I have seen several questions from EE users where they are unable to delete the default database created during Exchange server installation. I have answered the same question several times. I thought of writing an article, which can help EE users.
Below, I explain the steps of how to delete the first database. Let us check what we need to do before dismounting and removing the first database.
First step is to move or remove following type of mailboxes from first database:
1) Any user mailbox
2) Any Archive mailbox
3) Discovery Search mailbox
4) Arbitration mailbox
If you forget to move or remove mailboxes you will get the below error:
The mailbox database "Default DB" cannot be deleted.
Note: I am using Default DB as DB name in this article for First Database. It could be different in your case.
So let’s start moving all of the above mailbox types to another db.
1) Move User Mailboxes:
For these types of mailboxes we can use Exchange Management GUI Console or PS. I prefer EMC as it is easy to use. First login to your Exchange server, launch EMC. Browse to EMC>Recipient Configuration>Mailbox
Create a filter Database>Equal>DBName and Apply filter. This will show you all user mailboxes stored on your first database. Select all mailboxes, right click and click on New Local Move Request and move all mailboxes to another database by following the New Local Move Request wizard.
2) Move Discovery Search Mailbox:
Steps are same as above. It will be named like DiscoverySearchMailbox???
3) Move Archive Mailboxes:
In case you have created any Archive Mailbox on first database. Make sure to move them as well to another database. You can do this with user mailbox move step also.
4) Move Arbitration mailbox:
This one step, where I have seen maximum people struggle to complete and post question on EE site regularly. First these mailboxes are not visible using EMC and can be found using EMS or Exchange management Shell only.
Before, I explain you the steps. First understand these mailboxes are stored at Forest level. So make sure to run this command first.
Set-AdServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $True
Next run below command to view Arbitration mailbox stored on your first database.
Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database “Default DB"
Next run below command to move Arbitration mailboxes to another Database.