Saturday, November 28, 2015

Exchange 2010 - Native Windows backup of Exchange

This is a short blog post that presents the backup of an Exchange 2010 (SP3 - RU10) server using native Windows backup. It is meant to be informational in itself but also fulfills a preliminary requisite for the following blog post in which I will demonstrate how to restore mailbox items using what is called a "Recovery Database" or "RDB"). Indeed, we cannot perform a restore without a backup to begin with.


First, we go to "Administrative Tools" and select "Windows Server Backup". This is a Windows Server  "feature" (as opposed to a "role"). If the "WSB" feature has not been added, an error message will display. We can overcome this obstacle by installing the feature.

For this exercise, we will click on the "Backup Once" option in the Action pane:

Then "Different options":

I will select "Custom" for the backup configuration. This allows me to see exactly what elements I will backup:

On the "Select Items for Backup" page, we have to click on the "Add Items" button:

We will select all the boxes except "Backup (B)". This is an additional hard drive that we will use to store the backup:

We click "OK" and return to the configuration page. We then click on "Advanced Settings" and then the "VSS Settings" tab. I will select the "VSS full Backup" option since I am not using another product (other than Windows native backup) for the backup:

For this exercise, I will use a local drive (a shared folder on the network is the other option):

We then select the specific volume itself:

I confirm the settings selected (and click OK):

I can observe the progress of the backup during the execution of the backup job:

If all goes well, status for all backup operations should read "Completed".


In reality, we would probably want to schedule a backup to occur at regular intervals, targeting, perhaps, a remote shared folder elsewhere on the network.

In any case, we now have a "full server backup" which includes, besides the Windows OS, the Exchange system files, databases and log files (some of which have been truncated during the backup operation). We will use this backup in my next blog post to create a "Recovery Database" from which we can (essentially) copy items from the "RDB" to the database where the items existed before they were deleted.

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