchange DB restore

      Can't belive this. I didn't check "this database can be over-written by a restore".

      I am guessing that this is why ESEUTIL /G reported the DB's were OK, while the ESM wouldn't mount them.

      Anyway - time got in the way of this. I am going to attempt to re-image the whole server with a new image.