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Restore individual emails from tape backup

Created: 10 May 2012 • Updated: 10 May 2012 | 6 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Dear experts :-)

I received a request to restore some emails from a mailbox that were deleted more than half a year ago.

At the time we were still using Backup Exec 12. Now we are using Backup Exec 2010R3.
Half a year ago, we were allready making GRT backups to disk and duplicate jobs for these backups to tape for archiving purposes. be honest, I have never done a restore from tape. I don't even know if it is possible to restore individual emails with Backup Exec 12 and restore those with Backup Exec 2010R3. I did test the restore from disk. This was pretty straight forward. Simply selecting the emails, hit restore, and voila... The emails were restored instantly within seconds.

I know there are some things to take into account when restoring from tape. If I am not mistaken the entire backup on tape must be staged to disk and from there there GRT restore needs to be done.

If possible, I am looking for some guidance on this. Is there any documentation on this? Basically I am looking for an A to Z guidance on how to restore a single email from tape.

Questions that come to mind are:

  1. Were is the staging area? On the media server or on the Exchange server
  2. There are some checkmarks like "dismount database before restore". Does this means that the entire database is shutdown. Goal is to not interfere the other mailbox that are in the same database.
  3. Is there a need to create recovery storage group? I have never worked with those

What are my best options here? Goal is to restore a few emails without any downtime for the users. (eg shutdown a complete database)

Any thoughts are appreciated.


Comments 6 CommentsJump to latest comment

Colin Weaver's picture

With the exception of the staging area (which is on the media server, and location is contolled by options in the media server or restore job properties) the rest of the individual e-mail process is exactly the same as from disk. Of course staging to disk takes time.

Individual e-mail restores do not even use the option about dismounting the databases as that is only needed for complete IS restores. They also do not need an RSG.

Of course all the above is assuming you did a GRT enabled backup to tape in the first place.

EDIT: One further point - the version of Exchange still has to be the same as that which the backup was taken from.

Backup_Exec's picture


Ensure you on first place BE 2010 r3 is fully patched up with all updates after sp2 & remote agent is upto date too

About restoring from tape staging will be done which would depend on location you have choosed in advanced option in restore window as C:temp or E:temp, Staging would stage the information store so ensure you have equal to or greater than space on drive were it is staged

Backupexec while doing backup or restore will not dismount anything like database or mailbox as it perform online backup and restore using exchange API called ESE

As part of best pracitsce will suggest you to duplicate backup to disk first from tape & then do restore



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RahulG's picture

Yes. You are right. Restoring GRT items i.e. mailboxes,emails, etc from tape will stage the whole  data on media server disk.

 "Dismount database before restore" will not effect if you are doing GRT restore. It only comes to picture when are doing IS, store restore.

There is no need to create recovery storage group as it will directly restore to your production database.

It should not effect the database and other users while you do the GRT restore.

Remko de Koning's picture

Wow, such fast responses!!

Many thanks for your clear explanation. I will give this a shot. My confidence level was just raised by 100% smiley

The only thing that might have changed, but am uncertain of, is the service pack level of Exchange 2007.

Many thanks!


CraigV's picture

...duplicate to disk first. It's faster, and if you have issues during the initial stage from tape doing a normal GRT restore, you have to restart the whole process again. STaging to disk manually means it's already there...

Read my article below on how to do this:

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Remko de Koning's picture

Hey guys,

I didn't had time to complete this yesterday, but this morning I just restored > 2500 emails successfully. Your help is much appreciated! Thanks for the detailed instructions. Very helpfull.

Have a good weekend!