I need to restore an Exchange 2003 database to disk on a server that is not running Microsoft Exchange, would that be possible? or would Backup Exec only restore to a server running Exchange?

If it is not possible, how can i restore the database to the production Exchange server without overwriting the production database?

The purpose of the restore is to retrieve a mailbox that had some messages deleted.

The backup software is Backup Exec 2010 R2 running on Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit, backing up to magnetic tape.

Granular Recovery Technology is not being used for backup, just throwing that in.

  • So you restore the database files, without Exchange installed how are you planning getting stuff out of the database? – Zoredache Aug 2 '12 at 19:09
  • I will leave that to the Exchange admin. My thought was to do a file level restore so I don't run the risk of overwriting any production database on the production Exchange server – Zero Subnet Aug 2 '12 at 19:12
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    Are you sure the e-mails are actually deleted? Most administrators set a retention policy when installing Exchange so e-mails are not deleted for ~30 days. This allows you to open outlook and undelete items during the retention period. – Chris S Aug 2 '12 at 19:13
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    @ZeroSubnet, Exchange data is in basically a big database file. You can't really do anything with the database. Generally with Exchange you must follow a special procedure to restore, but the procedure you partly depends on how you are performing the backups. There are a couple tools that will read the database files directly, but those tools also come with software to extract the raw database files directly from common backup archives. You and the Exchange Admin should probably be coordinating the restore. – Zoredache Aug 2 '12 at 19:17
  • BackupExec doesn't perform a file level backup of the Exchange mailbox databases or the public folder databases (nor does it for SQL databases). It uses what it calls an "active file exlusion" to exclude the Exchange mailbox database files (the *.edb files). You'll need to use the RSG method as Zoredache states in his answer. – joeqwerty Aug 2 '12 at 20:34

It sounds like you are looking for instructions on how to use the Recovery Storage Group.

This article describes the new Recovery Store Group feature in Exchange Server 2003. By using the Recovery Storage Group feature, you can mount a second copy of an Exchange mailbox store (database) on the same computer as the original mailbox store, or on any other Exchange computer that is in the same administrative group. You can use the Recovery Storage Group feature to recover mailbox data without having to install and to configure a separate Exchange recovery computer.

I am not sure which version of Backup Exec you are running, but this article may have the directions you need.

How to prepare Exchange 2003 so that a Recovery Storage Group Restore can be performed

  • So the restore can't be done to disk on just any server. A recovery storage group needs to be created on the Exchange server and that will allow for restoring an older copy of the database from backup, without the risk of overwriting the live database. – Zero Subnet Aug 2 '12 at 19:39
  • I am not saying it can't be done, just that what you are asking is probably not what you want/need. Ontrack PowerControls can work with a database directly, but it is somewhat expensive. – Zoredache Aug 2 '12 at 19:50

Basically Exchange Server data have lots of database file. You can't easily do anything. so You must follow a special procedure to restore and coordination with Administrator for restore exchange.

  1. NTBackup is in-build tools and found in the Start to Accessories to System Tools then Backup.
  2. Open NTBackup click the 'Restore and Manage Media' tab. Backup files display in the left panel. Chose Option:

Overwrite the original copy of the database.

Or Restore to alternate database

  1. Select recent backup file then choose Alternate Location where you store.
  2. Complete the Selection process then Start Restore and after complete Finish.

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