Testing an Exchange backup

Hello everyone

I have been backing up my Exchange database (SBS 2003) using an online 
backup with the NTBackup utility, and everything appears to be working fine: 
backup files created in the right place at the right time, and a log file 
saying that the backup was successful.

However, I would like to make sure that the backup has worked by using it to 
restore data. My problem is I want to be absolutely sure that if everything 
goes wrong and I can't restore, that I won't lose any data.

I wonder whether the following plan would work?

1. Dismount my databases.
2. Rename my priv1.edb, priv1.stm, pub1.edb, and pub1.stm files to something 
like priv1.edb.old etc
3. Attempt to restore from the online backup

If the restore works, everything will be wonderful. If it doesn't work, then 
presumably I could just dismount the databases, change the .edb and .stm 
files back to their original names, restart the databases, and I would be 
back to where I was before, with no loss of data.

Will this plan actually work, or is there something that could go wrong that 
I haven't thought of that will make me lose my data?

Many thanks
Adam 


0
nospam7515 (2086)
4/16/2005 9:26:34 AM
exchange.admin 57650 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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I would recommend taking a ghost ( image backup) of the whole server if 
possible before playing with it. If you have another machine may be test the 
process on there too.


"Adam" <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:4260da4a$0$94508$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net...
> Hello everyone
>
> I have been backing up my Exchange database (SBS 2003) using an online 
> backup with the NTBackup utility, and everything appears to be working 
> fine: backup files created in the right place at the right time, and a log 
> file saying that the backup was successful.
>
> However, I would like to make sure that the backup has worked by using it 
> to restore data. My problem is I want to be absolutely sure that if 
> everything goes wrong and I can't restore, that I won't lose any data.
>
> I wonder whether the following plan would work?
>
> 1. Dismount my databases.
> 2. Rename my priv1.edb, priv1.stm, pub1.edb, and pub1.stm files to 
> something like priv1.edb.old etc
> 3. Attempt to restore from the online backup
>
> If the restore works, everything will be wonderful. If it doesn't work, 
> then presumably I could just dismount the databases, change the .edb and 
> .stm files back to their original names, restart the databases, and I 
> would be back to where I was before, with no loss of data.
>
> Will this plan actually work, or is there something that could go wrong 
> that I haven't thought of that will make me lose my data?
>
> Many thanks
> Adam
> 


0
exchange.mvp (559)
4/16/2005 10:40:36 AM
"Andrew Sword [MVP]" <exchange.mvp@nos.optushome.com.au> wrote in message 
news:uw1G8CnQFHA.3544@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>I would recommend taking a ghost ( image backup) of the whole server if 
>possible before playing with it. If you have another machine may be test 
>the process on there too.
>
>

Many thanks for the quick reply, Andrew.

When you say taking an image backup of the whole server, do you mean 
EVERYTHING on the computer on which the Exchange server is running, or just 
all data relating to the Exchange server? Do you have any recommendations 
for the best way to do it?

I do have a spare computer I could use for testing, although it doesn't have 
Exchange Server installed on it, or even Windows Server 2003. It is running 
Windows 2000 Professional. Is it possible to use that to test the Exchange 
backup somehow? Can I install Exchange from my SBS disks on a Windows 2K 
system, or would I have to install the whole thing?

Many thanks

Adam



0
nospam7515 (2086)
4/16/2005 11:48:19 AM
Adam

Always, always, always test in a test environment and not a production 
environment.  I'm not talking about a grandiose test environment or even a 
very expensive one.  You could at the very least, purchase Virtual Server 
from Microsoft and use that on your workstation at work.  Another good 
alternative is to repurpose older equipment for a test bed.  We use old 
Optiplexes for servers in our test environment.

That being said, you could test your scenario, which should work to recover 
the entire mail database.  You could also test restoring just a mailbox 
using exmerge.  Also, please tell me you have circular logging turned off.

Greg DeMaderios 


0
replyto1 (32)
4/16/2005 3:03:36 PM
"Greg DeMaderios" <replyto@group.only> wrote in message 
news:OY4U4VpQFHA.508@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> Adam
>
> Always, always, always test in a test environment and not a production 
> environment.  I'm not talking about a grandiose test environment or even a 
> very expensive one.  You could at the very least, purchase Virtual Server 
> from Microsoft and use that on your workstation at work.  Another good 
> alternative is to repurpose older equipment for a test bed.  We use old 
> Optiplexes for servers in our test environment.
>

Many thanks for the suggestions, Greg. One thing I have already learnt is 
that I really should have done a lot more testing before making our Exchange 
server live. Trouble is, I didn't test it before it went live, and now I 
have to start from where I am. I'll know better next time.


> That being said, you could test your scenario, which should work to 
> recover the entire mail database.  You could also test restoring just a 
> mailbox using exmerge.  Also, please tell me you have circular logging 
> turned off.
>
> Greg DeMaderios
>

So if I try the restore scenario I suggested, then I can be confident of 
getting back to where I was with the renamed .edb and .stm files? I am 
really worried that something will go horribly wrong.

Yes, I do have circular logging turned off.

Many thanks

Adam 


0
nospam7515 (2086)
4/16/2005 4:48:05 PM
Adam,

Here is an excellent resource on restoring Exchange.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/library/disrecopgde.mspx

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Greg 


0
replyto1 (32)
4/17/2005 1:57:32 AM
A simple way to backup the whole server is to use something like Symantec's 
Ghost. Ghost takes an image of the whole server. SBS 2003 does have 
mechanisms to backup and restore the whole server try this link 
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/techinfo/administration/default.mspx .

You could test your backup using Virual PC see this link 
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx . There is a 45 day 
evalution copy. Also you could use an evaluation of Windows And SBS too.

Best not to use production systems for testing.




"Adam" <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:4260fb82$0$563$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net...
>
> "Andrew Sword [MVP]" <exchange.mvp@nos.optushome.com.au> wrote in message 
> news:uw1G8CnQFHA.3544@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>>I would recommend taking a ghost ( image backup) of the whole server if 
>>possible before playing with it. If you have another machine may be test 
>>the process on there too.
>>
>>
>
> Many thanks for the quick reply, Andrew.
>
> When you say taking an image backup of the whole server, do you mean 
> EVERYTHING on the computer on which the Exchange server is running, or 
> just all data relating to the Exchange server? Do you have any 
> recommendations for the best way to do it?
>
> I do have a spare computer I could use for testing, although it doesn't 
> have Exchange Server installed on it, or even Windows Server 2003. It is 
> running Windows 2000 Professional. Is it possible to use that to test the 
> Exchange backup somehow? Can I install Exchange from my SBS disks on a 
> Windows 2K system, or would I have to install the whole thing?
>
> Many thanks
>
> Adam
>
>
> 


0
exchange.mvp (559)
4/17/2005 9:24:24 AM
Reply:

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