Backup Exchange 2003 with NTBACKUP

Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 already have the NTBACKUP software installed by default. However, installing Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 on these machines will upgrade NTBACKUP and allow it to be used to backup the Exchange databases (also known as Stores).

Note: You can also Backup Exchange 2000/2003 from a Non-Exchange Server.

To perform an Online backup of Exchange Server 2003 follow these steps (note that 99% of the steps outlined here also work for Exchange 2000, although the screenshots were taken on Exchange Server 2003):

  1. Click Start, point to Run, type NTBACKUP and click Ok (or press Enter).
  2. If the Backup or Restore Wizard appears, on the Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Advanced Mode.

  1. Click on the Backup tab.
  2. On the Backup tab expand Microsoft Exchange Server, expand servername (you should see your own server name of course… duh), expand Microsoft Information Store, select the correct Storage Group’s check-box or the entire Information Store check-box.

Note: It is always best to backup an entire Storage Group rather than individual Stores, and if possible, try to backup the entire IS in one job, although lack of time or storage might force you to selectively backup just parts of the IS at a time.

  1. On the Backup Destination choose the right tape device (if you have one, and you should), or, like in the above screenshot, a local File.
  2. In the Backup Media or Filename make sure you enter a descriptive name for the backup job.
  3. Click on the Start Backup button.
  4. In the Backup Job Information window make sure you have your settings right. If you already have a backup job on the destination tape or file, make sure you select Append to make the file bigger and hold both jobs, or Replace to delete the old file and re-create it with the new job.

You can also press the Advanced button and select the Backup Type. For this demonstration I’ve chosen Normal. I’ll discuss the differences between the backup types in a different article.

Another thing you can do is schedule the job to automatically run by pressing the Schedule button. This too will be discussed in a different article.

When you’re done press the Begin Backup button. The backup job should begin:

  1. When the backup is finished, in the Backup Progress dialog box, click Report.

  1. In the backup01.log window, verify that no errors are listed in the report. If no errors are listed, the backup was successful. Close backup01.log.
  2. In the Backup Progress dialog box, click Close.

To verify that Exchange recognizes that an online backup was performed follow these steps:

  1. In Exchange System Manager, browse to Administrative Groups\First Administrative Group\Servers\servername\First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (servername) (as always, use your own path…)
  2. In the console tree, right-click either the Mailbox Store or the Public Store, and then click Properties.
  3. In the store properties dialog box, click the Database tab.
  4. On the Database tab, in the Time of last full backup box, verify that the time of the backup you just performed is recorded, and then click OK.

Note regarding the backing-up of the System State AND the Information Store in one backup job: In Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 you cannot perform a backup of the System State AND the Exchange IS in one job, due to limitations in the Volume Shadow Copy service (VSS). These limitations are described in the following KB Article:

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