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Old 04-03-2012, 19:13   #1
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Exchange 2003 and Moving Mailstores

Wonder if anyone can tell me if this would work or not ?

Our mail server had what appeared to be a power issue. After two days of faffing around by our maintenance company we had to put a temporary exchange server in pace to get things flowing. We did not name the server the same name as the old one as we were hoping to get it back. Turns out the raid array was fried. All six disk's were blown up. We are not sure how but they were not recoverable and its not coming back.

We have a back disc image of the exchange mailstore and have recovered the mail from into pst's as were are looking at a new mail server in the next 10 days and users do not need their old emails urgently.

So were are at the stage we want to edit the mailstore location for users from the old store to the new one on active directory. To do that you need the old mailstore in place to be able to move it I believe. Will just putting in a server with the same name as the old mailserver with the same store name even if its empty fool windows into letting us change the location of the mailstore ? If not we have to delete each users mailbox and start again which is a bit of a pain. Currently we have users logging into a different windows account to read their emails which is being forwarded by the exchange active directory accounts linked to the old mail server.


Hope that makes sense ?
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Old 04-03-2012, 19:52   #2
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Not sure if I'm reading your scenario right, but you should join the new server to the domain with the same name as the old Exchange box (reset the computer account). Install Exchange and service packs using /disasterrecovery, then restore your backed up DB's.

Have you had a look at any TechNet white papers?

Edit And can you be my customer? 12 day window to get your Exchange back up and running?!

Last edited by Francis; 04-03-2012 at 19:54.
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Old 04-03-2012, 20:47   #3
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I see what you are trying to do but no you can't just build a new empty server and call it the same name, you need to restore the backup of the dead server including all databases and system state, onto the new or repaired hardware, then replay any logs you have since the last backup. Any deviation from the standard recovery process leads to uber pain.
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Old 04-03-2012, 21:22   #4
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I was reading your 'disc image' as just being the information store, but if you have a full backup of system state and data you should be restoring it like Kenny says.

If it is just the store, I'd recommend going down the install with /disasterrecovery switch route
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Old 04-03-2012, 21:32   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyVader View Post
I see what you are trying to do but no you can't just build a new empty server and call it the same name, you need to restore the backup of the dead server including all databases and system state, onto the new or repaired hardware, then replay any logs you have since the last backup. Any deviation from the standard recovery process leads to uber pain.
Thought as much. Just to be clear I am not trying to restore exchange and the mailstore , just getting active directory to see the mailstore name from the old server so we can move it. We have not changed the active directory since the old server went down so it seems daft you can move it to an empty mailstore but not back again.


It's probably going to be quicker to red-do the logins. The exchange back up is on tape and is just too slow to reinstall. Took around 7 hours to recover one mailbox . In the end we put it to a disk file and just exported the pst's with a third party app. We only have 65 users so can be done within a day I think.

Last edited by Kevb; 04-03-2012 at 21:39.
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Old 04-03-2012, 21:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis View Post
I was reading your 'disc image' as just being the information store, but if you have a full backup of system state and data you should be restoring it like Kenny says.

If it is just the store, I'd recommend going down the install with /disasterrecovery switch route
We did try a restore at first but kept getting different failure messages which were seemingly random. Mailstore is around 55GB and pulling off tape takes forever.


We were put in a spot down to our hardware maintenance guys. Took 5 days for us to know the server was fried . We have a new mail server coming towards the end of next week and upgrading to Exchange 2010 so I have to balance the work we put in with the current system and avoiding repeating work.

Last edited by Kevb; 04-03-2012 at 21:41.
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Old 04-03-2012, 22:01   #7
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The /disasterrecovery switch path is meant for situations like yours where you have now found your system state backup is useless. http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/...ry-Switch.html gives a general walk through, without knowing your environment I couldn't say much more, but it normally doesn't take too long.

If you're going to 2010, you'll want your 2003 environment working, add the 2010 box alongside it with all the associated prep, then start moving mailboxes between the servers in the Exchange Org.

I'd say you take the hit now and sort the 2003 environment as it will benefit your move to 2010. If you do funky stuff now to tide you over, your migration will get messy and/or you start getting issues down the line.

Regards the time taken to restore single mailboxes, it'll be restoring the entire DB and extracting the specified mailbox from that restore

Last edited by Francis; 04-03-2012 at 22:04.
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Old 04-03-2012, 22:34   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis View Post
The /disasterrecovery switch path is meant for situations like yours where you have now found your system state backup is useless. http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/...ry-Switch.html gives a general walk through, without knowing your environment I couldn't say much more, but it normally doesn't take too long.
Will take a look at that thanks
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis View Post
The /disasterrecovery switch path is meant for situations like yours where you have now found your system state backup is useless. http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/...ry-Switch.html gives a general walk through, without knowing your environment I couldn't say much more, but it normally doesn't take too long.
Just wondered if you have used this method before ? Just reading through and it says

"Note
If you managed to take a copy of the Exchange databases and log files from the old server, now is the time to bring them back to their respective location(s) on the new server and have them mounted. Depending on the state of the stores, you may have to repair them before they can be mounted."

We have a back up disk image of the priv1.edb,pub1.edb at the point the system failed recovered from tape So is it as simple as just putting these into the correct folder and continuning with the disaster recovery process as per instructions ? We don't have any log files.
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Old 05-03-2012, 15:06   #10
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Used it quite a few times when customers find out their system state backups don't work.

Usually there'll be a valid exchange backup to restore DBs from (Backup Exec, CommVault, something), what did you use to get the backup of the .edb's, and do you have the .stm files as well?
Or did you just copy and paste the files to a disk?

If it is just a flat file copy, you can use it (never ideal though) and some eseutil black magic to get things working again, if you don't have the .stm file's you'll need to use eseutil to create a new one as well (should be a few MS KB's to tell you how).

On a seperate note, fire whoever looks after your Exchange and backups, unless it's you, in which case, hire someone
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Old 05-03-2012, 17:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis View Post

On a seperate note, fire whoever looks after your Exchange and backups, unless it's you, in which case, hire someone
It's me . Don't get me wrong we did have a full back of exchange. Wanted to see if we could get the restore done quicker using the disc image as the tapes are exceedingly slow. Turns out it was blinding quick using the backup exec restore method.

Server now back up and running and all emails recovered.....
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Old 05-03-2012, 19:42   #12
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Good stuff!

Test the **** out of everything now, GAL updates, recipient update policies, public folders etc
Tidy up any warnings in the event logs.

The better the shape you can get it into the easier your move to 2010 will be.

Consider introducing some DR testing to verify your backups as well.
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