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Advice On Complete Rollback Of Sbs2008

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Due to corruption of Sharepoint from a failed Microsoft update, I am considering a complete rollback to a point 3 days ago on my SBS2008 Server. I'm running Retrospect Multiserver 7.7.325 on a W2008 R2 server and have a complete recycle backup of the SBS on a removable cartridge that was done earlier that day. Everything is x64.

 

I've never had a restore problem with any restores with my setup but I've never done a complete rollback - this would be about 40GB. There are two partitions C:(OS) and E:(Recovery). There are just a few Exchange mailboxes which I can update from local .OST files or a later snapshot.

 

There's no data on the machine other than the Exchange mailboxes but reconfiguring it if the rollback failed would be a real pain. Other than the Sharepoint problem, the SBS is running fine.

 

Do I need to rollback the E: Recovery partition? With a complete rollback are all files overwritten even if unchanged?

 

I'm looking for advice, experience, etc. Thanks in advance.

Edited by mlehv

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Yuck, I was in a similar circumstance a few months ago. Why doesn't Microsoft have system restore in server OS's? :-P You might want to look into the error you are getting first, as I was able to find a solution with a little Googling and didn't need to restore to fix Sharepoint. I had to re-run a command on SBS 2008 to fix what the update had done and I just can't remember what it was now. It was a very simple fix though, hopefully you can find it easily.

 

Recovering Exchange data from .OST files can be very challenging. If you are set on doing a system restore, I'd export every user's Outlook data to .PST files first and not expect .OSTs to save you. In my experience Outlook will make you create a new .OST and get a fresh sync from the server after doing a roll back of that magnitude. You could also do a complete system restore, but then do a separate Exchange restore of newer data if you make a new Exchange backup right now before doing a restore. I'd still make .PSTs as a redundant approach though.

 

Depending where Sharepoint is stored, you might need only a restore of drive C, and maybe can leave E entirely alone, I'm not sure where you chose to put your data. I typically keep Exchange and all user data on a separate drive than the OS though, so I can recover from a failed update or something stupid and not lose user data. I don't think SBS has a wizard to relocate Sharepoint data, but it does for Exchange, redirected documents, etc.

 

Good luck! I'd look for the solution I found for Sharepoint first though, it was a very quick, simple solution and didn't require anything as dramatic as a restore.

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Yuck, I was in a similar circumstance a few months ago. Why doesn't Microsoft have system restore in server OS's? :-P You might want to look into the error you are getting first, as I was able to find a solution with a little Googling and didn't need to restore to fix Sharepoint. I had to re-run a command on SBS 2008 to fix what the update had done and I just can't remember what it was now. It was a very simple fix though, hopefully you can find it easily.

 

Recovering Exchange data from .OST files can be very challenging. If you are set on doing a system restore, I'd export every user's Outlook data to .PST files first and not expect .OSTs to save you. In my experience Outlook will make you create a new .OST and get a fresh sync from the server after doing a roll back of that magnitude. You could also do a complete system restore, but then do a separate Exchange restore of newer data if you make a new Exchange backup right now before doing a restore. I'd still make .PSTs as a redundant approach though.

 

Depending where Sharepoint is stored, you might need only a restore of drive C, and maybe can leave E entirely alone, I'm not sure where you chose to put your data. I typically keep Exchange and all user data on a separate drive than the OS though, so I can recover from a failed update or something stupid and not lose user data. I don't think SBS has a wizard to relocate Sharepoint data, but it does for Exchange, redirected documents, etc.

 

Good luck! I'd look for the solution I found for Sharepoint first though, it was a very quick, simple solution and didn't require anything as dramatic as a restore.

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Yuck, I was in a similar circumstance a few months ago. Why doesn't Microsoft have system restore in server OS's? :-P You might want to look into the error you are getting first, as I was able to find a solution with a little Googling and didn't need to restore to fix Sharepoint. I had to re-run a command on SBS 2008 to fix what the update had done and I just can't remember what it was now. It was a very simple fix though, hopefully you can find it easily.

 

Recovering Exchange data from .OST files can be very challenging. If you are set on doing a system restore, I'd export every user's Outlook data to .PST files first and not expect .OSTs to save you. In my experience Outlook will make you create a new .OST and get a fresh sync from the server after doing a roll back of that magnitude. You could also do a complete system restore, but then do a separate Exchange restore of newer data if you make a new Exchange backup right now before doing a restore. I'd still make .PSTs as a redundant approach though.

 

Depending where Sharepoint is stored, you might need only a restore of drive C, and maybe can leave E entirely alone, I'm not sure where you chose to put your data. I typically keep Exchange and all user data on a separate drive than the OS though, so I can recover from a failed update or something stupid and not lose user data. I don't think SBS has a wizard to relocate Sharepoint data, but it does for Exchange, redirected documents, etc.

 

Good luck! I'd look for the solution I found for Sharepoint first though, it was a very quick, simple solution and didn't require anything as dramatic as a restore.

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Aaron:

 

Thanks for your reply. I wasnt' even updating Sharepoint but SP2 for the Windows Update Service. The update failed because it couldn't remove SP1 and it rolled itself back. When I rebooted (three other updates succeeded) there were Sharepoint errors filling the event log every two minutes. There were also minor errors with SQL and WSUS and the "Company Web" wouldn't work (not that I use it). This morning I see that that the daily backups Retrospect does on OS C: are now 15GB compared with 9GB before. So there are probably other issues.

 

I also notice that the SQL Browser and AD Helper Services are "Disabled" although I don't know how they were previously set. That might explain why a failed WSUS update would affect SQL and Sharepoint. If the update temporarily disables services and fails, they might not get turned back on.

 

I tried the command line Sharepoint fix you're probably talking about plus a number of others but so far, without success. So, I'm seriously considering the rollback. I assume an OS C: restore will include the Exchange mailbox store and mailboxes so a second restore will be needed to get fully up to date. I agree the .pst files are a better way to restore if a local restore is needed - I don't know why I was thinking about using .ost's.

 

My big concern is rolling back a machine with a few problem but that's otherwise working fine for all the services I normally use. I could end up with a machine that won't boot. As I said, if I had some experience with Retrospect rollbacks, I would be less concerned.

 

I never moved the Exchange data to a separate partition because there are only a few mailboxes but next time I will. This system is running in my house and I've run it going all the way back to NT to support the control hardware/software that runs the place - lighting, HVAC, security, phones, etc. If the SBS Server is out and the network also goes down, we're literally in the dark.

 

Thanks again. Any other advice is appreciated.

 

Michael

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Well, that does sound like maybe it's more involved than what I ran into. I also think it was WSUS SP2 that did my customer in, but I was able to repair it without a full Retrospect restore. We also lost our company web until it was resolved, in fact that's how we discovered we had a problem to begin with. I think our resolution was to rerun the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard (Psconfig.exe) and reboot, and it was an immediate fix. Here's an article on it: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/05/06/companyweb-inaccessible-after-sharepoint-3-0-service-pack-2.aspx

 

If that still is no resolution and you must roll back, I'm happy to say I've restored many servers for customers using Retrospect--SBS, SQL, Exchange, you name it. I'm very confident in Retrospect, provided you have a good backup and a solid catalog file. I would create a complete backup as you are right now before restoring to a previous state, so you could return to this point if you had to. Maybe even backup to a completely new backup set (temporarily) just to cover all bases. You should be able to restore just Exchange back to this point after rolling back drive C and the system state, so you don't lose data. I'm not sure what documents you might also have to consider on drive C, depends if you redirected folders and what not I suppose. Just in case you need it, have you downloaded the universal disaster recovery CD and burned it to disc?

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Well, that does sound like maybe it's more involved than what I ran into. I also think it was WSUS SP2 that did my customer in, but I was able to repair it without a full Retrospect restore. We also lost our company web until it was resolved, in fact that's how we discovered we had a problem to begin with. I think our resolution was to rerun the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard (Psconfig.exe) and reboot, and it was an immediate fix. Here's an article on it: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/05/06/companyweb-inaccessible-after-sharepoint-3-0-service-pack-2.aspx

 

If that still is no resolution and you must roll back, I'm happy to say I've restored many servers for customers using Retrospect--SBS, SQL, Exchange, you name it. I'm very confident in Retrospect, provided you have a good backup and a solid catalog file. I would create a complete backup as you are right now before restoring to a previous state, so you could return to this point if you had to. Maybe even backup to a completely new backup set (temporarily) just to cover all bases. You should be able to restore just Exchange back to this point after rolling back drive C and the system state, so you don't lose data. I'm not sure what documents you might also have to consider on drive C, depends if you redirected folders and what not I suppose. Just in case you need it, have you downloaded the universal disaster recovery CD and burned it to disc?

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Aaron:

 

Thanks. That article is far more helpful than the ones I used regarding the psconfig fix. So now I know that I have the typical SP2 problems but unfortunately, without SP2, because the install failed. I think I will download SP2 directly and try to reinstall again. But that explains why Sharepoint was affected - it's a regular occurence with the WSUS SP2 update.

 

I'm glad to hear that rollbacks work. Just to be safe, I will create another full recycle BU as of now. I actually have two other complete backup sets that are up to date other than having old Exchange data. The SBS Server is unchanged since the original install other than the few user accounts, mailboxes, computer accounts, DNS and DHCP settings.

 

I put all our data, Retrospect and an APC Shutdown utility on a W2008 R2 server. It was hardware overkill when I did it a year ago considering that this isn't a commercial enterprise. But now it's obvious that it was the right thing to do. The only problem is that with SBS the no secondary DC restriction can get you into this type of bind.

 

Thanks again. I'll post the outcome - probably on the weekend after doing whatever I do.

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Be careful if you do a recycle, since that will erase all backups in that set. Be very sure you have what you want to restore to in another set somewhere if you recycle.

 

You can add a second DC to an SBS domain, but there are limitations on what it can do, such as promoting it to a PDC and expecting to reinstall SBS like you could if it was a regular DC. Here's a list: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/200866

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