In the past we all had nightmares about the recovery of a failed or crashed exchange server. But from the version 2010 (even in 2007) the recovery process became really painless and easy. The following steps will help you to recover a completely failed/crashed server from scratch.

Though all of us know, I would like to emphasize the fact that most of the exchange configuration information are stored in the AD database and we only need to recover the application by using the AD information and then complete the Database recovery and other customized exchange settings.

Note – This document is reference only for Exchange server which are not part of Database Availability Group. If you wish to get more details about DAG member recovery, please follow 
Recovery Installation of a DAG Member with Multi Roles – Exchange Server 2010.

Before we proceed, please ensure that a proper account with required permissions are used to complete the activity.

Other thumb rules,

  • Prepare a server with OS and patches similar to failed server
  • Use the same hostname as the failed server
  • Same drive letters and capacity of disks should be used
  • Similar hardware capacity should be used to avoid performance issues.

Recovery Procedure for Exchange Server 2013, SP1

1. Logon AD console and reset the failed server computer account


2. Join the prepared server with similar characteristics and same host name (as stated above) to domain. Recovery will fail if the pre-requisite did not match with the failed server.

3. Log back in to the server being recovered using an account which has required permissions assigned and open the command prompt. Navigate to the location where Exchange Installation files are extracted and execute the cmdlet, Setup /m:RecoverServer /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

setup recover cmd

4. Now sit back and relax, the process will automatically read the information from AD and recover the server.


5. After the successful recovery process, please proceed with the custom configurations and restorations such as,

Exchange Virtual directory settings,
Restoration of Databases

Note – It is recommended to restart the server before the start of DB restore and other custom settings.

Share your experience!


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Recently I had to do a recovery installation of Public Folder hosting DAG member, due to some hardware issues. The PF is hosted only on single server,  hence I had to plan for a quicker recovery to ensure the minimum downtime to Public Folder access. The process is simple if you are familiar with the recovery installation of Exchange Server 2010 DAG member.

  1. Dismount the Public Folder (if the public folder is heavily used, select an off peak time to ensure lesser changes to PF)
  2. Copy the Public Folder Database and Logs to the new server
  3. Do a recovery installation of server to new hardware, follow Recovery Installation of a DAG Member with Multi Roles – Exchange Server 2010
  4. Ensure that the Copied public folder is at the right location, and mount the database

You may follow the same procedure if you wish to do the recovery installation of Exchange Server 2010 server,

The process is as easy as mentioned, and can be opted for smaller organization without having much of issues. Only drawback is, the public folder will not be available during the recovery installation time. If you plan well, the downtime will be lesser than an hour.


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