How to prepare Exchange 2003 so that a Recovery Storage Group Restore can be performed

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  • Article ID:000026614


How to prepare Exchange 2003 so that a Recovery Storage Group (RSG) Restore can be performed with Backup Exec.


The Recovery Storage Group (RSG) feature in Exchange 2003 allows to mount a second copy of an Exchange mailbox store on any Exchange server in the same Exchange Administrative Group as the original, while the original store is still running and serving clients. This allows the ability to recover data from an older backup copy of the store without disturbing client access to current data.

After the RSG is created, add one or more stores to RSG and restore online backup sets to it. Use the Exchange Server 2003 version of Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard (Exmerge.exe) to extract mailbox data from the stores into .PST files, and optionally merge the extracted data back into the online stores.

Note: Information on how to download ExMerge and on how to recover mailbox refer to the documentations.

Note: Only Exchange mailbox stores from Exchange 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later can be restored to the RSG. Restored mailbox stores are upgraded to the store version currently running on the RSG server.

The following are requirements for restoring Microsoft Exchange 2003 data using the Recovery Storage Group (RSG):

  • Mailbox stores in the RSG must come from the same storage group. Mailbox stores from different storage groups cannot be added to the RSG at the same time.

  • If performing a redirected restore of a Mailbox Store from another server, the mailbox store that needs to be added to RSG has to be located on the same server.

  • Public folder stores are not supported for restore using the RSG.

  • Do not mount mailbox stores in the RSG before the restore. If mounted before the restore, then it must be dismounted and the following option must be selected "This database can be overwritten by a restore" on the database property page in Exchange System Manager prior to restoring them.

  • On the server that hosts the RSG, there must be a storage group with the same name as the original storage group for the data that needs to be restored. If no such storage group exists on the server, then create the storage group name as it existed originally during backup and the mailbox store name that the RSG references must have the same name as the backed up version. (In 11.x and later versions, the RSG can exist on any server in the Forest and there does not have to be a regular Storage Group with the name of the original Storage Group present.)

  • The Active Directory topology of the Exchange system must be intact and in the same state it was in when the backup was made. Mailbox stores that were deleted and recreated can not be restored. In addition, it may not be possible to recover mailboxes from stores if the mailboxes were deleted and purged from the system or moved to other servers or mailbox stores.

  • When the RSG exists on a server, the mailbox stores that it contains are the only stores that can be restored on that server by default. Symantec recommends that RSG should only be created when you intend to recover data using it, and remove the RSG from the server after the data recovery is complete.


Refer to your Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 documentation for more information on the requirements and restrictions of recovering Exchange data using the RSG or you may refer:

  • Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 824126


To create a Recovery Storage Group:

  1. Start Exchange System Manager. Expand Administrative Groups (if appropriate), expand the Administrative Group Name (if appropriate), and then expand Servers

  • Right-click ServerName, point to New, and then click Recovery Storage Group.

  • In the Name box, type a name for the Recovery Storage Group. Try to use the same name that you used for the original storage group when you specify a name for the Recovery Storage Group. If the following error message is received, (Figure 1) use a different name for the Recovery Storage Group:

    The object StorageGroupName already exists.

    Figure 1

  • Enter a unique directory name for this object. In the Transaction log location and in the System path location boxes, specify a location for the transaction log files and for the system path. Make sure that the location being specified for the transaction log files for the Recovery Storage Group is different from the location that is specified for the transaction log for the original storage group. Click OK.

  • Right-click the Recovery Storage Group that is created, and then click Add Database to Recover (Figure 2)

    Figure 2

  • In the Select database to recover dialog box, Click the mailbox store that needs to be added to the Recovery Storage Group, and then click OK. In the Mailbox Store Properties dialog box, review the properties of the mailbox store, and then click OK (Figure 3).

** Important ** Make sure that while reviewing the Mailbox store information, if there are multiple Exchange servers in the configuration, the name and location match the Mailbox store that are intended to attach to the RSG.

Figure 3


To restore Exchange 2003 databases using the Recovery Storage Group:

  1. On the navigation bar in Backup Exec, click Restore. On the Properties pane, under Source, click Selections. In the restore selections list, select the backup sets that need to be restored (Figure 4).

  2. Note: Make sure only the mailbox store is selected. Public Folder stores are not supported for restore using the RSG.

    Figure 4

  • On the Properties pane, under Settings, click Exchange. Select the appropriate options.

Note: Do not select the Commit after restore completes checkbox and the Mount database after restore checkbox on the Restore Job Properties dialog box for Exchange unless the selections include the last backup set to be restored. These selections direct the Exchange server to replay transactions, roll back uncommitted transactions, and mount the databases after the restore.

  • If the RSG resides on a different Exchange server, then it can be redirected by selecting Exchange Redirection (Figure 5)

  • Figure 5

  • Start the restore job

  • When the restore is complete, use the EXMerge utility in Exchange 2003 to extract the mailbox data from the restored mailbox stores and optionally merge the data back into the online stores (Figure 6)

  • Figure 6


Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



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