About selecting individual Exchange mailboxes for backup

In previous versions of Backup Exec, you backed up individual Exchange mailboxes separately from the Information Store so that you could restore individual mailboxes. In this version of Backup Exec, you can enable the option to restore individual mail messages and folders from Information Store backups.

Restoring individual mailboxes from an Information Store backup that is on tape may be slower than restoring mailboxes from a legacy mailbox backup. If you have only a few mailboxes, and if you can only back up to tape, you may prefer to use the legacy mailbox backup methods.


Exchange 2007 does not support individual mailbox backup.

If you must back up individual Exchange mailboxes separately from the Information Store, then consider the following:

Table: When using legacy backup methods for mailboxes



Use full and incremental backups

Consider running full backups of mailboxes or public folders on a regular basis. Supplement the full backups with incremental or differential backups to keep backup run time to a minimum.

Continue to back up the Information Store

Do not substitute mailbox backups for backups of the entire Information Store. You cannot perform a complete restore of Exchange Server from a mailbox backup. You can only perform a complete restore of Exchange Server from backups of the Information Store.

Recover deleted items rather than restoring them

Consider using the Exchange System Manager utility to adjust the deletion settings in each Store's properties. Deleted items can be retained for a period of time, allowing them to be recovered rather than restored. See your Microsoft Exchange Server documentation for details.

Exclude unwanted or unnecessary folders from the backup

When you select a mailbox or public folder for backup, by default all folders and subfolders are included. You can exclude specific folders and subfolders.

See Including or excluding files for backup.

For example, to exclude all mail in the Deleted Items folder, type:

\**\Deleted Items\*

To exclude all mail in the Sent Items folder, type:

\**\Sent Items\*

Enable single-instance backup for message attachments

When backing up mailboxes and public folders, you can choose to back up only a single copy of all identical message attachments. When an identical attachment is found, a reference to that attachment is retained. The actual attachment is backed up only once at the end of the backup set.

Enabling single instance backup for message attachment increases backup performance since duplicate attachments are backed up only once.


If the backup job does not complete, the message attachments may not be included in the backup set. Rerun the backup until it successfully completes. If you used the incremental backup method, running the job again does not back up the same messages and attachments. You must run a full or copy backup to ensure that all messages and attachments are backed up completely.

Do not back up special system mailboxes created by Exchange

Although these special system mailboxes can be backed up, it is not necessary or useful.

The following are common examples of special system mailboxes:

  • System Attendant

  • Any mailbox name starting with SMTP or System Mailbox

There may be others depending on the Exchange server configuration and environment.

Also, when selecting objects from the mailbox tree, all objects are displayed as messages. Some non-message objects can be identified by the subject line. For example, if you create a Calendar event named Appointment1, that name is displayed in the subject line for that object. However, some objects such as Forms and Views do not have a subject line (even though they can be named) and may not be easily identifiable.

Select public folders from only one Exchange server

The same public folders may appear for multiple Exchange servers since public folders can be replicated. Selecting public folders on multiple Exchange servers only increases the time and media required for the backup and does not provide any additional protection.


Antivirus software may impact mailbox backup performance and could result in incorrect job log errors. Mail messages and the attachments will be fully backed up and fully restorable despite job log errors that may be generated when verifying the attached files.

Mailboxes are displayed in a server-centric view; that is, only mailboxes on the selected Exchange server are displayed in the backup selections list. Public folders may be displayed on more than one server since public folders can be replicated to many servers.

In versions of Backup Exec prior to 8.6, mailboxes could be selected for backup from a site-centric view, which listed all mailboxes in the Exchange Organization, not just mailboxes on the selected server. Even though only the server-centric view is now available for Exchange mailboxes, you can still restore mailbox backup sets that were created using a site-centric view.

If you select mailboxes from the same server, they are placed together in one backup set on the storage media. If you select mailboxes from more than one server, then the mailboxes are placed in separate backup sets according to the server.