Wednesday, March 30, 2005

No single mailbox restore with Ntbackup!

You gotta be joking you mean we can't restore an individual mailbox using the supplied backup program with SBS2003.

I'm afraid guys that's still the case if you use the supplied SBS 2003 backup program you cannot carry out a single mailbox restore from tape or any other media for that matter.

Yes it is possible to recover the mailbox to another server, but hang on guys this is SBS let me spell it out Small! business server.

So what's the solution, buy a third party backup program that gives this function !
Have to admit, maybe I'm a bit mean but I don't want to shell out for another backup program and to be honest having seen to many full recovery restores of Exchange going wrong because of third party vendor's backup software (you know who you are guys) I prefer to use NTBACKUP.

So what's the answer, well a couple of things can help us.

1) Deleted Item retension can be set at the store level, so even if a user deletes a mail and then removes it from their deleted items, they can still recover it using Tools, Recover Deleted Items.

How long should you retain deleted items, well that depends I have to admit I set it to 90 days on most sites however you need to be careful as this obviously impacts our mail storage capacity of 16GB for the private mailbox store usually C:\programfiles\exchsrvr\mdbdata
comprises of 2 files priv1.edb and priv1.stm.

2) Recovery Storage Group - Now this is new to Exchange 2003 and allows us to create a separate directory on the server into which we can restore a previous copy of the private information store.

Ah so does this mean we can access an earlier version of a person's mailbox, yes it does but we need to be careful.

Firstly you cannot access this recovery store from outlook you can only access the contents by exported the mailbox(s) / mails you need by using a utility like EXMERGE but it does give partially solve the problem.

Let me know if it's of interest and I will post up the full procedure (or at least a link) and also if you would like to take a look at exmerge you can get it here. (By the way this is a link to a Microsoft site but by using the website you can shorten any cumbersome links to something easy to manage

Please jump on in with comments, and if you have any tips or info you'd like to put up on the site please let me know (won't be able to pay you though ,,,,,,,)



At 10:02 AM, Blogger Susan Bradley said...

I've honestly never needed to restore a mailbox.


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