Using the NTBackup tool for Exchange Server backup and recovery

Many Exchange Server administrators relish the fact that Microsoft's Windows backup tool, NTBackup, is Exchange-aware. Peruse this fast guide to learn more about the NTBackup tool, including its feature limitations, best practices for backing up and restoring the Exchange Server information store and system state.

The beauty of Microsoft's Windows Backup tool, NTBackup, is that it's Exchange Server-aware; the tool can create

a restorable backup of Exchange Server databases without interrupting regular Exchange operations. Peruse this fast guide to discover important NTBackup tool feature limitations, best practices for restoring an NTBackup file from one Exchange server to another, how-to instructions for creating batch file scripts to allow back up and recovery of the Exchange information store and system state, and more.

Note: Although the Windows Server Backup tool in Windows Server 2008, which replaces NTBackup, isn't application-aware, Microsoft is working on a release that will enable SMBs to perform a VSS backup of Exchange Server to a separate disc or a network share.

NTBackup caveat for Exchange and system state backups
NTBackup is Exchange-aware, free and relatively easy to use, so what's the catch? Find out why you shouldn't back up the system state and Exchange Server information store in the same backup set when using the NTBackup tool.

Sample batch file script to run NTBackup on Exchange Server
Discover a sample batch file script that will guide NTBackup through a full backup of your system state and Exchange Server information store.

Restoring an NTBACKUP file from one Exchange server to another
Learn the best method for restoring an NTBackup file from one Exchange server to another on a separate domain controller in a different geographic location.

Can we automate NTBackup restores on Exchange Server?
Is it possible to automatically run a backup of Exchange databases using the Windows NTBackup solution? Our expert explains your command-line options when using the NTBackup tool to automate backup and restore jobs.

Tutorial: Back up and restore Exchange Server 2003 with NTBackup
Get an overview of the Windows NTBackup tool in this tutorial. Author Marc Grote explains NTBackup capabilities and features and uses screenshots to walk you through the Exchange backup process. (MSExchange.org)

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Ask an Exchange Server backup and recovery question in our IT forum.
This was first published in August 2008

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