Tag: disaster recovery

Exchange Disaster Recovery

I guess with everyone moving to magic cloudy pay-per-month Exchange, this isn’t such a concern anymore … but for those still running on-premise Exchange:

(1) Before you can restore your AD system state, you’ve got to build a server & bring up a temporary domain. There’s a “System Configuration” program that lets you select to restart in safe mode / directory services restore mode without having to time the F8 key or anything.

(2) The system state backup of a domain controller backs up a lot of stuff — including the registry which tells the server what software is installed and services. This means it is not possible to just run the Exchange setup.exe with the disaster recovery option. Fortunately, I was able to copy the Exchange folder from program files off of a backup. Unfortunately, the Exchange services wouldn’t start because DLLs couldn’t register. Did a diff between old server backup & new one — copied any missing stuff from c:\windows\system32 and c:\windows\syswow64 and, voila, Exchange is starting. Couldn’t mount the ebd file, though …

(3) Which brings me to eseutil an attempt to replay the transaction logs (eseutil /r) and then repair the database as much as possible (eseutil /p) got me an EDB file that the Exchange server could mount.

Mounting DD Raw Image File

And a final note from my disaster recovery adventure — I had to use ddrescue to copy as much data from a corrupted drive as possible (ddrescue /dev/sdb /mnt/vms/rescue/backup.raw –try-again –force –verbose) — once I had the image, what do you do with it? Fortunately, you can mount a dd file and copy data from it.

# Mounting DD image
2023-04-17 23:54:01 [root@fedora /]# kpartx -l backup.raw
loop0p1 : 0 716800 /dev/loop0 2048
loop0p2 : 0 438835200 /dev/loop0 718848

2023-04-17 23:55:08 [root@fedora /]# mount /dev/mapper/loop0p2 /mnt/recovery/ -o loop,ro
mount: /mnt/recovery: cannot mount /dev/loop1 read-only.
       dmesg(1) may have more information after failed mount system call.

2023-04-17 23:55:10 [root@fedora /]# mount /dev/mapper/loop0p2 /mnt/recovery/ -o loop,ro,norecovery

2023-04-18 00:01:03 [root@fedora /]# ll /mnt/recovery/
total 205G
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root  213 Jul 14  2021 .
drwxr-xr-x. 8 root root  123 Apr 17 22:38 ..
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 127G Apr 17 20:35 ExchangeServer.qcow2
-rw-r--r--. 1 qemu qemu  10G Apr 17 21:42 Fedora.qcow2
-rw-r--r--. 1 qemu qemu  15G Apr 17 14:05 FedoraVarMountPoint.qcow2

Mounting a QCOW File

We had a power outage on Monday that took out the drive that holds our VMs. There are backups, but the backup drive copies had superblock errors and all sorts of issues. To recover our data, I learned all sorts of new things — firstly that you can mount a QCOW file and copy data out. First, you have to connect a network block device to the file. Once it is connected, you can use fdisk to list the partitions on the drive and mount those partitions. In this example, I had a partition called nbd0p1 that I mounted to /mnt/data_recovery

modprobe nbd max_part=2
qemu-nbd --connect=/dev/nbd0 /path/to/server_file.qcow2
fdisk /dev/nbd0 -l
mount /dev/nbd0p1 /mnt/data_recovery

Once you are done, unmount it and disconnect from the network block device.

umount /mnt/data_recovery
qemu-nbd --disconnect /dev/nbd0
rmmod nbd