We recently had a support case where an Exchange 2003 Server simply wouldn’t back up with NTBackup. The error in the NTBackup log was:
The ‘Microsoft Information Store’ returned ‘Backup is already active.
‘ from a call to ‘HrESEBackupSetup()’ additional data ‘-‘The ‘Microsoft
… Information Store’ returned ‘Functions called in an invalid sequence.
‘ from a call to ‘HrESEBackupClose()’ additional data ‘-‘
In the event log, there were errors such as this:
Information Store (9880) Callback function call ErrESECBPrepareInstanceForBackup ended with error 0xC7FE1F45 Instance not found
Our client was confused as to why he could perform an image backup on his computer (using a different product) but not backup Exchange using BackupAssist.
We did integrity checks on the databases using isinteg and eseutil but they showed nothing strange.
Eventually, we worked with him to rebuild the pub and priv1 databases, and this reportedly fixed the issue.
Excerpts from my support emails with our client are included below, in case anyone else runs into the problem.
The reason why imaging backups would work is because when doing an image, there is no consistency check done on the database, like there is with a streaming backup (which is the kind that NTBackup does). An image will capture the corrupted edb files, and not tell you that there is a problem. Some imaging products won’t notify the Exchange VSS writer (which incidentally is disabled on SBS2003 by default) so logs won’t get truncated either.
I hope this helps if anyone else runs into weird errors when backing up Exchange Server.
Have you seen in this article – they have a diagnosis procedure based on eseutil:
If the eseutil steps don’t yield any results, then it might be best to recreate the public folder store.
I have been reading up on the best way to do it (whether it’s better to use a tool, or manually) – and it looks like the best thing to do is to simply open up the public folders in Outlook, drag and drop them to a new PST file. Then create a new public store (dismount the old one, rename the old pub1.edb and pub1.stm files, create new files, and moutn the database), set permissions back on the public store, and copy the data back.
Detailed instructions are given at the same MS KB article: