How to perform a Disaster Recovery of a Microsoft Windows 2008 Small Business Server (SBS2008)

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How to perform a Disaster Recovery of a Microsoft Windows 2008 Small Business Server (SBS2008) For servers backed up using any version of Backup Exec prior to Backup Exec 2012.  



Phase 1: Build a clean OS

1. Install Windows 2008 Small Business Server. This basic OS installation is necessary to provide Backup Exec with a target to which it can restore the system. The computer name, Windows directory (%systemdrive%:\%windir%) and the file system (NTFS) must be the same as the previous installation. This installation will be overwritten by the backup files, which will restore the original system configuration, application settings, and security settings. 
a. Connect the target computer to a hub or switch - a network connection is required during the install process.
b. Format the partitions the same size (or larger), and file system as before the failure.
c. As part of the installation, the computer will be joined to a domain, ensure the domain and computer name match the pre-disaster settings.  
d. During the installation, a prompt to create a user will show.  This article assumes the user name: Restore User with P@ssw0rd as the password.   This user will be the Domain administrator.  Note that the password supplied for this user will also be used by windows to create the <ComputerName>\Administrator account.  This account will be used to run the system state restore job.  No additional configuration of the users should be required.  
2. Fully update the clean OS.  
- The DNS is set to during the install, add the correct DNS settings to the network adapter to reach the internet.  
- Updates have been released by Microsoft to ensure a successful restore.  
- Note that since WSUS is installed by default, click the link: "Check online for updates from Microsoft" on the bottom of the windows update page to force all current updates.  
3. Install Backup Exec to a directory other than where it was originally installed (this is a temporary installation).

a. Choose a custom installation

b. BE can be left in trial mode

c. If it is left in trial mode, choose to install the following options:

- Active Directory Recovery Agent

- Agent for Microsoft Exchange Server

- Agent for Microsoft SharePoint

- Agent for Microsoft SQL Server

d. Change the install location to either another drive or file path such as: C:\Program Files\Symantec\BERestore

e. Use the new Domain Admin account RestoreUser from Step 1 as the service account.  Backup Exec will use this account for most of the tasks to follow.  

f. Change the SQL install location to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\BERestore

g. Install Device drivers if prompted for the attached media drive.

4. Finish the installation and reboot the server.
5. Run Live update to fully patch Backup Exec.  Updates have been released to ensure a successful restore. 
6. Launch Backup Exec and configure storage where the backups sets are located. Ignore any messages about this storage already being used by another version of BE. 
7. From the Devices tab, inventory the backup device to determine what files/tape it contains.  
8. Catalog the media containing the latest full backup of the computer to be recovered.
- If the subsequent differential/incremental backups are on separate media, catalog those also.
- Cataloging tapes and files can take a while.  If the backups reside on disk, often the correct files for the restore can be inferred by looking at the time stamps on the files.
- If there are many files, moving these files to their own backup to disk folder can ensure only the necessary files are cataloged and can save valuable time.  

PHASE 2:  Restoring the OS:
Note: It is not necessary to restore Exchange and SBS Monitoring first, but it does save time.  It is optional to skip to step.  If this step is performed, Exchange will be up and running as soon as the OS is restored.  Users will be able to start accessing their email while other applications on the server are still being restored.  
During the installation of SBS 2008, Exchange 2007 is installed and configured.  There are two default databases. If the installation was customized, edit the Exchange server databases to match the predisaster configurations prior to running restore jobs or skip to step 3 now and restore Exchange after the OS.  
1. Open up Exchange Management Console
- Click Server Configuration, then Mailbox
- For each database, Right click and select properties
- Check: Do not mount this database at startup(in case you have any more reboots after the Exchange restore job)
- Check: This database can be overwritten by a restore
2. Open up a new restore job
- From the selections tab, select: 
- All Exchange databases
- The following SQL databases
Do not try to restore the Master, Model, or MSDB for either instance at this time.  
- From the Microsoft Exchange Tab:
- Check Dismount before restore
- Commit after restore commits only if there are no transaction logs to restore
- Uncheck Mount database after restore (They will be mounted once the OS/system state have been recovered. 
- From the Microsoft SQL tab:
- Take Existing database offline
- Overwrite the Existing Database
- Run this restore job. 
3. Reboot the computer into Directory Services Repair Mode(DSRM).
      Note: This step can result in an infinite loop reboot cycle if you do not know your password.  If you are in doubt of your AD restore password, use the F8 method of getting into Active directory reestore mode. 
a. Launch MSConfig(start, run, msconfig), go to the Boot tab, click Safe boot, click Active Directory repair.
b. Reboot
c. Login
- Click Change user
- Other user
- Credentials: Administrator with the P@ssw0rd that was created during the installation of Windows 2008 SBS.
4.  Change the Backup Exec services to launch as local system 
a. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop and select Manage.
b. Expand the Services and Applications node.
c. Click Services.
d. For the following Backup Exec services, change the logon account to Local System Account.  Right-Click, Properties, log on.

- Backup Exec Agent browser

- Backup Exec Device and media

- Backup Exec Job engine

- Backup Exec Server

Note: It is not unusual for it to take a very long time(3-5minutes) for the first service to commit the change. 

Note: Backup Exec Remote Agent for Windows and SQL Server (BKUPEXEC) should be running under "Local System Account" by default.

5. Start the Backup Exec services
6. Launch Backup Exec
7. Change the system logon account to use the administrator account:
a. Click Network, Logon accounts
b. Edit the SYSTEM LOGON ACCOUNT.  DO NOT add a second account.
c. A password prompt will occur when editing this account because the domain user is the owner.  Enter the same password to proceed: P@ssw0rd.  
d. Change the user name to <Computername>\Administrator.  The password is the same and so it should not need to be edited.  Note that the NETBIOS computername is being used, not the FQDN
8. Open up a new restore job.
- From the Selections tab, select:

- The C drive.

- Any other drives required for boot if this server was customized

- System State

- Shadow Copy Components

a. For the incremental backups select the Full and all the subsequent incremental backups.
b. If differential backup sets are to be restored, select only the last differential set.
- From the General tab, select:
- Restore all information for files and directories,  
- Preserve tree
- Restore over existing files
- From the Advanced tab select:
- Overwrite the existing hardware configuration 
- Restore junction points... 
- Mark this server as the Primary Arbitrator... 
- Click Run Now to start the restore.
- Once the restore is finished it should pop an alert indicating that the system must be restarted to finish. Wait to restart.
-If you receive an error during the system state restore, stop and investigate the error before rebooting the server.

9. There will be at least two SQL instances for a basic configuration.  Their master databases are located in the following directories.

  • SBSMONITORING  C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data   

  • BKUPEXEC             C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\MSSQL\Data 

  • Additional x86 instance   C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.3\MSSQL\Data

  • Additional x64 instance   C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data

- For each Directory above, except SBSMonitoring which is already taken care of, locate the files with the $4IDR extensions:

a. Remove the Read-Only file attribute by right clicking on each file and selecting properties.  

b. Rename each file to have the proper file extension.  



Offline DB/Log Filename

Rename To                    









Note: depending on the SQL installation and configuration, their may be an MSDB database as well.  

10. Open the original Backup Exec installation directory that was just restored with the C drive.   C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Data.
a. Make copies of the following 4 files
b. Rename the copies: 

Copy these files:

Rename the copies to:
BE_DLO.mdf.bak  BE_DLO.mdf

These files are just blank databases typically used by the BEUtility to load a blank database into the application.  If you do not have the above files, your bkupexec SQL instance will not start after the OS restore.  You will need to run a repair install on Backup Exec to proceed after the reboot.  


11. Reboot the server


Phase 3: Restore Applications
If all the prior step worked correctly, the server should be up and running.  Exchange and all active directory services should be working. Steps 9 and 10 got our SQL instance working but we still need to restore the original Backup Exec database and then catalog the most recent Backup set again. 
 Backup Exec

 12. Restore the Backup Exec database

- Launch C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\BEutility.exe

- Click all Media Servers, Right click the Computer name, click Recover Database.

- Click Drop an reload from backup

- Click OK

- Repeat the same steps above, this time change the database instance to DLO before clicking OK. 


13. Run an Inventory and Catalog job of the backup device containing the most recent backup set.

-Note: It is normal for a restored server to not know about the backup set that restored it.  



14. Restore any user databases for any additional SQL instances. 


Active Directory Certificate Database

15. Repair the Active Directory certificate database.

-Open a command prompt

- CD C:\windows\system32

- Run the following command:

esentutl /p C:\windows\system32\certlog\<Domain>-<Servername>-CA.edb

- Note:The command above requires the domain and server name be inserted.  This file name must be exact.   

- Delete any file with a .log extension in the C:\windows\system32\certlog directory. 

- Start the Active Directory Certificate Services service. 

To recover the SharePoint 2007 Componants installed with Small Business Server 2008, you will need to run 3 restore jobs.
16a. SharePoint Restore Job #1:
- From the Selections tab, select:
a. Windows SharePoint Services Search 
- Search Instance
- Search-DB 1
b. WSS_Administration
- WebApplication
- Content-DB 1
- From the General tab select:
- Restore over existing Files
- From the SharePoint tab select:
- Replace Existing Database
- From the SQL tab select:
- Take existing destination database offline.
- Overwrite the Existing Database
- Click Run Now to start the restore.


 16b. SharePoint Restore Job #2:
- From the Selections tab, select:
a. Windows Sharepoint Services Web Application
- SBS Sharepoint
- Content-DB 1
- From the SharePoint tab select:
- Replace Existing Database
- From the SQL tab select:
- Take existing destination database offline.
- Overwrite the Existing Database
- Click Run Now to start the restore.
16c. SharePoint Restore Job #3:
- From the Selections tab, select:
a. Configuration DB
- From the SharePoint tab select:
- Replace Existing Database 
- From the SQL tab select:
- Take existing destination database offline.
- Overwrite the Existing Database
- Click Run Now to start the restore.
Windows Server Update Service
17. Restore WSUS
- From the Selections tab, select:
- Microsoft##SSEE
-Do not select Master Model or MSDB.  
- From the SQL tab select:
- Take existing destination database offline.
- Overwrite the Existing Database
- Click Run Now to start the Restore. 
If you skipped the first restore job of Exchange for any reason, here are the steps for restoring Exchange after the job.  
18a. Open up Exchange Management Console
- Click Server Configuration, then Mailbox
- For each database, Right click and select properties
- Check: This database can be overwritten by a restore
18b. Open a new Restore job:
- From the Selections tab,Select:
- Microsoft Information Store
- All storage groups(defaults are first and second storage group)
- From the Exchange tab, the default settings are sufficient. They are:
- Commit after restore completes
- Mount DB after Restore
- Note that you will not need to dismount first since the existing databases are from the restore OS and will not Monunt in this OS.  
Phase 4: Final Review
- Open windows services and sort by startup type.  Everything that is listed as automatic should be started(excluding delayed start services).  Troubleshoot any services that will not start.
- Delete the temp install directories for Backup Exec: 
  • C:\Program Files\Symantec\BERestore

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\BERestore

- Once all applications running as expected, review the Windows event logs.  Look for any errors that did not exist before the restore and address them individually.



Applies To


1. A backup device attached to the computer that is being recovered. This can be a tape drive, changer, usb or internal storage if only the OS drive failed.  
2. A full backup of the computer to be recovered, as well as any subsequent incremental/differential backups.
  • C drive, along with any other drives that had applications installed to it.  
  • System State backup matching the date of the C drive backup. The closer the System state backup was to the C drive, to more likely the restore job will be a success.  
  • Shadow Copy Components.
  • SQL backups of all instances
  • Information Store backups of the Exchange Database.  
3. The Windows 2008 Small Business Server installation media and key.
          -If you are using an OEM disk to install the OS, ensure to uninstall or update all the OEM software to ensure it does not cause issue with Backup Exec.  One known example is old versions of HP Insight software causing hardware failures during tape restore jobs. (TECH62544)
4. The Backup Exec 12 or higher.
-To ensure a successful restore, use Backup Exec 2010 R3 SP2 (or newer) to run the restore job regardless of what version of Backup Exec was running on the server at the time of backup.  
-The restore job can be run in trial mode, Backup Exec does not need to be licensed.  The original Backup Exec version along with licensing will be restored with the C drive.
5. Drivers for the network card.  

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