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How to Recover Lost Exchange Server from Active Directory?

Aftab Alam Aftab Alam Updated On - 06 Mar 2020

Exchange administrators always need to be prepared against server crashes and data loss situations, though Exchange is far more secure because of Database Availability Groups(DAGs). There are different recovery methods by which administrators can recover a server even after crashes. Due to the integration with Active Directory, it is possible to rebuild the configuration of the Exchange from Active Directory. Also, many professional tools can be used to recover the lost Exchange data to different locations in different formats.

Recover the lost Exchange Server

Active Directory is the place where all the Exchange Server settings are stored. So, it is possible to rebuild the configuration of the Exchange environment from Active Directory. Here is how you can do this:

  1. Reset a Computer Account:
    To do this, you must be a member of Domain Admin, Enterprise Admin, or Account Operators. Use the following method to reset the computer account:

    • Follow Start>>Control-Panel>>Administrative Tools>>Active Directory Users and Computers.
    • Click Computers.
    • Go to Details and click Reset Account.
  2. After installing the OS on the new server, give it the same name as that of the lost server.
  3. NOTE – It is essential to name the new server as the older one. Otherwise, it will not work correctly.

  4. Add the sever to the domain of the lost server.
  5. Install all the prerequisites for Exchange Server 2016.
  6. Start the command prompt after login on to the Exchange Server, and run the following command –
  7. Setup /m:RecoverServer /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
  8. Finally, configure the server as per your requirements and restart.
  9. To verify the reocvery, check if the Microsoft Exchange Server services are running in the Windows Services tool.

Note: Follow the same procedure for Exchange 2013 and 2010 also. For Exchange 2010, you need to run the following command –Setup /m:RecoverServer

Recover a DAG member server

The method mentioned above is used to retrieve a lost Exchange Server which is not a member of a Database Availability Group (DAG). There is a different method to recover a DAG member server:

  1. To recover any replay lag from mailbox database copy, run the following command –
  2. Get-MailboxDatabase MyExchangeDatabase | Format-List *lag*
  3. To remove any mailbox database copy, run the following command –
  4. Remove-MailboxDatabaseCopy MyExchangeDatabase \MBX1
  5. To remove the configuration of a failed server from DAG, run the following command –
  6. Remove-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer MBX1
  7. Go to Active Directory and reset the computer account.
  8. Run the following command with using the original setup media –
  9. Setup /m:RecoverServer
  10. To add the recovered server to DAG, run the following command –
  11. Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer MBX1
  12. To know the status of the retrieved DAG server, use the following command –
  13. Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus -Server < MyExchangeDatabase >

Recover data from corrupt EDB files

After you have rebuilt the Exchange Server, it becomes essential to recover the lost Exchange data too. Exchange database information can be recovered from an offline EDB file. Thus, you can recover your important emails, contacts, and notes. For this, you can take the assistance of Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery tool. This EDB Recovery tool helps to recover complete Exchange mailbox data and save EDB to PST, Live Exchange, and Office 365 quickly.

Check Video to know the process of Exchange Recovery