Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007
Topic Last Modified: 2006-11-10

This topic identifies the data that is specific to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Client Access server role. When you are making a disaster recovery plan, you should understand the backup and restore methods available for this data.

The following information is in this topic:

The Client Access server role stores configuration data in the Active Directory directory service, the Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase, and local configuration files. Parts of the two data stores (IIS and Active Directory) are not synchronized or duplicated. Because of this, Setup /mode:RecoverServer restores your Client Access server to the default installation state and ignores all the post-installation customization work done to the server. Non-default virtual directories that you created will be lost, and customizations applied to the default virtual directories will also be lost.

If the IIS metabase and Active Directory are not synchronized because of a restore or recovery operation, the Client Access server experiences errors. Because of this situation, we do not recommend that you recover your IIS Metabase to a Client Access server after you have run Setup /mode:RecoverServer.

We recommend that you keep a detailed change log of customizations performed on your Client Access server. In the event that your Client Access server is recovered, you can then reference the change log and reapply the customizations.

Where Client Access Server Stores Configuration Data

Table 1 outlines where the Exchange 2007 Client Access server role stores configuration and end-user data. It also indicates the backup and restore methods that you should use for each type of data.

In all cases, if you make any changes to the files or default settings for any of the data, document and back up the changes. If nothing has been modified, nothing needs to be backed up.

In Table 1, the file paths all start in the root of the Exchange installation folder. The default Exchange installation folder path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange\.

Table 1   Locations used by the Client Access server role for configuration and end-user data

Critical data Location Backup method Restore method

Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access Web site, and Web.config file

File system


File-level backup

File-level restore

IMAP4 and POP3 protocol settings

File system


File-level backup

File-level restore

Availability service

Active Directory configuration container and file system, including the Web.config file


Domain controller replication or Active Directory backup

File-level backup

Use Exchange Management Shell scripts to configure Availability service

File-level restore


IIS metabase

System state backup, metabase export of Web sites

System state restore, or metabase import of the Web sites

Exchange ActiveSync 

  • Active Directory configuration container

  • File system, including the Web.config file in the \ ClientAccess\Sync folder

  • IIS Metabase

Domain controller replication or Active Directory backup

File-level backup

Metabase export of Web sites

Use Exchange Management Shell scripts to reconfigure the service.

File-level restore

Metabase import

Outlook Web Access virtual directories

Active Directory configuration container and file system


Domain controller replication or Active Directory backup

File-level backup

Use Exchange Management Shell scripts to configure clean Outlook Web Access virtual directories to match the old virtual directories

File-level restore

Registry (There is very limited information stored in the registry by Setup that is not essential to server restore. Unless changes were made to the settings, those changes should be backed up.)

Microsoft Windows registry

System state backup or registry export

System state restore or registry import

Web services configuration

IIS metabase

System state backup; metabase export of Web sites

System state restore or metabase import

Outlook Web Access Web Site

Office Outlook Web Access allows access to Exchange mailboxes via a Web browser. The Office Outlook Web Access Web site files are installed by default when you install the Client Access server role.

For more information about Outlook Web Access, see Managing Outlook Web Access.

IMAP4 and POP3 Protocol Settings

Most configuration information for IMAP4 and POP3 is stored in Active Directory. There are a few user-customized settings stored in the following files:

  • Microsoft.Exchange.Imap4.Exe.Config

  • Microsoft.Exchange.Pop3.Exe.Config

By default, these .config files are located in the following folder: C:\Program Files\ Microsoft\Exchange\ClientAccess\PopImap.

These settings are mainly related to protocol logging settings.

For more information about POP3 and IMAP4, see Managing POP3 and IMAP4.

Availability Service

The Exchange 2007 Availability service improves information workers' free/busy data by providing secure, consistent, and up-to-date free/busy information to computers running Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

Most configuration information for the Availability service is stored in the Active Directory Configuration container. There are a few user-customized settings stored in the Web.config file at C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews.

For more information about the Availability service, see Managing the Availability Service.

Web.config Files

The Web.config files contain configuration data for controlling Active Server Page (ASP) Microsoft .NET parameters, such as the ConnectionCacheSize and MaxRequestLength values. Values such as these must be configured by using Web.config because these settings are specific to ASP .NET.

By default, the Web.config files are located at the following paths:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\owa

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\Sync\

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews

    Only use tools such as Notepad to modify the Web.config files. Modifying the web.config files through IIS will corrupt the file.

Autodiscover Settings

Office Outlook 2007 Autodiscover is a new feature in Exchange 2007 that makes Office Outlook 2007 client configuration much easier. Office Outlook 2007 Autodiscover provides configuration information that is required to connect to Exchange.

Autodiscover virtual directory settings are stored in the IIS metabase, and Autodiscover service configuration information for intranet deployment is stored in Active Directory.

For more information about Autodiscover, see Managing the Autodiscover Service.

Exchange ActiveSync

The Exchange ActiveSync protocol, based on HTTP and XML, lets mobile devices such as browser-enabled cellular telephones or Microsoft Windows Mobile®-powered devices access an organization's information on a server that is running Microsoft Exchange. Exchange ActiveSync enables mobile users to access their e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks and to continue to be able to access this information while they are working offline.

Exchange ActiveSync configuration data is stored in the following locations:

  • Active Directory configuration container

  • Web.config file in the directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\Sync

  • IIS metabase (specifically the authentication settings)

For more information about Exchange ActiveSync, see Managing Exchange ActiveSync.

How to Restore a Client Access Server

  • To restore a Client Access server, you can perform one of the following:

  • Build a new server with a new name by running Setup on a new server.

  • Restore the old server with the same name by running Setup /mode:RecoverServer on either a new server or the old server.

After one of the preceding operations, you then need to apply the same customizations that you had on the server when it last functioned properly.

For More Information

For a sample script that can back up and restore the IIS metabase on a Client Access server, see How to Back Up and Recover a Client Access Server.

For more details about Setup /m:RecoverServer, see Understanding Setup /M:RecoverServer.