How to Copy or Move the Existing Versions of the Database Files You Are Restoring


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-09

This topic explains how to copy or move a database file that you are trying to restore.

Before you perform the procedure in this topic, consider the following:

Moving database files from their original location to a different folder on the same logical disk is almost instantaneous, as the only data that must be written to disk is an update to the NTFS Master File Table (MFT). Moving the files to a different logical disk (even if both drives share the same physical disk) or making a copy of them in any location takes much longer because each database file must be rewritten to the new location. Moving or copying the database files to a different location over the network takes even more time, and can use a lot of your network bandwidth. This is just one reason why making full use of the 4 storage group and 20 database capabilities of Exchange Server 2003 (more databases of smaller sizes) is actually more manageable and can decrease the time that you spend on backup and restore-related tasks.

  1. Make sure that the databases that you are moving or making a copy of are dismounted. For more information about how to dismount databases, see "Dismounting the Exchange Databases That You Are Restoring" in Recovering an Exchange Database.

  2. Make sure the databases you are copying have been shut down in a clean state. Use Eseutil /mh to dump the header information for the database. Look for State: Clean Shutdown in the dumped information.

    If the database is in a dirty state, try to restore the database to a clean state before you repair it. This task entails playing any required transaction logs into the database. The Log Required field in the dump file from Eseutil /mh will show you the logs that are required to restore the database to a clean state. The logs shown in this field are shown in decimal, you must convert these values to hexadecimal to find the appropriate transaction log files.

    In many cases, remounting the database causes soft recovery to start so that the database can be shut down in a clean state.

  3. Create a folder to store the database files that you want to move or copy. You can create the folder either on a local hard disk or on your network. Make sure the destination location has sufficient room before you start the copy process. Remember that moving the file to another location on the same logical drive is the fastest way to preserve the damaged database.

    Copying database files before the restore process


For more information about restoring Exchange Server 2003, see Restoring Exchange Server 2003.


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