How to Restore Online Backup Sets to a Recovery Storage Group


You can restore databases to a recovery storage group from online backup sets or by manually copying database files into the appropriate file paths.

Before You Begin

Before you begin restoring data, make sure that you configure your system appropriately. For detailed information, see Setting Up a Recovery Storage Group.


To restore online backup sets to a recovery storage group

  1. In Exchange System Manager, disconnect from any databases currently mounted in the recovery storage group.

  2. At a command prompt, run the command Eseutil /mh [database filename].edb to examine each database header. The header should contain a line reading "State: Clean Shutdown", verifying that each database has disconnected successfully. Remember to check both the .edb database file and its matching .stm streaming database file.


    For more information about the two types of database files, see Managing Mailbox Stores and Public Folder Stores in the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide.

  3. In Windows File Manager, remove transaction log files (*.log) and checkpoint files (*.chk) from the recovery storage group directory to prevent them from interfering with recovery.

  4. Using Exchange System Manager, verify that the This database can be overwritten by a restore check box is selected for each newly recovered database.

  5. In Backup (or a different backup program), choose a full backup set to restore. Determine if you need to run hard recovery automatically after the restore is complete. After all backup sets have been restored, hard recovery must be run to replay transaction logs and put the restored database in a mountable state. Use the following guidelines to determine whether you should run hard recovery manually or automatically:

    • If this is the only backup set that you need to restore, and you do not need to add extra log files to the recovery storage group, set hard recovery to run automatically after the restore is complete. In Backup, you can do this by selecting the Last Restore Set check box, as shown in the following figure.

    • If you have additional backup sets to restore, wait until you are ready to restore the last set to use the Last Restore Set option (as described later in this procedure).

    • If you will be manually copying transaction log files to the recovery storage group in addition to restoring log files from online backup, you will need to run hard recovery manually, as described in Transaction Log File Replay: Soft Recovery and Hard Recovery in Exchange Server 2003. Manually running hard recovery will allow you to verify that all log files match and are in sequence before recovery starts.

      Last Restore Set check box in the Restoring Database Store dialog box of Backup


  6. Restore the full backup set to the recovery storage group server.

  7. If additional incremental or differential transaction log backups are available, restore them. As you are restoring the final backup, you can set hard recovery to run automatically, unless you determined in Step 5 above that you need to run hard recovery manually.


    For more information about Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 incremental and differential backups, see How Exchange Online Backups Work in Exchange Server 2003.

  8. If additional log files are available, move them to the transaction log directory. Verify that the sequence and signatures of these log files match those from the backup set, and then run hard recovery manually. For more information, see How to Run Hard Recovery Manually.

    If you are unfamiliar with how to do this task, see Cross-Matching Exchange Databases and Log Files in Exchange Server 2003.


    If you are using additional log files beyond those included in the backup sets, you should run hard recovery manually.