Exchange 2003 disaster recovery (storage groups wont mount + corrupt)- Backup Exec!
I've just overcome a potentially huge diaster recovery situation with Exchange 2003 which I thought I would share (after all, Google indexes this site, so this might help somone in future - or advise on backup strategy before a problem occurs etc).
So... here's the disaster cause:
Power cut yesterday (first day of summer holidays). UPS kicked in but didn't shut down the server correctly/in time. Turned back on and found that one of my mailbox storage groups (1 mailbox storage group and 1 public folder group) was corrupt and refused to mount.
I knew we had daily backups of Exchange so wasn't too concerned about data loss, but despite having covered a lot of scenarios for exams or other people, have never had to do a restore myself.
In theory, I thought I would need to create a recovery storage group, restore to there, use exmerge and then esutil! What a nightmare thought - who would like the idea of doing that!
Well - I didn't at all!
We use Backup Exec 11d - a product i've never been massivly impressed with, but inheritted and stuck with as it did the job.
Basically, cutting out all of the theory (and all of the information found online from searching), you go in to Backup Exec, choose the storage group you want to restore. Choose "no loss" recovery and set it to overwrite existing files, set it to mount the group after restore..... wait until the restore is complete and blam - a fully working Exchange server which has even had the restored storage groups mounted automatically!
If anyone is reading this wondering what backup software to use with Exchange, it's a no-brainer - Backup Exec will save you loads of faffing around with ropey command line utilities in a disaster recovery situation and save your bacon! :)