Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 - Restore
Introduction to Exchange 2003 Server - Restore
35% of all restores do not do what their owners expect. This does not mean that backup software is accident prone, more often than not, the problem is a simple human error. The most common cause is slipshod planning or faulty logic. My challenge to you is this, test a restore and so prove that your backup tapes will return the Exchange 2003 server to full working order.
Topics for Exchange 2003 - Restore
What distinguishes the 65% of restores that succeed from the 35% that fail, is anticipating what could go wrong. You must give the restore process proper respect. Your server performs 100s of backups for every restore, nevertheless, as you configure a backup, so you must visualise how it will restore the mailboxes. Ask not what backup can do for your Exchange data, but ask what backup can do to make the restore process easier. If you desire a smooth restore then understand how the databases interact with their log files. Your twin goals are: to restore the mailbox.edb database from backup and then to replay the transaction logs and so return the mailstore to its current state.
Think of restoring an Exchange 2003 database as opening a combination lock. Once you have all the correct numbers in a line, then eureka, the lock opens. When you have the full backup set, any differential tapes and the transaction logs, then restore just unlocks all that email.
Here is a free tool to monitor your Exchange Server. Download and install the utility, then inspect your mail queues, monitor the Exchange server's memory, confirm there is enough disk space and check the CPU utilization.
This is the real deal - there is no catch. SolarWinds provides this fully-functioning freebie, as part of their commitment to supporting the network management community.
Verify that MSexchangeIS service is running. Even though a restore requires you to dismount the affected mailbox, Exchange 2003 still needs the MSExchangeIS service to be running throughout the recovery procedure.
' This database can be overwritten by a restore '
Where do you find this checkbox? Mailstore, Properties, Database Tab.
' Last Backup Set ' or Eseutil /cc
When you restore multiple differential or incremental tapes, you need to uncheck the ' Last Backup Set '. However, when you reach final tape, this time, you tick ' Last Backup Set '. If you forget to tick the ' Last Backup Set ' box, no worries, just run eseutil /cc instead.
Mount Database After Restore '
To be sure that the recovery is complete, wait until you see an ESE event ID 205 in the Event Viewer, Application Log.
Soft recovery. This is a normal procedure at startup, where Exchange's ESE (Extensible Storage Engine) replays the logs after the last Checkpoint. Uncommitted transactions get written to the database or rolled back. Just remounting a store, triggers this built-in soft recovery routine.
This file holds drive and folder information about where the databases are situated. If you interrogate this file with notepad, then you can see the filenames and path of where restore expects to find key files.
To view the restore.env file issue eseutil /cm path to restore.env. Naturally you first have to navigate to the \bin folder which traditionally holds eseutil. See more on Restore.env.
SolarWinds' Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what's happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems. Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.
Re-install Exchange 2003
A variation of re-installing is executing setup /disasterrecovery. The difference is that the disasterrecovery switch prevents stores from being mounted at startup. The idea is that you repair any damaged binary files, then apply service packs before you mount the stores.
Repair the .edb with Eseutil /p
Error -1216 (JET_errAttachedDatabaseMismatch) at least one log or database file is damaged.
Restore the Exchange database to another server
The best feature of this new this new version of SolarWinds VM Monitor is that it checks Windows Hyper-V. Naturally, it still works with virtual machines on VMware ESX Servers. VM Monitor is a clever desktop tool that not only tests that your server is online, but also displays the CPU and memory utilization for each node.
It's easy to install and to configure this virtual machine monitor, all you need the host server's IP address or hostname and the logon info. Give this virtual machine monitor a try - it's free.
The only way to be sure that your backup is one of the 65% of the success stories, is to test a restore. Learning about the Exchange 2003 database and log files will not only help you to backup and restore, but also give you ideas for proactive management. The secret of good disaster recovery is planning. In the case of restore that means attention to detail at the backup stage. Disaster recovery is a case where the tail (restore) should wag the dog (backup).