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Recover an Exchange Server


Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

You can recover a lost server by using the Setup /m:RecoverServer switch in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Most of the settings for a computer running Exchange 2010 are stored in Active Directory. The /m:RecoverServer switch rebuilds an Exchange server with the same name by using the settings and other information stored in Active Directory.

Recovering a lost Exchange server is often accomplished by using new hardware. However, you can also use an existing server.

This topic shows you how to recover a lost Exchange 2010 server that isn't a member of a database availability group (DAG). For detailed steps about how to recover a server that was a member of a DAG, see Recover a Database Availability Group Member Server.


If Exchange is installed in a location other than the default location, you must use the /TargetDir switch to specify the location of the Exchange binary files. If you don’t use the /TargetDir switch, the Exchange files are installed in the default location (%programfiles%\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14).
To determine the install location, follow these steps:


  2. Navigate to the following location: CN=ExServerName,CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=ExOrg Name,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=DomainName,CN=Com

  3. Right-click the Exchange server object, and then click Properties.

  4. Locate the msExchInstallPath attribute. This attribute stores the current installation path.


  • The server on which recovery is being performed must be running the same operating system as the lost server. For example, you can't recover a server that was running Exchange 2010 and Windows Server 2008 on a server running Windows Server 2008 R2, or vice versa.

  • The same disk drive letters on the failed server for mounted databases must exist on the server on which you're running recovery.

  • The server on which recovery is being performed should have the same performance characteristics and hardware configuration as the lost server.

  • The following procedure can be run on an Exchange 2010 server that has the Client Access, Hub Transport, Mailbox, or Unified Messaging server roles installed. You can't use Setup /m:RecoverServer to recover an Edge Transport server. For information about preserving Edge Transport server settings and applying saved settings to an Edge Transport server, see Understanding Edge Transport Server Cloned Configuration.

Recover a Lost Exchange Server

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Exchange infrastructure permissions" section in the Exchange and Shell Infrastructure Permissions topic.

  1. Reset the computer account for the lost server. For detailed steps, see Reset a Computer Account.

  2. Install the proper operating system and name the new server with the same name as the lost server. Recovery won't succeed if the server on which recovery is being performed doesn't have the same name as the lost server.

  3. Join the server to the same domain as the lost server.

  4. Install the necessary prerequisites and operating system components. For details, see Exchange 2010 System Requirements and Exchange 2010 Prerequisites.

  5. Log on to the server being recovered and open a command prompt.

  6. Navigate to the Exchange 2010 installation files, and run the following command:

    Setup /m:RecoverServer
  7. After Setup has completed, but before the recovered server is put into production, reconfigure any custom settings that were previously present on the server.

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