Restoring Exchange 2003

After getting Active Directory up and running in my disaster recovery lab, my next task was to restore the Exchange server. The disaster we all think of most in San Francisco is an earthquake, which could either make transportation to the office ineffective or could render the office physically unsafe. Email is one of our most used applications and in a disaster we predict it will be the primary means of communication between users working from outside of the office. Assuming a functional Internet backbone is available to us, email is will likely be the fastest way to get our business communications flowing.

Restoring Exchange 2003 is a straight-forward process, you have all the previous configuration information available to you. In our DR kit, we have a copy of Exchange 2003 and the current Service Pack we are running. We also have a document that lists out the key configuration information. Before you restore, you’ll want to know the drive and paths for the program files, the database and the log files. If the recovery box has the same drive letters available, the restoration is that much smoother when you can set the default installation paths to the same location and ensure that you’ll have the necessary amount of space free.

It’s important to remember to install Exchange and the Service Pack using the /DisasterRecovery switch. This will set up the installation to expect recovered databases instead of automatically creating new ones. I had manually mount the databases after the restoration, even though I had indicated in the Backup Exec job to set the databases to be remounted when the restore was complete. Microsoft KB 262456 details the error event message I was getting about the failed MAPI Call “OpenMsgStore”, which was a confirmed problem in Exchange 2000/2003.

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