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An (alternative) procedure to recover Exchange 2003 when lost all Active Directory

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An (alternative) procedure to recover Exchange 2003 whe... - 9.Nov.2007 4:24:45 PM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 11.Oct.2007
Status: offline
I want to share with the community an way we use to recover a lost Exchange and Active Directory instalation. It happends at small instalation so there where only one DC for the AD. Our backup Tapes faild so when the upgrade from W2K to Windows Server 2003 faild we lost everything. After trying to get to life the server for tow days, we decied to reinstall the box with a clean Windows Server 2003 + Exchange 2003 and a new Active Directory. Previuslly we recover the data from the server's disks. Now the problem was haw to restore the data from the files to the new Exchange instalation. While lookig for a procedure to recover Exchenge when havving lost the Active Directory, one of us try a procedure that I can't believe it works. That is:
  • On the new Exchange 2003, stops Exchange Services and copy the old Exchange DB files (EDB + STM + LOG).
  • Restart services and force to connect the Storages
  • Wait for Exchange to recognice all the mailboxes and reconecto every mailbox to the users in the new Active directory (Users have the same name as originally)
  • Finally the users can connect to their mailboxes!!

I cant believed it works (and hope it continues working). Note tha we lost everithing, including Active Directory data. The new Exchange was installed normally (without /DisasterRecovery switch), and we could replace Storage Files and reconect users!!
I want to share ths with the community to listen for your comments.
I want to thanks Jorge Patricio Díaz Guzmán from Chile for his support.
Adrian Yannuzzi
Post #: 1
RE: An (alternative) procedure to recover Exchange 2003... - 19.Nov.2007 10:45:01 AM   


Posts: 51
Joined: 7.Jul.2005
From: UK
Status: offline

Maybe the intensely complicated recovery mechanism Microsoft built for Exchange is just a joke and all we really need to do is your procedure!

(Actually, having done a few restores, i can assure you that you are 1 lucky bugger! :) :) )

(in reply to AdrianY)
Post #: 2
RE: An (alternative) procedure to recover Exchange 2003... - 25.Nov.2007 3:35:51 PM   


Posts: 73
Joined: 24.Nov.2007
Status: offline
Let me post-mortem this case for you..........

At First, you bring back the old database (an were able to mount - meant that you installed Exchange with same Organisation and AG name - so you never faced those ugly -1088 errors)
Then, once you realise you were able to mount your stores, next in question was AD users.
Finally, you were able to re-connect all of them since all those users never had exchange attributes (also, a exchange mailbox is assoicated with a mailbox GUID and legacyExchangeDN of a user - so if the AD user account is exactly the same as b4 - i would be surprised if Exchange wouldnt allow you to reconnect the mailboxes)

Now, question question question arises.....what was the big deal in this entire experiment. The way i see it.............It was a mere cake walk. Exchange is simple. Why do people look at it as if its sooooooooo complicated.

Njoi guys.

(in reply to nickpark)
Post #: 3

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