How to Restore a Microsoft Exchange Server Database to original location
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2018 09:02AM PDT
How to Restore a Microsoft Exchange Server Database to original location
This How-to guide covers all that you need to know about restoring a Microsoft Exchange Server backup to original location, to restore the entire Exchange Server Mailbox Database to your Microsoft Exchange Server so that your Exchange Server can utilize the Mailbox Database that was stored inside a backup set. Compared to restoring to alternate location, as detailed in the guide here, this 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. NovaBACKUP Business Essentials contains native "plugin" capability to perform backups of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Machine and VMware Virtual Machine. 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 perform a restore of the Exchange Mailbox Database to the original location, as long as the backup utilized the native "plugin" method. 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, as well as the currently installed Microsoft Exchange version is REQUIRED to be the same version and Service Pack 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 (Service Pack 1) and now you are trying to restore that Mailbox Database to Exchange 2016 RTM (Release To Manufacturer), 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 Mailbox Database stored in the backup set that you are now trying to restore to the older non Service Pack level Microsoft Exchange version is no longer compatible. In that case you would first be required to install Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2016 prior to attempting the Exchange Server Database restore to original location with NovaBACKUP. In addition to the restore to original location, you can restore Exchange backups to an alternate location to be able to restore an individual mailbox or email message; the guide on restoring Exchange Server Mailbox Database to an alternate location is here. 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 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 original location" method of Restore. In this guide we cover how to restore the Exchange Mailbox Database backup to the original location. We have another guide here for how to restore the Exchange Server Mailbox Database to alternate location in order to perform a manual restore of the Exchange Mailbox Database using the native EDB file, or to utilize that EDB file with NovaBACKUP Granular Restore application to restore an individual mailbox item, such as an email or calendar item. 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.
- 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:
- Once you have confirmed that the Mailbox database is in the Dismounted status, you can proceed with the restore to original location. Make sure that the Dismounted status shows like this screenshot below:
- Now you are ready to perform the restore to original location to replace the Mailbox Database in Microsoft Exchange Server. 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 11 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. Also, again, as outlined in Step 8, confirm that your Mailbox Database is set to dismounted status mode prior to attempting the restore again, if you had an error restoring prior.
- 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.
- Thank you for reading this tutorial.
Thanks for your attention and stay tuned for more,
Jon Ferraez / NovaStor