Backing up Exchange 2000


Murat Yildirimoglu (MCSE, MCT)


Backing up Exchange 2000 is very diffent from the backing up Exchange 5.5.  And if you are not carefull, your backups will be rendered useless when you have, and you’ll have, a problem.


In Exchange 5.5, there are three database files: DIR.EDB, PRIV.EDB, and PUB.EDB. DIR.EDB holds the directory database, that is, information about Exchange 5.5 objects, like mailboxes, distribution lists, public folders etc. PRIV.EDB (private database) holds the database containing the messages in the  mailboxes. PUB.EDB (public database) holds the database containing the messages in the public folders. It was enough to backup only these three files in Exchange 5.5. And backup program that comes with Exchange 5.5 is enough to backup all these files.


In Exchange 2000, there is no database like DIR.EDB. The information about the objects are saved in the Active Directory (AD) of the Windows 2000 domain. There are private and public databases, and there may be more than one private and public databases, thanks to the new database structure. But this structure makes the backup of the Exchange 2000 system harder. In Exchange 2000 it is not enough to backup the messaging databases. You must also backup the directory information, that is AD. And you can not backup AD seperately. AD is included in the system state, so you must backup the system state. So, when you  backup Exchange 2000 you must also backup the system state. This point is not clear in the backup program that comes with Exchange 2000. People use this backup program and think that they succesfuly backup the Exchange 2000 system. And when they have a problem they find that their backup is useless.