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Troubleshooting remote backups for Microsoft Exchange Server

Rick Cook shows us how to avoid certain problems when backing up Windows Exchange 2000 when remotely using the Ntbackup utility in Windows 2000.

You can back up the Windows Exchange 2000 Server remotely using the Ntbackup utility in Windows 2000. However there are a couple of things you need to watch out for.

One of the problems shows up when you try to do a remote backup and get the error message: "The specified computer is not a Microsoft Exchange server or its Microsoft Exchange services are not started." This means the Ntbackup utility was not able to connect to the Exchange 2000 services. To fix the problem, Microsoft recommends a series of troubleshooting steps.

The first step is to make sure that the database services you wish to back up are running on the target server. If they are, the next step is to check the version of Ntbackup you are using. The original release, dated December 4, 1999 with a file version of 5.0:2172.1 has what Microsoft delicate calls 'several known remote backup issues' with Exchange. These issues were corrected in Service Pack one, which is dated July 21, 2000 and has a file version of 5.0:2195.1607. If you have to update the service pack, you must exit and restart Ntbackup before proceeding with the backup.

The next thing to check is that you have the Esebcli2.dll file present and properly registered. This is the file that makes Ntbackup aware of Exchange 2000. This requires using the Registry Editor and all the usual warnings about the Registry Editor apply. To check for the presence of the file start the registry editor and check for the presence of the following registry key:


Make sure Esebcli2.dll is present in the path that the esecli2 value points to. If not, copy it in and restart Ntbackup. If the eseblci2 registry value is missing use the 'Add value' command on the 'Edit' menu to add the following value:

Value Name: esebcli2
String: [drive]:[path}esebcli2.dll

Finally, remove the Exchange Server 5.5 backup .dll file. This file may keep Exchange 2000.dll from querying the Exchange 2000 servers, especially if the backup server is not a member pf the same domain as the server.

The Exchange 5.5 backup .dll file is named Edbbcli.dll and is located in the WinntSystem32 folder. If this file is present in the path of folder from which Ntbackup is started, it will automatically be activated. The correct file, Esebcli2.dll, must be registered for Ntbackup to use it. If a node named "Microsoft Exchange" is displayed on the Ntbackup page, then Edbbcli.dll is active. If the Exchange 2000.dll is active, the node name will be "Microsoft Exchange Server."

Locate and rename all instances of Edbbcli.dll on the backup system to Edbbcli.dll.sav and restart Ntbackup.

Microsoft discusses this issue in KnowledgeBase article 275676 titled: "XADM: Troubleshooting a Remote Online Backup of Exchange 2000" at its support web site at

For more information:

Tip: Try concurrent Exchange backups

Tip: Storage managers grapple with Windows

Related Links: Backup/Archive

About the author: Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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