EXchange mailboxes are empty

Hello All,

We are facing a big problem today, we discovered that some mailboxes from a successful backup were empty when we browse, nothing is there,

no error message, nothing, just no contents, and when we browse other mailboxes from the same backup, we are able to find the content.

The GRT is enabled (of course) and the backup is successful. (no warning messages)

When we select all the images and browse again, we found that the last time the content was there for these mailboxes was 19-October.

The end customer told us that some of the mailboxes, were moved to another DB (from DB3 to DB4), he can't remember the date when he did this action.

NBU version of Master & Media server is 8.0

The NBU version of client: 7.1 for Windows 2003 (exchange 2007): I know that those versions are no longer supported that's why we are really helpless.

The size is approximately the same for the past weeks. I am trying to get the output of bplist to confirm that it isn't a GUI interface or anything like that, just to confirm that even by CLI the MBXs are empty. If anyone can help, please?

BR

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Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

Restore to RSG can be as simple as clicking the Restore to RSG box in the restore popup. Exchange is finicky about one condition. The RSG has to be new, empty, and unmounted, and look exactly like the original storage group in terms of its database list. You can read about it in the NetBackup for Exchange admin guide. You have to take a version of the guide from before we dropped Exchange 2007 support (8.1?).

From its inception in NetBackup 6.5.2, Exchange GRT has not been an essential feature to protect your data. It can be such a huge time saver that it's a major inconvenience when it doesn't work for you. There has never been a case in these 11 years where a failed GRT browse indicated that the database backup itself was bad.

After re-reading your initial post, I see that you do see the mailboxes when browsing the image. Given that, neither bplist nor cat_convert will show you more, even for the databases that you can drill into. That's because the backup only catalogs to the mailbox level. The mailbox content is discovered by a "live browse" of the backup image.

You can go through logs to see why browsing into the mailboxes doesn't work for you, but that's probably not a fruitful path to pursue on such an old release. Also, consider that there were maintenance releases to 7.1 through 7.1.0.4. Some of these had to do with Exchange GRT, but in my memory they involved Exchange 2010.

An idea that occurs to me is that the database movement could be a hint. Make sure you are browsing a single backup image from either before or after the move. When you browse a set of images, NetBackup shows you the net state of the set as of the most recent image included. For example, if the selection includes images that span the move, the BAR GUI could show you the mailbox in the old database, but the live browse would look at the last image of the database, which does not include the mailbox.

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Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

Exchange GRT has improved a lot since 7.1, but you probably know that.

What you can do for your customer:

The data isn't lost. Restore the database to a Recovery Storage Group (RSG) for Exchange 2007 or Recovery Database (RDB) for Exchange 2010. From there the customer's Exchange admins can harvest the needed mailbox items using Microsoft tools.

Bplist needs some tricky options to show the mailboxes and their content. Rather than getting into that syntax, use cat_convert -dump.

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

Hello @Lowell_Palecek ,

Thanks alot for your reply,

How can I be sure that the data isn't lost? is it a known issue ? could be the move from the original DB to the new one that causes this problem?

 

For the restore to RSG, Can you please give me a HOW TO or a Technote about that ? is it as simple as creating a new databaase and redirect the restore to it?

 

Thanks a lot !

 

BR

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

I agree bplist needs a lot of tricky options, but finally I got it through.. however I would like to test the cat_convert -dump thing , but how can I specify the backupid or client and start date and end date? 

 

For the HOW TO, I found this one :

https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100031321

can this do the trick?

 

thanks

Accepted Solution!

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

Restore to RSG can be as simple as clicking the Restore to RSG box in the restore popup. Exchange is finicky about one condition. The RSG has to be new, empty, and unmounted, and look exactly like the original storage group in terms of its database list. You can read about it in the NetBackup for Exchange admin guide. You have to take a version of the guide from before we dropped Exchange 2007 support (8.1?).

From its inception in NetBackup 6.5.2, Exchange GRT has not been an essential feature to protect your data. It can be such a huge time saver that it's a major inconvenience when it doesn't work for you. There has never been a case in these 11 years where a failed GRT browse indicated that the database backup itself was bad.

After re-reading your initial post, I see that you do see the mailboxes when browsing the image. Given that, neither bplist nor cat_convert will show you more, even for the databases that you can drill into. That's because the backup only catalogs to the mailbox level. The mailbox content is discovered by a "live browse" of the backup image.

You can go through logs to see why browsing into the mailboxes doesn't work for you, but that's probably not a fruitful path to pursue on such an old release. Also, consider that there were maintenance releases to 7.1 through 7.1.0.4. Some of these had to do with Exchange GRT, but in my memory they involved Exchange 2010.

An idea that occurs to me is that the database movement could be a hint. Make sure you are browsing a single backup image from either before or after the move. When you browse a set of images, NetBackup shows you the net state of the set as of the most recent image included. For example, if the selection includes images that span the move, the BAR GUI could show you the mailbox in the old database, but the live browse would look at the last image of the database, which does not include the mailbox.

View solution in original post

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

The HOWTO article you found is good. Pay special attention to the safety warning at step 13.

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

Hi @Lowell_Palecek ,

Thanks a lot for your help, we suggested that to our EC, and I think we are going to do a restore to RGS on another server under exchange 2010 (hope this will work, otherwise, we will change it to exchange 2007).

Just to reply on some of your replies :

After re-reading your initial post, I see that you do see the mailboxes when browsing the image. Given that, neither bplist nor cat_convert will show you more, even for the databases that you can drill into. That's because the backup only catalogs to the mailbox level. The mailbox content is discovered by a "live browse" of the backup image.

Actually, the bplist worked for me using the command below ( I "suffered" to get it to work, I had to specify the path "Microsoft infromation Store/")

#bplist -C client1 -t 16 -s 06/11/2019 00:00:00 -e 07/11/2019 00:00:00 -b -c -u -R "/Microsoft Information Store/

The bplist output was similar to the GUI browse, mailbox empty.

You can go through logs to see why browsing into the mailboxes doesn't work for you, but that's probably not a fruitful path to pursue on such an old release. Also, consider that there were maintenance releases to 7.1 through 7.1.0.4. Some of these had to do with Exchange GRT, but in my memory they involved Exchange 2010.

 

This version was already installed, and lately, there was a little problem regarding NBU agent, so we reinstalled the 7.1 instead of 7.1.0.4.

 

An idea that occurs to me is that the database movement could be a hint. Make sure you are browsing a single backup image from either before or after the move. When you browse a set of images, NetBackup shows you the net state of the set as of the most recent image included. For example, if the selection includes images that span the move, the BAR GUI could show you the mailbox in the old database, but the live browse would look at the last image of the database, which does not include the mailbox.

 

I have tried that (the most recent backup, on which the mailbox is on one DB) , but still doesn't work, always the same mailboxes are missing.

 

Thanks again Lowell for your help, We appreciate it.

Best Regards.

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Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

You cannot restore an Exchange 2007 database to Exchange 2010.

You had problems with 7.1.0.4 on the client because you also needed at least 7.1.0.3 on the master server. 7.1.0.3 was the only case in my experience at Veritas where you needed to do that with a triple-dot release. At issue was specific to Exchange GRT, in the communication between bpdbm on the master and the live browse client (nblbc). The fix in 7.1.0.3 required a change on both sides or the side not upgraded would hang.

Re: EXchange mailboxes are empty

actually, after reinstalling the nbu 7.1.0.4, we were able to browse the content again ! and the restore went successfully.

Thanks again Lowell!

I am marking your 2nd reply as a solution.

Thanks again !

BR.