How to Reset an Exchange Database and Create a Dial Tone Database


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-23

This topic explains how to implement a recovery strategy called Messaging Dial Tone. The dial tone database supports your users while you recover the original database. If you have a large Microsoft® Exchange database, it can take several hours to restore it from backup after a disaster. However, by implementing the Messaging Dial Tone strategy you can restore e-mail service more quickly to users (providing them with a basic "dial tone") and then restore users' previous data as it becomes available. For more information, see Recovering a Mailbox Database Using a Dial Tone Database in Exchange Server 2003.

  1. In Exchange System Manager, stop all databases still running in the storage group. You do not have to stop all databases running on the server, just the databases that are in the same storage group as the database that failed.

  2. Retrieve the transaction log location for the storage group and the file names and file locations of the files for the database that failed.

    • Look in the storage group Properties dialog box for the transaction log location.

    • Look on the Database tab of the database Properties dialog box for the database file names and locations.

  3. In Windows File Manager, copy all transaction logs for the storage group to a safe location. Do not move them—copy them.

    It is critical that you preserve all transaction log files before you reset the database. If a backup operation starts, it may purge log files that are still needed for the original database.
    As long as at least one database in a storage group is disconnected, Backup will not purge any log files. In a dial tone scenario, however, Backup assumes that recovery is complete as soon as it detects all databases mounted in the storage group.
  4. Move or rename the files for the failed database (.edb and .stm files).

  5. In Exchange System Manager, mount the failed database. The following warning appears:

    At least one of this store's database files is missing. Mounting this store will force the creation of an empty database. Do not take this action if you intend to restore an earlier backup. Are you sure you want to continue?

  6. Click Yes. Exchange generates a new database.