This How-to guide covers all that you need to know about restoring a Microsoft Exchange Server backup to its original location.
Please see How to Restore a Microsoft Exchange Server Database to alternate location if you need to restore to a Different Exchange Machine.
The following method restores the Exchange Mailbox Database, stored in a NovaBACKUP backup set, directly back to the live Exchange Server that is running on the same Windows Server system that the backup was originally taken on.
Make sure that Microsoft Exchange is up to date with the latest service pack and cumulative updates performed, Service Packs are normally downloaded and applied manually, 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 perform a restore of the Exchange Mailbox Database to the original location, so long as the backup utilized the native "plugin" method from the "Backup" tab of the software.
Please note that in order for the restore to original location to work, the name of the current machine that you are attempting to restore the Exchange backup on must match the server name that the backup was originally performed on.
Also, the currently installed Microsoft Exchange version is REQUIRED to be the same version and Service Pack + CU level as when the Microsoft Exchange Server Backup was originally performed.
For example, if you performed a backup of the Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Database when the Microsoft Exchange version was Exchange 2016 SP1 and now you are trying to restore that Mailbox Database to Exchange 2016 RTM, the initial release version, say after a hardware failure and rushing to re-install Windows Server 2016 and Exchange 2016 and then not running any of the numerous newer patches. The restore to original location will likely fail as the installed version is older than the one installed when the backup was performed. In this case you would first be required to install Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2016 before attempting to restore the Exchange Server Database to the original location with NovaBACKUP.
The Restore to original location is always 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 [Demonstration] Granular Restore for Microsoft Exchange (Video) using the NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application.
You can use 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 Obtaining NovaBACKUP Granular Restore for NovaBACKUP Business Essentials (v18 and above), or watch the video walkthrough on obtaining and using the application to restore an individual Exchange mailbox item [Demonstration] Granular Restore for Microsoft Exchange (Video).
- Start NovaBACKUP Business Essentials.
- Navigate to the Restore tab.
- If the backup you wish to restore is not in the list, you will need to Import it.
- Locate and select the backup set you wish to restore from, and select the components to restore.
- Click on the [Settings] at the bottom of the screen.
- 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". In this guide we only cover how to restore the Exchange Mailbox Database backup to the original location.
- A screenshot example is shown below for what this would look like at this stage:
- Confirm the Run As property is set to use an Administrator account.
- 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).
- 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 [Settings].
- Click on the [Settings] at the bottom of the screen.
- Note that this method of restoring your Exchange Server Mailbox Database to original location REQUIRES that the Exchange Mailbox Database on your Exchange Server be set to offline/dismounted status mode, otherwise the restore from NovaBACKUP will fail.
- You will be required to mark your current Exchange Server Mailbox Database as offline / dismounted status mode.
- To do this load Exchange Admin Center (EAC), or Exchange Management Console (EMC), depending on your version of Exchange, website to connect to your Exchange server.
- You will login to the Exchange Admin web management console to set the Exchange mailbox database to offline/dismounted status.
- Locate the Mailbox Database and then click on the "..." button and then click on "Dismount" to perform the dismount, you will get a warning, click Yes.
- A screenshot example of how this would look in Exchange Server 2016 is shown below:
- You will need to confirm that the Mailbox database is in the Dismounted status, make sure that the Dismounted status shows like this screenshot below:
- You will also, depending on the version of Exchange Server (2013 and 2016 are confirmed), need to enable the "This database can be overwritten by a restore" option on the mailbox database, in 'servers > databases > double-click on the mailbox database > maintenance'. In the database maintenance area, you should see the option "This database can be overwritten by a restore". Enable the checkbox on that option and then click Save. Example dialog here:
- Now you are ready to perform the restore to original location to replace the Mailbox Database in Microsoft Exchange Server from the backup. To start the restore click the [Restore] button at the bottom right of the Restore tab screen in NovaBACKUP.
- If you get any errors during the restore please confirm the Restore Job’s [Settings] for Run As and Network Credentials. Also, confirm that your Mailbox Database is set to dismounted status mode and the "allow overwrite" option detailed in step 5 is enabled, prior to attempting the restore again.
- Your Exchange Database should have restored successfully at this point, confirmed by the latest log entry in NovaBACKUP.
- You will now be required to set your Mailbox Database to the Mounted status mode in Exchange Admin web management console, otherwise the mailbox that you restored successfully will not be online/active, and cannot be backed up. If you need to restore the mailbox database from backup to the original location again, repeat steps 4 through 9 again.