How to Perform a Dial Tone Recovery Using and Staying on an Alternate Server for the Dial Tone Database

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

This topic explains how to recover a database by performing a dial tone recovery on an alternate server from the server that the database was originally located on. The Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 dial tone recovery feature provides a limited business continuity solution for database, server, and site loss scenarios. By creating a temporary, or dial tone, database, users can send and receive messages while their Exchange database is being recovered or restored.

Some times it is not feasible to recover the failed server. In this case it might be necessary to stay on an alternative server. If the server that you are using as your alternative server has sufficient resources and can handle the additional load, this might be a good opportunity to consolidate servers. You recover the failed database to the alternate server in a recovery storage group. Then, you swap and merge the dial tone and restored databases and leave them on the alternate server.

Before You Begin

To perform the following procedure, the account you use must be delegated the Exchange Server Administrator role and local Administrators group for the target server. For more information about permissions, delegating roles, and the rights that are required to administer Exchange 2007, see Permission Considerations.


The following assumptions are made in this procedure:

  • Mailbox database 2 (MDB2) in storage group 2 (SG2) on Exchange server 1 (EX1) has failed, and you want to restore it.

  • You will create a dial tone database MDB2 on Exchange server 2 (EX2).


    The database names should be the same on each server. This allows you to mount the dial tone database on the original server in the recovery storage group created for the original MDB2 database.

  • You will restore MDB2 to EX2, and then merge the two databases.

To perform a dial tone recovery using and staying on an alternate server for the dial tone database

  1. If there are any files left that correspond to the MDB2 database, move them to a temporary location. They might be needed for further recovery operations.

  2. You can create the MDB2 dial tone database in an existing storage group or in a new storage group. Select or create the storage group that you will place the database in, and then create the database using the following command:

    New-MailboxDatabase -StorageGroup <Server_Name>\<StorageGroup_Name> -Name <Database_Name> 


    For more information about creating a new storage group, see How to Create a New Storage Group.

  3. Use the Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly command to point users to their new mailboxes on EX2, by running the following Exchange Management Shell command:

    Get-Mailbox -Database EX1\SG2\MDB2 | Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly -TargetDatabase EX2\<Storage_Group_Name>\MDB2


    After the Active Directory directory service replication has completed, all users can access their mailboxes on the new Exchange server. Clients can connect to the new server as follows: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 clients will be redirected via the Autodiscover service; Outlook Web Access users will be automatically redirected to the new server; and older Outlook clients will need to be manually configured to point to the new server, if the server name has changed.

  4. Use the Database Recovery Management tool in the Exchange Management Console to configure the recovery storage group on EX2 for the dial tone database MDB2.

  5. Using your backup software, restore your backup of MDB2 to the new recovery storage group on EX2. Before mounting the recovery database to the recovery storage group, copy any log files from the failed database to the recovery storage group so that they can be played against the restored database.

  6. If the database being restored is hosted in a storage group that is enabled for continuous replication, suspend replication for the storage group by using the Suspend-StorageGroupCopy cmdlet, and then proceed to Step 7. If the database being restored is not hosted in a storage group that is enabled for continuous replication, proceed to Step 7.

  7. Using the Database Recovery Management tool, swap the recovery storage group and dial tone database created in Step 2.


    Swapping the databases results in downtime for all users accessing the dial tone database while the swap is taking place. Swapping the databases makes the restored database the active database that users connect to and places the dial tone database in the recovery storage group.

  8. Using the Database Recovery Management tool, merge content from the dial tone database created in Step 2 with the now active, restored database.


    Merging the databases gives users access to messages that were placed in the dial tone database while it was in production. The merge process extracts messages from the dial tone database and places them in the recovered database.

  9. If the database being restored is hosted in a storage group that is enabled for continuous replication, re-seed the passive copy of the database for the storage group by running the Update-StorageGroupCopy cmdlet.

  10. Using the Database Recovery Management tool in the Exchange Toolbox, you can remove the recovery storage group. For more information about removing recovery storage groups, see How to Remove a Recovery Storage Group.

  11. We recommend that you take a full backup of the restored, active storage group and verify that log files are truncated on successful completion of the backup.

For More Information

For more information about managing databases, see Managing Storage Groups and Databases.

For more information about performing dial tone recoveries see Dial Tone Recovery.