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I'm restoring an Exchange server from a backup:
[1] the backup was created on 19/12/2010
[2] the server kept running until 20/12/2010
[3] we're restoring the server today 21/12/2010 with the backup from [1]

My understanding is that when the server comes back:
[4] whatever is in users' inbox since [1] will be deleted.
[5] whatever is in users' sent box since [2] should be re-sent.

[6] As a safety measure we've moved all emails sent/received between [1] and [3] to .PST files.

Questions:
-are [4] & [5] statements correct?
-is there any way to move back emails from the PST file [6] to the current inbox/sent folders so that Exchange takes these emails into account (instead of deleting them)?
-what happens to the Calendar items that were added after [1], is there any way to back those up as well if needed?

Many thanks

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

How did the server crash? Did your hard drives fail? How about the drives that kept the log files? The proper way to do a restore is to recover the server, recover the database, then replay the log files. If you don't have those log files to replay (or you're using circular logging, in which case you'd get something but not everything), then every change to the mailboxes since the backup will be lost. That includes inbox, sent items, calendar, contacts, everything.

If you'd like to recover from the PSTs, you can do that in 2 ways. The first way is to just import them from Outlook. The second way is to use Exmerge on the server. Whichever way you choose, make sure to tell it not to import duplicates. This is a lot of work, but everything should turn out fine afterwards. On your next build, you can put your transaction logs on a different spindle of drives. Not only will this jump up your performances, but it'll also give you better hope with doing a "simple" restore.

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Thanks. That's how the server died: serverfault.com/questions/214444/…. Can you answer on the Calendar items please? –  user64204 Dec 21 '10 at 15:19
    
Could you please point me to some documentation about creating/replaying the log files? –  user64204 Dec 21 '10 at 15:21
    
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997761(EXCHG.65).aspx will show you how to replay logs –  Jason Berg Dec 21 '10 at 17:55
    
Did you loose your entire AD environment? Is this a recovery to a new domain? If that's the case, your restore is going to be much much more difficult. –  Jason Berg Dec 21 '10 at 17:58


Firstly if the Exchange server is currently still running, yes you can use a tool called Exmerge, this tool with make a copy of all the mailboxes and create a .pst for them.

My first question - Why are you restoring from backup? Has the server died?.

If you are looking to restore certain mailbox's or recover deleted email, there are several ways to do this. But The first thing is for us to find out why you need to restore from backup.

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