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In cases where you need to reinstall a Microsoft Windows 2000-based server, such as after a catastrophic hardware failure or when you are upgrading hardware and installing Exchange 2000 to a new server of the same name, you should also back up the metabase. There are several different procedures for backing up the metabase, but only one method restores a functional metabase if the operating system also needs to be re-installed.
A metabase database-only backup that is made through the Internet Information Services (IIS) Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in or through MetaEdit.exe is not helpful if the rest of the server is lost because the metabase depends on certain encryption keys that are backed up with the system state.
The most reliable backup of the metabase that you can make is through the System State option found in Ntbackup.exe, which is a Windows 2000 backup utility. Neither the Ntbackup.exe online Help nor the graphical user interface (GUI) indicate that the metabase is included in the System State backup option.
When you have completed a good system state backup, you can back up the metabase alone. In general, back up the metabase alone by using the IIS MMC snap-in for the purpose of fallback after you make major configuration changes, not for the purpose of disaster recovery.
Enable detailed logging to see exactly which files are backed up with the system state. To enable detailed logging, in Ntbackup.exe, click Tools, click Options, and on the Backup Log tab, click Detailed. These backup logs will be found in the Drive:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.Logon_domain\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\Data folder.
Ensuring That the Metabase Is Included in the System State Backup