Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database Backup and Restore with Windows Server Backup in 3 Steps

In this post I will explain how to use Windows Server Backup to backup and restore a mailbox database for Exchange Server 2010 in 3 steps…

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Step One: Installing Windows Server Backup on Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server Backup is not installed by default, so the first step here is to install it.  Open an elevated Powershell session and run the following commands.

You can also add the Windows Server Backup from the Server Feature installation Manager.

Windows Server Backup can now be launched from the Administrative Tools menu.

Windows Server Backup

The Windows Server Backup console

Step Two: Backing Up an Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database

From the Windows Server Backup window click on Backup Once.

Start a Windows Server Backup of Exchange 2010

Start a Windows Server Backup of Exchange 2010

There is no existing scheduled backup on this server, so Different Options is the only selection.  Click Next to continue.

Choose whether to use existing backup options on the server

Choose whether to use existing backup options on the server

At the next step I’m choosing a Custom configuration so that I can look closer at the volumes to be backed up.  Click Next to continue.

Choose a Custom backup in Windows Server Backup

Choose a Custom backup in Windows Server Backup

Now it is time to select the volumes to be backed up.  For an Exchange Server 2010 mailbox database backup we need to choose any volumes that have Exchange database or log files on them.  The entire volume needs to be backed up, not just the folder holding those files.

Click the Add Items button to open the selections dialog.

In this case the mailbox database is on volume D:, while the transaction logs are on volume C:, so both volumes are selected.  Click OK to close the dialog.

Select the volumes containing Exchange application files

Select the volumes containing Exchange application files

Next click the Advanced Settings button.

Before starting the Exchange 2010 mailbox database backup some advanced settings are needed

Before starting the Exchange 2010 mailbox database backup some advanced settings are needed

Select the VSS Settings tab and make sure that VSS full backup is chosen.  Click OK and then Next to continue.

Choose VSS Full Backup for Exchange 2010 mailbox database backups

Choose VSS Full Backup for Exchange 2010 mailbox database backups

The backup can be stored on either a local drive or a remote network share.  In this demonstration I’m backing up to a local drive.

Choose to backup Exchange to a local drive or remote network share

Choose to backup Exchange to a local drive or remote network share

Select the volume to back up the Exchange 2010 mailbox database to.  You can’t choose a volume that is part of the backup selections list.  Click Next to continue.

Choose the volume to back up Exchange 2010 to

Choose the volume to back up Exchange 2010 to

When you are happy with your selections click Backup to start the backup.

Start the Exchange 2010 mailbox database backup

Start the Exchange 2010 mailbox database backup

The time taken to backup will depend on the size of your mailbox database.

Running an Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Database Backup

Running an Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Database Backup

When the backup is complete click the Close button.

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database backup is complete

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database backup is complete

Verify that the backup was successful.  You can also click the View Details link to see more information.

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database backup result

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database backup result

Restoring an Exchante Server 2010 Mailbox Database

For this demonstration the mailbox database has been dismounted and the database file deleted.  The Exchange server is unable to mount the database due to the missing file.

Unable to mount Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database due to missing file

Unable to mount Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database due to missing file

The mailbox database needs to be recovered from the previous good backup.  But first we need to mark the mailbox database as restorable.  In the Exchange Management Console open the properties of the mailbox database.

Open the Mailbox Database properties

Open the Mailbox Database properties

Select the Maintenance tab and tick the box This database can be overwritten by a restore.

Enable the Exchange 2010 mailbox database to be overwritten by a restore

Enable the Exchange 2010 mailbox database to be overwritten by a restore

You can also use the Exchange Management Shell to perform this task.

In Windows Server Backup click on Recover to start the Recovery Wizard.

Start the Windows Server Backup Recovery Wizard

Start the Windows Server Backup Recovery Wizard

The previous backup is stored on the local server in this case.  Click Next to continue.

Choose the backup location to restore the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database from

Choose the backup location to restore the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database from

A calendar is displayed with all of the dates that backups occurred on highlighted in bold.  If more than one backup was taken on that date then there are multiple entries in the drop down list.  Choose the backup that you want to restore from, usually the most recent one.  Click Next to continue.

Select the backup date to restore the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database from

Select the backup date to restore the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database from

The recovery type for an Exchange 2010 mailbox database restore is Application.  Select the recovery type and click Next to continue.

Choose the Application recovery type for Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database recovery

Choose the Application recovery type for Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database recovery

Windows Server Backup detects the type of application that was backed up and shows you a list.  Because this is the most recent Exchange server backup it also offers the option to not roll forward the database once the restore has been completed.  This means that the transaction logs that were written on the server since the time of the backup will be replayed into the restored database, bringing it completely up to date.

If you don’t want to roll the database forward (ie you are trying to recover the database to a specific point in time) then tick the box.  Otherwise click Next to continue.

Choose the application to restore and whether to roll the Exchange database forward

Choose the application to restore and whether to roll the Exchange database forward

In this example we’re recovering a lost database, so we will be restoring it to the original location.  If you do not want to overwrite an existing database you can choose to restore to an alternate location instead.  Click Next to continue.

Choose to recover the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database to its original location or an alternate location

Choose to recover the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database to its original location or an alternate location

When you’re ready to proceed click Restore to begin the recovery.

Begin the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database restore

Begin the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database restore

The restore time will depend on the size of the mailbox database being recovered.  When the restore is complete click on Close.

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database restore complete

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database restore complete

In the Application Event Log of the server we can see the recovery operation has taken place.

First the restore is begun:

Then the restore is completed successfully:

The existing transaction log files are then replayed into the database to roll it forward:

And finally the mailbox database is mounted:

The mailbox database has now been recovered.

5 thoughts on “Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database Backup and Restore with Windows Server Backup in 3 Steps

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