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We recently had a problem with our Exchange 2010 backups (Backup Exec 2010), so we now only have access to a full VMware guest image of the Exchange Mailbox Server.

I have restored the VM fine, isolated from the network in it's own test network, as the original source machine is still running and needs to keep running.

What is the best way of getting a mailbox (or recovery storage group or whatever) off this 'isolated' server back onto the live server? Is it even possible?

At the moment, I cannot start the Information Store service, as there is no access to the Domain in an isolated network, so I get various event log entries such as:

5000: Unable to initialize the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service. - Error 0xfaf. 1121: Error 0xfaf connecting to Active Directory 2104: Process STORE.EXE. Topology discovery failed due to LDAP_SERVER_DOWN

Is it possible to start Exchange in some sort of recovery mode where it doesn't need access to the AD? Or do I need to also clone a DC into the isolated network?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the restored server is working, you can export its mailboxes to PST files and then import then back into the original server.

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It isn't, I've updated the question with more details - basically because it's isolated, there is no AD. – Cylindric Dec 7 '11 at 10:57
You absolutely need AD in order for Exchange to run. A cloned DC should be enough. – Massimo Dec 7 '11 at 13:01
Aah, okay. I will invest the time to set up a better clone of our live environment - it should pay off in various scenarios anyway, and should only be a matter of creating a new isolated vlan on a vswitch. – Cylindric Dec 7 '11 at 13:04

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