How to Restore a Microsoft Exchange Server Database to alternate location
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2018 11:15AM PDT
How to Restore a Microsoft Exchange Server Database to alternate location (for use with NovaBACKUP Granular Restore)
This How-to guide covers all that you need to know about restoring a Microsoft Exchange Server Database backup to alternate location. Compared to restoring to the original location, as detailed in the guide here, this method is useful in case you do NOT want to restore the entire Exchange Server Mailbox Database back to the original Microsoft Exchange Server to replace the entire Exchange Mailbox Database. NovaBACKUP Business Essentials contains native "plugin" capability to perform backups of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Machines and VMware Virtual Machines. NovaBACKUP has requirements for the Microsoft Exchange version to be up to date, we normally recommend the latest service pack and cumulative update that is available for Exchange to be in place prior to performing a backup or restore of an Exchange Mailbox Database. Make sure that Microsoft Exchange is up to date with the latest service pack and cumulative updates performed, normally Service Packs must be manually downloaded and applied so keep that in mind. There is a website that we utilize and recommend client’s use at the address here: https://eightwone.com/references/versions-builds-dates/. This website reliable shows the latest versions of Exchange to be able to see all the release dates and direct downloads to the Service Packs and Cumulative Updates available for Exchange.
All Microsoft Exchange versions that are currently supported by NovaBACKUP, can support restoring the Exchange Mailbox Database to an alternate location, as long as the backup utilized the native "plugin" method. In addition, you can restore Exchange backups to an alternate location to be able to restore an individual mailbox or email message. The Restore to original location is a Full restore – This recovery method is used when the whole storage group (databases and log files) must be restored from an Exchange backup. If you wish to restore an individual mailbox or message, please refer to Granular Restore of Single Mailbox Items using the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application.
NovaBACKUP does not directly support the restore of individual mailboxes or messages. However, you can use NovaBACKUP in conjunction with the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application, provided with NovaBACKUP Business Essentials, to perform the restore of individual mailboxes or items. If you have not yet registered and installed NovaBACKUP Granular Restore, read the guide here, or watch the video walkthrough on obtaining and using the application to restore an individual Exchange mailbox item here.
- Start NovaBACKUP Business Essentials.
- Perform a backup of Microsoft Exchange using the plugin method of backup. To do this click on the Backup tab. Locate “Microsoft Exchange Server” in the list of items to back up, near the bottom left of the backup tab. Select that item for backup. Make sure the settings for the job has the Open File Backup option enabled, as Exchange requires Open File Backup (VSS). Save the job and click “Backup” to start the Exchange Mail Server backup job. Once the job is successfully completed move to the next step.
- Click on NovaBACKUP’s Restore tab and locate the backup that was just completed for Microsoft Exchange. Expand the backup by clicking on the “+” icon to the left of the backup name. Once expanded you will see more details regarding that completed backup.
- Once the proper backup set is selected in the Restore tab, click on the “Settings” button at the bottom of the Restore tab screen to check and verify the settings for this Restore job. On the Restore tab in the Settings area you will see “Restore to” and the options “Restore file(s) to original location” and “Restore file(s) to alternate location”. The default option here is "Restore to original location", however this option can be forced, in the Default Settings area of NovaBACKUP, to "Restore to alternate location" so we have to point this out as this guide only covers if you use the "Restore to alternate location" method of Restore. In this guide we cover how to restore the Exchange Mailbox Database backup to the alternate location. We have another guide here for how to restore Exchange Server Mailbox Database to original location in order to replace the Exchange Mailbox Database that the Microsoft Exchange Server is currently using as the active Mailbox database. A screenshot example is shown below for what this would look like at this stage:
- You will also need to confirm in the Restore Job Settings area that the Run As property is set, for the user to run the restore job as, in some cases Logged In User will not work and you will need to change the Run As property to Run As Specified User and enter an Administrator username and password. If you are restoring the backup from a Network Location (if the backup file itself that you are attempting to restore is stored on a network location), you will be REQUIRED to enter the Network Credentials for the network device/network share that you are restoring from, otherwise the restore will fail because it cannot gain permission to the network path. A screenshot example of the Run As settings for the Restore Job is shown below:
- It is REQUIRED to enter in the Network Credentials if you are restoring the backup from a Network Device or Network Location (even if you have a Network Device created in NovaBACKUP for the same network location, you are required to set the Network Credentials in the Restore Job's Network Credentials tab screen). This is because NovaBACKUP's Restore functions are not aware of your Network Device configuration (configured in NovaBACKUP's "Device" tab screen). Even though your backups work to store to the network location, does NOT mean that they will work to perform a Restore if your backup file is located on that same network location. Fill in the Network Credentials for the credentials that match your network location / network share / NAS device, etc. before attempting a restore like this. An example screenshot is below:
- Click OK to save the Restore Job options.
- Now you are ready to perform the restore to alternate location to extract the Exchange Server Database information that is stored in the backup set natively, to alternate folder location so that the database can be utilized in other alternative ways such as using the Exchange Mailbox EDB file to extract it to be read by a Granular Restore tool such as the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application which is included with NovaBACKUP Business Essentials. To start the restore click the “Restore” button at the bottom right of the Restore tab screen. NOTE: You could also save this job and schedule it for a set day and time if you would like.
- If you get any errors during the restore please re-visit steps 4 to 9 to confirm the Restore Job’s Settings for Run As and Network Credentials (if your backup is stored on a network location then you MUST enter the Network Credentials of the network device/network share in to the Network Credentials options for the Restore job for your restore to actually work. And depending on how you are logged in to Windows at the time of attempting this Restore in NovaBACKUP, possibly due to the rights that your current user may or may not have to be able to touch Exchange, you may also need to set the Run As permission settings in the Restore Job’s Settings to a user that does in fact have Administrator rights on the system, instead of allowing the job to run as the “Logged In User”, which is the default.
- Your Exchange Server Mailbox Database should have restored successfully to the alternate folder location that you specified in Step 4, confirmed by the latest log entry in NovaBACKUP.
- At this point now that the Exchange Server Mailbox Database has restored successfully in its native EDB format, you could utilize the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application to open up the .EDB file that is stored in the same folder that you performed the alternate restore to, to restore individual mailbox items such as a single user's Inbox, individual email, calendar item. The data can be restored either to an Outlook PST file or back to the original Exchange Server or alternate / secondary Exchange Server, via the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application. If you have not yet registered for and installed the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application, please read the written guide here, or watch the video walkthrough here regarding registering for, downloading, installing and then using the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application to restore individual Exchange mailbox items.
- Here is an example of using NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application to open the .EDB file that was produced when we performed the restore of the Exchange Backup to alternate location in NovaBACKUP:
- Here is an example of NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application after opening the Exchange Server Database .EDB file, and selecting a user's mailbox and then selecting the Inbox to be able to extract that mailbox's Inbox contents altogether to save to either an Outlook .PST file method, to then hand to the end user to get their old Inbox back in to Outlook using the .PST file met or to use the method where the items selected are saved directly back to the original Exchange Server or alternate / secondary Exchange Server. Example screenshot of selecting the individual mailbox data for a granular restore of that mailbox data:
- Thank you for reading this tutorial.
Thanks for your attention and stay tuned for more,
Jon Ferraez / NovaStor