Mailtraq - the Complete Email Server

Enstar for Mailtraq email server sales & support
Making world-class Internet technology affordable  

Search for:

Advanced search

Live Backup

This page explains how to backup your Mailtraq installation. Mailtraq is very robust, so with a valid backup recovery is normally straightforward.

This page also includes tips, background and advice on backing up and restoring your installation in case of disaster.

Live backup

Live or Online back-up is available in Mailtraq Professional from the Options menu, and allows you to back-up Mailtraq whilst it is online or live - without having to shut it down. Online back-up is available from the Options menu in Mailtraq Professional installations running with the Firebird or AFX databases.

Other backup options are discussed in
this knowledgebase article.


The online backup system copies all messages in the database to a secondary location. In the event of a catastrophic failure the entire message database can be recovered.

Mailtraq will backup:
     • Message Database
     • Configuration
     • DIS (Address Books)
     • Calendars

We recommend using the Quick Restore Format whenever possible.

Running other backup software

It is essential that you do not allow other backup software to directly access the Mailtraq \database folder. Mailtraq must have exclusive use of its database at all times.

If using corporate backup software, exclude the Mailtraq \database folder.

Set Mailtraq to create its backup on local space, outside the Mailtraq structure and have your corporate backup software use that location.

Mailtraq does not support the Volume Shadow Copy Service - VSS


Automatic Backup Schedule allows an appropriate schedule to be configured.
Backup is inactive by default: you must set your own schedule.

Backup should normally scheduled to be at a known 'quiet-time' on your system.
Mailboxes may not be available during the backup processes:
incoming messages are processed normally.

Backups are normally performed on a weekly rotation.
Note the additional path information in the example shown above: Path\\backup\{dddd}\ 
This will create a new folder for each day of the week, eventually over-writing the first folder.
This ensures that one 'bad' backup does not over-write your only 'good' backup.


Items are stored by default in a compressed state (to save space) and you must use the Restore-process below to recover items from backup. See note on Quick Restore Format below.

The Destination Path allows you to choose your own location for the Backup files.
The default location is in C:\Program Files\Mailtraq\Database
Ensure that you do not do not leave your backups in those directories
Backups left within the Mailtraq folders will be removed by the 'Purge Deleted Objects' tool.

See 'Configuration Tips' below on selecting a suitable location for your backup.

Perform Backup Now allows you to backup on demand. You should use this feature after any significant change in configuration.

Configuration Backup

It is also good practice to take a manual snapshot of your Configuration from time to time, and always after significant changes. Mailtraq provides a tool to Backup and Restore your Configuration in the Console | Tools menu. See Configuration Backup and Restore

Failure notification

Any problems during backup are noted in  this dialog in the Console, and are also emailed to the designated recipient. See  KB11122001 Understanding Backup Failures

Size vs. Speed

Mailtraq optimizes backups for size by default. This keeps your backups to the minimum size, but means that Restoring may take a significant amount of time as the 'compressed' files are re-indexed.

You may prioritize restore speed by selecting the Quick Restore Format checkbox. We recommend the  Quick Restore Format wherever possible.


Quick Restore Format

Quick Restore Format is in an uncompressed format. This enables you to restore AFX mailboxes by simple file substitution. Mailtraq must be shut down during all file manipulations.
See below for method


The Restore process will shut Mailtraq down whilst it is in progress.
If you are restoring a large database this may take a considerable time.


The Restore tab allows you to select which Back-up you want to restore from - either local, or from the directory stucture, and which components you want to restore:  

    • Message Database, 
    • Configuration,
    • DIS (Address Books) 
    • and/or Calendars.

The backup files that Mailtraq creates are in a compressed format.  That means that you cannot swap files created using the online backup tool into the place of standard mailbox username.afx files - you must use this Restore facility.

If you wish to create swappable (uncompressed) backup files, either for day-to-day use or when moving or updating Mailtraq you should use the Alternate method described in this knowledgebase article

Select Restore Source

Mailtraq will keep track of the backups it knows about and will offer them to you as 'Known Backups'

You can also restore from a specified directory.

This directory must be on a drive on the same machine as Mailtraq. So, if you have a backup on a remote storage device you should first copy that to a local drive before using it to restore Mailtraq.

If you are Restoring using the option
[x] Restore from directory below
(rather than from a Known Backup), set the File name to *.* in the Windows file selector to allow Mailtraq to select the appropriate file.






Restore Single Mailbox

It is possible to restore the contents of a single Mailbox from backup without having to restore all mailboxes. 



This Restore process will shut Mailtraq down whilst it is in progress.

If the mailbox you are restoring is large this may take some time.


Restore from Quick Restore Format
This enables you to restore AFX? mailboxes by simple file substitution.

The default location for a Users mailbox is in the folder: C:\Program Files\Mailtraq\database\mail\inbox
For example - username.afx

To perform a Quick Restore

  1. Shutdown Mailtraq See how here...
  2. Rename the 'corrupt' mailbox file to username.old
  3. Place a copy of the backup username.afx file in place
  4. Restart Mailtraq

This Knowledgebase Article explains how to repair a corrupted AFX file. Read how ...   

Restore a single mailbox - alternate method

It is possible to restore a single mailbox that is in compressed format (from a regular backup) by recreating the AFX file's index. See KB Article on AFXUILS for guidance. The reconstructed AFX file can then be substituted as described above.

Configuration Tips


    1. It is recommended that the Mailtraq machine is rebooted before running the Restore process.
    2. Once the Restore process has begun it must not be interrupted. 
    3. Allow enough space for your backups, particularly if you are holding messages on the server (IMAP/Webmail). One week rotating backup - Mailtraq's default - will require at  least seven times the size of the working database.

Configuration Backup
Mailtraq provides a manual tool to Backup and Restore your Configuration in the Console | Tools menu. It is a good idea to keep a copy of the Configuration on a different drive or machine in case of machine failure - a USB thumb drive may be used. If you have a backup configuration available you can restore a working installation very quickly in case of disaster.  See Configuration Backup and Restore

Selecting a suitable destination
The drive you select for the destination of the Backup should be formatted as NTFS, not FAT32 which can only store files up to 4gb. Microsoft publish this KB article on converting to NTFS.

If you use a FAT32 format hard-drive, and the backup files exceed the maximum file size then the backup will fail and you will see a log entry similar to:
EXCEPTION (NexusDB: <unnamed> TnxTable instance>: Table is full. [$2507/9479]) @ Backup Service

Care should be taken to use "Safely remove hardware" before unplugging any USB mass-storage devices used in this context.

Backing up to 'remote' drives
Mailtraq's default backup location is to the Database folder.   Mailtraq AFX (like Firebird) uses a block based file access model which is a lower level than the network layer for high performance  so they can't work directly over a network.

You can use the 'Network' feature to backup across your local network using a UNC path. For example:


You must have valid credentials and the necessary Windows privileges on both server and destination. This method is suitable when there is low latency and low contention on the local network. Restoration is then by manual copy.

Alternatively, if you wish to backup to a drive across your network you may set Mailtraq to backup to 'local' space and then get your organization's back-up software to 'collect' the backup from there, or use a simple scheduled xcopy then delete batch-file to move the backups to a different location.



Download Trial
Buy now
Feature Tree
What's new
Print this pagePrint this Page  
Mailtraq 2.12 PDFDatasheet  
Send a friend an email about MailtraqShareMailtraq - Email Server at Delicious Mailtraq - Mail Server at digg Mailtraq - Mail Server at FacebookMailtraq - Email Server at stumbleupon Tweet about Mailtraq 



Mailtraq Highlights...
 SMTP Server     Mailtraq SMTP email server video IMAP Server     Mailtraq IMAP email Server video
 POP3 Server     Mailtraq POP3 email server video Proxy Server     Mailtraq proxy email server video
 Webmail Server     Mailtraq webmail email server video Mailing-list Server     Mailing list email server video
 Groupware Services     Mailtraq groupware email services video Spam and Virus control     Spam and virus control email server video


   Copyright © 2003 - 2011 Enstar Ltd, Enstar LLC & Fastraq Ltd. All rights reserved. Privacy policy.
   Mailtraq® is a registered trademark of Fastraq Limited.