How to restore entire server?

This is a long post.

Its that time of year again where I practise some disaster recovery skills.

I set up a completely seperate physical network from the production network.
Its got one Win2000 server (DC + all the Operations Master roles, DNS, WINS,
etc) with SP4 (different AD/DNS root forest) and running Exchange 2000
with SP3 (same org name as production server, admin group, storage group,
logical and physical database names, legacyexchangeDN, etc). As a result, I
can successfully restore our production Exchange 2000 w/SP3 Storage
Group/Information Store database without problems. Outlook 2003 is also
installed on the test server for testing. The backup tool is NTBackup
utilising disk files.

On to the next experiment.

I tried restoring our production Exchange 2003 with SP2 Storage
Group/Information Store database to the test server. The database fails to
mount, complaining something about a different version log files. Can
someone confirm if indeed it is impossible to mount an Exchange 2003 SP2
Information Store database on an Exchange 2000 w/SP3?

On to the next experiment.

Insert Win2003 CDROM. Run adprep /forest followed by adprep /domainprep and
then winnt32 /unattend. About an hour later I have a working Win2003 system
with Exchange 2000 SP3. SHortly after I install SP1 for Win2003. Everything
is OK.

Attempted another restore of Exchange 2003 SP2 Information Store database.
The restore works but the store fails to mount due to 'eseutil /cc <dir>'
refusing to commit the logs to the database (essentially same problem as

On to the next experiment

Insert Exchange 2003 CDROM and run setup /forestprep followed by setup
/domain prep followed by installation of Exchange components. It is at this
stage that I realised Exchange 2003, apparently, should have been installed
*before* the upgrade to Win2003. Alas, it works anyway :)

Attempted another restore of Exchange 2003 SP2 Information Store database.
The restore works but the store fails to mount due to 'eseutil /cc <dir>'
refusing to commit the logs to the database (essentially same problem as

Silly me forgot to install SP2 for Exchange 2003.

Attempted another restore of Exchange 2003 SP2 Information Store database.
The restore works and the store mounts without problems and I can see 
contents of mailboxes/public folders.

On to the next experiment.

I use NTBackup to backup the entire computer to a disk file and move that 
file to a safe location.
I format the server (all disks).
I carry out a clean install Win2003 + SP1. Its just a standalone server now.
I boot into Directory Services Restore Mode (is this even necessary since AD 
hasnt even been installed yet?)
I run NtBackup and restore the backup made earlier. NTBackup tells me to 

So I restart, but then Windows fails to boot with a 
'\winnt\system32\confi\system' problem.
My goal was to be able to return the test server back to the way it was 
before I formatted all the disks.
What am I doing wrong?

1/14/2006 2:49:27 PM
exchange.admin 57650 articles. 2 followers. Follow

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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 01:49:27 +1100, "sysadmin"
<> wrote:

>This is a long post.

Maybe you should start here:

"Exchange Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Operations Guide"

adavid (8731)
1/14/2006 8:15:22 PM

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