Exchange Server 2013 Disaster Recovery

Exchange Server 2013 Disaster Recovery

In this blog post we will be learning on how to Recover Exchange Server 2013 if it is crashed. Although the steps remain same in 2013, however there are few pre-requisites changes which we will explore in this blog.

Before We Begin

The account with which we are going to perform Recovery should be a member of Domain Admins Group and Enterprise Admins Group along with Exchange Organization Management Group.


Disaster Recovery is purely based on the Data which is available. By which we can recover an Exchange Server. This data is available in any one of the Domain Controller which is reachable at the time of recovery. Exchange Configuration information is available on a Domain Controller under Configuration Partition. Disaster Recovery is not possible only when there is only one Exchange Server which is also a Domain Controller. It is always a best practice to have your Exchange Server running on a member server. This is applicable for Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013. Although the steps to recover is little different, however the concept remains same.

Best Practices

Always maintain a proper backup of AD System State and Exchange Database Files.



DC Name : DC1

Exchange Server 2013 : MBX

Windows Version : Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Forest Functional Level : Windows Server 2008 R2

Domain Functional Level : Windows Server 2008 R2



Functional Domain Controller (Should be Reachable)

Same Sever name and Operating System for Recovery. DO NOT ADD THE MACHINE TO DOMAIIN.

How to check what was the operating system the server was running before crash and its name.


Figure 1.1 : Properties of crashed sever using Active Directory Users and Computers


Assign same static IP address.

How to get the IP address. Go to any AD Integrated DNS server and check for the host name of the crashed server. Make a note of the IP address and assign the same address.


Same drive letters are mandatory. Else recovery will fail.

How to get drive letters of crashed server.


Figure 1.2 : In ADSIEDIT go to the location as shown above.

Go to the properties of “Mailbox Database 1679725872” and make a note of below attribute value for drive letters which has the database and log file path.




These attributes will have database file path and log file path.

Caution : Working with ADSIEDIT requires core understanding on how the tool works. If you are not confident of handling the tool then it is recommended to have an expert advice. Please be careful.


Before adding the server to Domain. Go to Active Directory Users And Computers > Right Click the crashed server and Select “Reset Account” as shown below.


Figure 1.3 : Resent Account.

In figure 1.3 once the Account is reset then we will be able to join the same server to the domain.

Now that we have added the machine to domain. Its time to check if Exchange information is available on Domain. To check that login to any one domain controller and open ADSIEDIT.

Caution : Working with ADSIEDIT requires core understanding on how the tool works. If you are not confident of handling the tool then it is recommended to have an expert advice. Please be careful.

To open ADSIEDIT go to Start > Administrative Tools > ADSIEDIT

In the console right click ADSIEDIT > Select Connect Too… > Select a well Known Naming Context > In the drop down menu select Configuration.

Below is the DN of the server object which was crashed.


Figure 1.4 : DN of Exchange Server


Figure 1.5 : Location in GUI.


Now that we have confirmed that Exchange Server Object resides in AD and its safe to move further by running Disaster Recovery. Before running Disaster Recovery please ensure that the required Roles and Features are installed as shown below.

Open Windows Powershell and type the below commands.

Import-Module ServerManager

Add-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework, NET-HTTP-Activation, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Web-Server, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI


Post installing the roles and features restart the server and install the software as listed in Microsoft Site. Please click here for installing the required software.

You also have to install the updates listed in this article KB974405

Now its time to create the folder path as listed in the attributes as shown below.


“C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\Mailbox Database 1679725872”

Post creating the folder path restore the data files as shown below.

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\Mailbox Database 1679725872\Mailbox Database 17679725872.edb”

Note : Database file path and log file path may differ in practical scenario.


Download Exchange Server 2013 from here and save it in a local drive.

Open  Windows Powershell and type the below command.


Figure 1.6 : Recover Server Switch


Figure 1.7 : Configuring Prerequisites


Figure 1.8 : Setup completed Successfully.

Disaster Recovery is completed and its time to get the Mailbox database in place. Restore the database and mount the store.


Figure 1.9 : Mount the Database by selecting the option as shown above.


Figure 1.10 : Emails are restored and users are able to send and receive emails.

Disaster Recovery is completed and we are able to send and receive emails.

Important Points to Remember

  1. Good Exchange Database Files backup is mandatory.
  2. Its easy to recover the server if it’s a member server.
  3. Healthy Active Directory can help us recover the server faster.


Happy Recovery


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