How to Perform a Dial Tone Recovery Using an Alternate Server for the Dial Tone Database

Exchange 2007

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

Topic Last Modified: 2007-03-19

This topic explains how to recover a failed database on a server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 by performing a dial tone recovery. The Exchange 2007 dial tone recovery feature provides a limited business continuity solution for database, server, and site loss scenarios. By creating a temporary, or dial tone, database, users can send and receive messages while their Exchange database is being recovered or restored.

This topic describes how to create the dial tone database on an alternate server from the server that the database was originally located on. If a standalone server fails and needs to be rebuilt, the most efficient way to give users dial tone is to quickly create a dial tone database on another server and move the mailbox configuration to that new server. You then recover the failed database to the original server, and move the mailbox configuration back to the original server and recovered database.

To perform the following procedure, the account you use must be delegated the Exchange Server Administrator role and local Administrators group for the target server. For more information about permissions, delegating roles, and the rights that are required to administer Exchange 2007, see Permission Considerations.

The following assumptions are made in this procedure:

  • Mailbox database 2 (MDB2) in storage group 2 (SG2) on Exchange server 1 (EX1) has failed, and you want to restore it.

  • You will create a dial tone database MDB2 on Exchange server 2 (EX2).

    The database names should be the same on each server. This allows you to mount the dial tone database on the original server in the recovery storage group created for the original MDB2 database.

  1. If there are any files that correspond to the MDB2 database, move them to a temporary location. They might be needed for further recovery operations.

  2. You can create the MDB2 dial tone database in an existing storage group or in a new storage group. Select or create the storage group that you will place the database in, and then create the database using the following command:

    New-MailboxDatabase -StorageGroup <Server_Name>\<StorageGroup_Name> -Name <Database_Name> 
    For more information about how to create a new storage group, see How to Create a New Storage Group.
  3. Use the Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly command to point all the users to their new mailboxes on EX2 by running the following Exchange Management Shell commands:

    Get-MailboxStatistics -Database EX1\SG2\MDB2 | Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly -TargetDatabase EX2\<Storage_Group_Name>\MDB2
    After the Active Directory directory service replication has completed, all users can access their mailboxes on the new Exchange server. Clients can connect to the new server as follows: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 clients will be redirected via the Autodiscover service; Outlook Web Access users will be automatically redirected to the new server; and older Outlook clients will need to be manually configured to point to the new server, if the server name has changed.
  4. Using your backup software, restore your backup of MDB2 to EX1. Before mounting the recovery database to the recovery storage group, copy any log files from the failed database to the recovery storage group so that they can be played against the restored database.

  5. Using the Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly command, point all of the users to their restored mailboxes on EX1 by running the following Exchange Management Shell commands:

    Get-MailboxStatistics -Database EX2\<Storage_Group_Name>\MDB2 | Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly -TargetDatabase EX1\SG2\MDB2
  6. Use the Database Recovery Management tool in the Toolbox in the Exchange Management Console to configure the recovery storage group on EX1 for the dial tone database MDB2.

  7. Move, and then mount the MDB2 database from EX2 in the recovery storage group on EX1.

  8. Use the Database Recovery Management tool to merge content from the dial tone database created in Step 2, with the now active, restored database.

    Merging the databases gives users access to messages that were placed in the dial tone database while it was in production. The merge process extracts messages from the dial tone database and places them in the recovered database.
  9. Use the Database Recovery Management tool to remove the recovery storage group. Or, you can manually remove the recovery storage group using the Exchange Management Shell. For more information about removing recovery storage groups, see How to Remove a Recovery Storage Group.

For more information about managing databases, see Managing Storage Groups and Databases.

For more information about performing dial tone recoveries see, Dial Tone Recovery.