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DR file

Created: 27 Jun 2013 • Updated: 02 Jul 2013 | 14 comments
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If I understood the contant of the IDR, to protect my exchange 2010 server in the case of an Disater I need these:

1.  an .dr file, this file will be created when I run a full backup of our exchange server.

2. Run a full backup of the exchange 2010 server.(C, D, E drive  VSS volume shdow, system state)

3. Run the IDR wizard to create a bootable media for the exchange server.

my question,

I was looking at the default the location that the *.dr file should be created there on the media server and there I can see alrady an 2 .dr files and one is for the exchange 2010 server. so my question is when I run a full backup of the exchange server would this exsiting .dr file get updated or a new one would be created?


Operating Systems:

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Jaydeep S's picture

Yes, the .dr file is updated everytime you perform a successful full backup of the server.

Shahin123's picture

but I never run a full backup of this server!!! this is our exchange server that also has Hyper-v  on and it is also the second DC.  I use the BE only to backup exchange and the hyper-v servers.

so what is this .servername.domain.local.dr?

Jaydeep S's picture

If there is a .dr file sitting there, it means that there was a successful backup of that server performed. Although it might be that this was done a long time backup.

Shahin123's picture

so if I understod you correctly this .dr would be created only for a full backup and is not created when we backup only the exchange or the hyper-v virtual machine on this server right? i did check the modify date of this dr file and it is for 3 days ago and I am posative there never has been a full backup of this server.

now if I run a full backup the exsiting .dr file will get updated (as you mentioned), should I copy this .dr file to other location and use it when we are going to recover the server if so should we copy the dr file back to oragianl location? or just leave the .dr file it in the same location and if it get updated for any reson still I can use it to recover the server?


Jaydeep S's picture

Leave it the where it is. Here are a few lines from the Admin Guide

Backup Exec creates the *.dr file during a full backup and stores it in the default and alternate storage locations. Catalog entries from subsequent backups are added to the *.dr file as these backups are completed.

I would suggest you to read the topic 'Symantec Backup Exec Intelligent Disaster Recovery Option' It will help you understand what and how this functions.

Colin Weaver's picture

In general terms if you need to do an IDR restore you will need this .DR file either on a USB pen drive or on a network share somewhere. The reason why we have an alternate location option is so that if the media server was lost you would still in theory have at least one copy of the latest version.

In practice this measn whilst you should leave .DR files where they are, some customers also keep copies of them with their tapes as well. For example: end of month full backup tape is sent to external storage, send a small pendrive with it containing the .DR file(s) that match the date of the backups on the tape.

Shahin123's picture

Thanks you guys,

actualy I want to use IDR to backup our exchange 2010 for a disater recovery,

the exchange server is also the second DC and also has hyper-v that host 2 VM on it, does these steps correct steps for IDR of an exchange 2010:

1. run a full backup of the exchange server ( I should choose the C,D,E drive vss Show copy, exchange storage group, system state and the hyper-v console or I should live the hyper-v)

2. the first step create a .dr file I should change the alternet location to an network share other then the media server itself.

3. run the IDR wizard to create an bootable image of the exchange server.

4. after restore the exchange server with the help of above backup, I should restore the exchange mailboxs and also restorethe hyper-v virtual servers from the lates backup set that I have.

are these correct? or I miss something here?


Jaydeep S's picture

1. The DR of this Server would be a 2 or 3 step process. Yes you would need to backup almost everything. The C, D, E drives, System State, Shadow Copy for the 1st step of the DR, i.e rebuilding this server.

Once the server is up and running, you would need to perform secondary restores for Exchange and Hyper-V Guests (2 VMs). So yes this also will need to be backed up.

2. As for the .dr file, you dont need to create it. The Backup job should do that for you.

3. Yes the IDR boot image needs to be created.

4. Follow the steps - Use IDR to recover the Server first, then secondary restore procedures to restore Exchange mailbox databases (not mailboxes) and Hyper-V guests.


This link should help

Shahin123's picture

Hi Jaydeep,

Thanks for your detailed answer it is really usefull.

Then If I understood you correctly the IDR cannot restore the exchange server in one pass, and the only thing the IDR would do is restoring the server 2008 to its previous running stage is this correct? does this restore also restore the installed exchange 2010 application as well ? or after restoring the backup we should install the exchange and confiure again (I dont think so :) but better to ask.)


Colin Weaver's picture

IDR will recover the program files for Exchange, it is only the mail databases themselves that are protected via the agent and specific programming interface (API) that needs the operating system running with Exchange binaries available in order to recover.

Jaydeep S's picture

Ideally, it would get the Exchange services running after the restore. However, for some reason, it fails to, you can run the Exchange Setup again in a Disaster recovery mode and then proceed with the restore from Backup exec for Mailbox Databases

Shahin123's picture

Then this is a known issue with exchange right? should we also expect the same issue with machines that have Active directory and SQL server on them as well?


Jaydeep S's picture

This is not a known issue, this is by design. Any application backed up using an agent like Exchange, SQL, AD, SharePoint would need a manual restore to be performed after the server is recovered using SDR.

Colin Weaver's picture

Confirming this is by design. It is also mainly a limitation of how we access the API (programming interface) provided by the vendor of the database technology and limitations within WinPE and not specifically a limitation within Backup Exec itself.