Exchange 5.5 restore – STUCK!!

15 pts.
Tags:
DataCenter
Exchange security
Microsoft Exchange
How do i restore an exchange 5.5 server onto a new server? The reason i ask is because we want to setup a test network that is a duplicate of our production network for testing service packs etc. This network will include an exchange 5.5 server and an exchange 2003 server. I have followed these steps but then the Information Store will not start: 1. Installed NT4 and SP6a into our existing domain as a BDC 2. Placed this on the test network and promoted it to PDC and renamed to the same as the original 5.5 server 3. Installed Exchange 5.5 with SP4. 4. Ran the optimizer and placed all paths the same as original 5. Ran a restore of the Information Store and Directory Store from a tape of the original server onto the new test box. 6. The System Attendant starts ok but the information store will not. 7. I tried running ESEUTIL and ISINTEG but they only return errors. I have rebuilt the server numerous times but all i have tried hasnt worked! Has anyone any ideas? Thanks!
ASKED: August 31, 2006  10:13 AM
UPDATED: September 5, 2006  12:13 PM

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You are running into problems because you are renaming a domain controller.
This is not a good idea.

MS has a process to build a 5.5 recovery server.
Search the KB stack – it is there somewhere.
-jmw

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  • JimTrouble
    Thanks jmweber i have checked the KB articles and followed what they have said to the letter. Regarding not renaming domain controllers, if you check http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/55/support/exdisrec.mspx#ETJAC it states: Prepare Recovery Computer The recovery computer must have: ? Windows NT installed. ? The same computer name as the crashed Exchange server. Now admittedly our existing exchange server hasnt crashed, but i am building it then moving it onto a seperate network before i rename it.
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  • Jmweber
    Jim, Have you checked out what is required to rename a domain controller that is actively a domain controller? Exchange 5.5 on the recovery server side requires several items: same server name same level of OS. same level of exchange 5.5 (as in SP4, standard) Same Org name, EXACTLY Same site name, EXACTLY Same database, log file, and system locations, EXACTLY. Same starting authority, EXACTLY.' Identical copy of the dir.edb (DTS does not need to be exact, but the guts of it needs to match what the priv.edb thinks it should be - and there are ways around this also). Ship me your EID results... In the Application log, trying to mount the DB will kick errors in relation to the above items as it finds them. You could also tell me what isinteg and eseutil return. -john
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  • Mortree
    It has been too long since I worked with Exchange let alone 5.5 to remember most details but -- Reference your failure (1) DCs and Exchange servers do not rely upon names alone. They have SIDs and GUIDs in place for security. This was done with the idea that your backup tapes could "fall into the wrong hands" (a specific example being someone dumpster diving a discarded tape and repairing it.) (2) So this whole thing would have gone better if you did EVERYTHING as a restore of the Exchange server after the initial NT4 install to get backup in place. There may be something about service packs and backup/restore too. But the point is service packs usually don't set GUIDs and SIDs. Instead you used half measures. You tried to steal DC info with a new BDC and then install into a new Exchange install on that machine after renaming it. There is an approach or two along the lines of what you attempted. They are not a direct restores. (a) One is a mailbox export which moves/migrates the actual email into a similar structure - but one that does/can differ from the original Exchange in small ways. You have the wrong sort of backup for this and it doesn't duplicate your production network. (b) As I remember it is a lot easier to load email stores onto a "brother" Exchange server because they share most GUIDs. So vague memory says that a 2 of 3 match plus a renaming will get restores to load. So the simplest way would have been to set up a second Exchange server on the production network in the same Exchange site and let them synchronize Exchange info. It could be a BDC too. Then you could take it offline to the test network and promote it to PDC.
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  • Mortree
    What I said was to emphasis what the others have said not contradict them. A true recovery server must be done precisely as outlined without shortcuts to accomdate all those security protocols as well as "simple" Exchange data structure. Note one cause of failure is not having the proper backup. One missing element in backups is often enough. The other approach for your purpose is to get Exchange to duplicate its structure and security to a second differently named server. This does entail more risk to the production environment if you goof up. But it helps get around typing EXACT names -- the darn things are case sensitive and sensitive to trailing blanks or other accidental special characters you can't easily see. P.S. You can ask MS to give the other 5.5 license and keycode needed for duplication as a temporary downgrade of the Exchange 2003 license. I am assuming you want this duplicate server to practice migration.
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  • JimTrouble
    Thanks everyone for all you're input on this. I have set the test server up EXACTLY the same as the original, same name, same ex site and org, same db locations, same service packs for NT and EX. I dont really wanna tamper with the production environment. The reason we are the building the test site is: 1. I wanna creat and idential environment and then make sure i can safeky remove the Ex 5.5 server from the site. This would just leave the 2003 Ex server. 2. So i can then test 2003 service packs and hotfixes on the test 2003 server before deploying them to the production environment.
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  • Jmweber
    Jim, Your methodology for creating the server in the first place, ie; changing the name of the DC, IMHO, is what is causing your issues. Do you have some trash hardware that you can use for a DC? That way, the Exchange server can be separate. Then you can restore the exchange onto the duplicate, and the DC functions will be separate. I really think that your issue is the SID/GUID on the DC side of the equation. -John
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