Troubleshooter—IM Server Recovery

I know how disaster recovery works for a regular Exchange 2000 Server installation. Do I need to follow any special steps to recover a failed Instant Messaging (IM) server?

Although user contact data is stored in IM servers' registries, most of the data that IM servers contain resides in Active Directory (AD), so you need to be careful when you recover a damaged server. The Microsoft article "XCLN: Instant Messaging Disaster Recovery" ( explains the details of the recovery process. The basic process is straightforward:

  1. Delete the IM virtual server object on the failed server by using Exchange System Manager (ESM) on another computer in the same organization. Open the Protocols container for the failed server, right-click the Instant Messaging (RVP) node, then select Delete.
  2. ESM will ask you to confirm the deletion. If you have other IM home servers available, move the affected users to one of the remaining servers by selecting the Move Users check box. If you don't have any IM home servers, don't move the users. Either way, click Delete in the dialog box to remove the old RVP object.
  3. If you can't move your users, use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in to disable their IM access.
  4. Reinstall Windows 2000 on the failed server.
  5. Run Exchange 2000 setup with the /disasterrecovery switch. (If you don't know what the switch is for, read Jerry Cochran, Mission-Critical Microsoft Exchange 2000 (Digital Press, 2000).
  6. Create a new IM virtual server.
  7. If you moved or disabled users, move them back or reenable them.
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