Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recovering from a Removed Exchange Organization

A few weeks back I got a call from an organization that had accidentally removed their Exchange Server 2007 organization. There was some confusion during the removal of the Exchange 2003 server after the migration was complete and some essential data was lost. There was no backup of Active Directory. So, a restore of AD was not possible.

Fortunately it was a relatively small environment with a single Exchange 2007 server and about 120 mailboxes.

Here's what we did:
  • use ADSI Edit to completely remove the existing Exchange organization
  • completely wipe out and reinstall Windows on the Exchange 2007 box
  • reinstall Exchange 2007 creating the same organization name
  • recreate the storage groups and copy databases into the storage groups.
  • Disable and reenable all users in EMC to recreate Exchange attributes
  • Disable and reenable all distribution groups in EMC to recreate exchange attributes
  • Configure certificate and smtp connectors.

Basically a whole rebuild. In retrospect, I should have tried just running /PrepareAD to see if that resolved the AD issues.

Note that the organization name needs to be the same during the reinstall or the databases will not mount.

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