Exchange Public Folder restore with BackupExec part 2

Well… this isn’t going very well. I have managed to restore the folders (see first blog entry) but I’m now trying to restore to a VMWare Active Directory domain with NATting turned on- it’s a bit annoying because I can see the domain even on the real LAN but my routing isn’t set up properly, so the domain machines can’t ping or tracert to the VMWare network. More to follow.

Exchange Public Folder restore with BackupExec

This is still nowhere near complete (or even working) but here are a few tips for restoring Exchange public folders with BackupExec:
 
  • The backups must have been made as full backups not snapshots; I don’t know why, but snapshot backups just won’t work (my guess is they could but it’s too much effort !)
  • If possible, I suspect the restores work better when sent not just to a different Exchange server but to a completely different AD forest (which is why I’m currently building a seperate VMWare forest to see if I can get it to work)
  • Don’t bother with Recovery Storage Groups; in fact, delete any that exist unless you also have Mailbox Stores that need restoring, as you can’t mount public folders from within Recovery Storage Groups (again I have no idea why other than that you just can’t).
  • Make sure the Public Folder store to be over-written has "This database can be overwritten by a restore" (or something smimilar) in the public folder storage properties.

Shutting down/ restarting PCs

A couple of ways to shutdown/ restart a PC (especially useful if the PC is at a remote location or crashes when shutdown normally). This command- as far as I know- only started getting built in to Windows XP + Server 2003 so won’t be available by default on Windows 2000 or before.
 
  • The following command restarts the PC (-r), forces any running process to quit (-f) and sets the timeout for shutdown to 0 second (-t 00)- effectively an instant shutdown.
  • shutdown -r -f -t 00
  • The following command shuts the PC down (-s), forces any running process to quit (-f) and sets the timeout for shutdown to 0 second (-t 00)- effectively an instant shutdown.
  • shutdown -s -f -t 00
  • The following command restarts (-r) a remote PC (-m \\xxxxxx), forces any running process to quit (-f) and sets the timeout for shutdown to 10 minutes (-t 600).
  • shutdown -r -f -m \\xxxxxx -t 600

Please note that using the -f switch is a bit risky as it won’t save any data, but I frequently use this because otherwise the shutdown/ restart can hang waiting for a process to close.

Exchange restoration

Okay, this scenario is based around someone’s exchange mail having gone missing (largely); so their mailbox is still there, but they’ve lost a lot of mail due to faulty archiving.

  • Back up current mailbox contents to a PST
  • Delete user and mailbox*
  • Restore exchange mailbox store from backup (to recovery storage group)
  • Dismount "live" store; copy .stm and .edb from recovery group to "live" location
  • Enable database over-write
  • mount copied store
  • create matching AD user without any mail features
  • Reconnect user mailbox to new AD user

*This might work just by removing users exchange featurs rather than deleting AD account but untested.

This will be edited, I just had to note down the steps while it was still fresh in my mind.