How to restore Exchange 2007 from image backup (Server 2008)

Hi all,

In response to a few questions we’ve had (and also due to the fact that people are having difficulty finding Microsoft’s documentation on the matter), we have released a brief document that describes how to restore Exchange Server 2007 from a Windows Server 2008 image backup (VHD backup made by Windows Server Backup or BackupAssist).

The article above describes how to restore using the Windows Server Backup restore UI.

It is also possible to do the restore by:

  1. Restoring the Exchange application to an alternative location, such as your desktop – which will restore just the files of the Exchange databases
  2. Dismounting the relevant Exchange stores / shutting down the Exchange services
  3. Copying over the mailbox directories from your newly restored location back to the original location
  4. Restarting the Exchange services / remounting the stores

Important disclaimer: We’re not sure if this method is documented or supported by Microsoft, but note that it is virtually idential to the “Forklift” procedure that was popular with Exchange 2000/2003, where it was possible to restore Exchange databases to new exchange servers using the same method.

We recommend using the Microsoft UI to do the restore where possible – that was the first method described in this blog post.

Hope that answers a few questions!


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