Disaster Recovery

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
Updated : December 20, 2001

The following section contains information about backing up data on an Exchange 2000 Server cluster node and recovering an Exchange 2000 Server cluster. These sections will help you to prepare for and recover from disasters.

On This Page

Backing Up Data on an Exchange 2000 Server Cluster Node
Recovering an Exchange 2000 Server Cluster

Backing Up Data on an Exchange 2000 Server Cluster Node

Use Windows 2000 Backup to back up a cluster node in which the Cluster service is operational. On the What to Back Up screen of the wizard, select Back up everything on my computer.

Be sure the node you back up is the owner of the cluster quorum disk. To check the ownership, stop the Cluster service on all other nodes except the node running Windows 2000 Backup. Then chose one of the following options:

  • Select Only back up the System State data to back up the system state, which includes the quorum.

To back up all cluster disks owned by a node, perform the backup from that node.

Note: During backup, Windows 2000 Backup might report the following error: "Completed with Skipped Files." If you examine the Windows 2000 Backup log, notice that both CLUSDB and ClusDB.log failed to be backed up. You should ignore this error. The quorum logs from the cluster quorum drive are successfully backed up.

After you back up the cluster quorum disk on one node, you do not need to back up the quorum on the remaining cluster nodes. As an option, you can also back up the cluster software, cluster administrative software, system state data, and other cluster disks on the remaining cluster nodes.

Recovering an Exchange 2000 Server Cluster

Steps in this section refer to the "Disaster Recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server" white paper available on the Microsoft Web site at:


You should read this white paper before proceeding with any Cluster backup and recovery steps. Clustering provides a mechanism for moving resources between cluster nodes when a disaster occurs. When a single server fails, clustering moves Exchange 2000 resources to another server in the cluster so that services remain available to users. You can remove the failed server from the cluster and replace it with another one, and then you can move Exchange resources back to this newly joined server so that load balancing is again achieved. This section describes the steps involved in removing a nonfunctioning server from a cluster, rebuilding, and then rejoining the server to that cluster.

In addition to disasters involving the loss of a single node in a cluster, there are cases where the cluster-shared disk is lost. The steps to recovery when the cluster quorum is lost are also described in this section.

Recovering a Single Lost Server in a Cluster

If a single server in a cluster fails, Exchange resources running on the server move to another available node in the cluster. Exchange databases remain intact on shared storage and accessible by the Exchange Virtual Server from other nodes in the cluster. This is a feature of clustering, and it provides reliability when a disaster occurs on a single server in a cluster. After you move resources to an available node in the cluster, use the following procedures to remove the nonfunctioning node and replace it with a new node.

Removing the Lost Server Node from the Cluster

When a server suffers a disaster in a cluster and needs to be replaced by a new node, follow these steps:

  1. Use Cluster Administrator to evict the lost node from the cluster.

  2. Use Cluster Administrator to verify for each cluster group and resource that the evicted node no longer appears as a possible or preferred owner.

  3. Physically remove the damaged node from the cluster and shared storage.

Building a New Server for the Cluster

You do not have to rebuild the lost node to replicate the original lost node. You can build an entirely new node (new computer name, new IP address, and so on) and then join the cluster.

To create a new server node

  1. Install Windows 2000 and provide a new computer name during installation.

  2. Join the same domain as before with the same administrative permissions given to the previous Exchange administrator account.

  3. Set up the new computer to access the same shared storage of the original node.

To join the new server node to the cluster

  1. Set up the cluster service on the newly built server.

  2. When asked to join a cluster, specify the cluster you want to join.

Installing Exchange on the Server Node and Moving Resources Back to the Node

After the server node rejoins the cluster, use the following steps to install Exchange on the server node and move the resources back to the node.

To install Exchange and move resources back to the node

  1. Install Exchange 2000 Server, and any Exchange Service Packs that are installed on the other node, on the new node. You must install Exchange before Exchange resources can be moved back to the new node.

  2. Verify that the cluster groups and resources on the other node show the new node as a possible or preferred owner.

  3. Move the Exchange resources that originally failed to the new node.

Recovering a Lost Cluster Quorum

To recover from a cluster quorum failure, perform a cluster quorum backup. In addition to the cluster quorum backup, you must have the following items to recover Exchange 2000:

  • Replacement hardware If hardware was permanently damaged in the disaster, replace it with new hardware.

  • Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 installation CDs This includes all applicable service packs and software updates as outlined in the Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 Release Notes.

  • Full backups of the system drive This includes any other logical drives where critical applications or data was installed.

  • Backups of Exchange databases This includes backups of the Information Store databases. In addition, you may also need backups of ancillary databases, such as the Site Replication Service (SRS) databases, and Key Management Server (KMS) databases.

  • Member servers present in Active Directory If the Exchange 2000 Server computer that you are restoring is a member server (not a domain controller) in the domain, ensure that Active Directory still contains a server object for it. If Active Directory does not contain the required Exchange 2000 Server object, server recovery cannot proceed. Do not attempt to recover Exchange 2000 Server unless the Exchange object exists in Active Directory.

  • Recent Windows 2000 system state data backup A system state backup is a new type of backup in Windows 2000. You use Windows 2000 Backup to back up the system configuration that normally fails to back up in a file system backup. A system state data backup backs up system configuration information, such as the Windows registry and IIS metabase.

Restore Cluster Quorum from Backup

Before the cluster can be restarted on any nodes in the cluster, the quorum needs to be restored.

  1. Use the DumpConfig tool to restore the signature of the quorum disk if the signature has changed since it was backed up. You can find the DumpConfig tool in Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit.

  2. If the Cluster service is running, stop the service on all cluster nodes.

  3. Use Windows 2000 Backup to restore the system state data (which contains the contents of the cluster quorum disk). Windows 2000 Backup puts the contents of the cluster quorum disk in the systemroot\cluster\cluster_backup subdirectory.

  4. After you restore the cluster quorum, you are prompted to restart. Instead of restarting, run Clusrest.exe to restore the contents of the systemroot\cluster\cluster_backup subdirectory to the cluster quorum disk. The Clusrest.exe tool can be found in Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit.

  5. Restart the computer.

Restore Exchange 2000 Databases from Backup

After you restore the quorum and restart the nodes in the cluster, verify that the shared disk resources can be accessed after the Cluster service starts. If the shared disk, on which the Exchange databases reside, can be accessed and has survived the disaster, check to see if the .edb, .stm, and log files still exist for the Exchange Virtual Server storage groups. If the files are intact, start your Exchange resources. If the shared drive is lost, follow these steps to restore your Exchange databases from backup:

  1. Start Exchange System Manager and, for databases owned by Exchange Virtual Servers on the cluster, select Do not mount at startup. This option prevents the creation of new databases on the shared disk resource when the Exchange resources start.

  2. Use Windows 2000 Backup to perform the steps described in the "Recovering Databases" section of the "Disaster Recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server" white paper. Before you restore the databases, verify that the shared storage that the Exchange databases reside on is available and accessible by the cluster node that currently owns the disk resource.

  3. Verify that the databases are mounted with Exchange System Manager and check the event log. Be sure to clear the Do not mount at startup check box for each database that was successfully restored.