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Force users to delete mail ?

Posted on 2001-07-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hi,
I work in a school environment. Every teacher and staff person has an email account on our exchange server. This is fine, except a fairly good portion ( say 25% ) of my users don't check their email. I have about 100 accounts for which people have never logged on. But all these accounts still contain plenty of email. At this point, if a user has never logged on, their mailbox might contain 30 MB of mail or more. In addition, plenty of my users have no idea that they need to empty their deleted items folder.

What I want to do is to delete unread mail over a certain age and empty everyone's deleted items folder. Obviously I would prefer to do this in such a manner that I can still retrieve things without going to my backup tapes.

I have exchange 5.5 sp4. I know my mail server crashes and burns at 16 GB, I'm currently over 15 GB.

My event log event 1221 reports my database had 2.7 GB of free space after online defrag, but doing an offline defrag only freed up 600 MB. So unless I delete mail, I've already done as much as I can to reduce my database size.


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Question by:jjeff1
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7 Comments
 
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slink9 earned 600 total points
ID: 6285303
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Expert Comment

by:bluezoo7
ID: 6287481
1. After notifying your user population, set up mailbox size limits on all mailboxes. For example: at 20 MB, they cannot send mail until they have cleaned off messages. At 30 MB they cannot send OR receive until they clean off mail. Pick your limits based on your tech requirements (i.e, 16 GB limit) and the local politics.

2. Use the "Clean Mailbox" tool on mailboxes that have never been accessed. You can delete mail on the server for specified mailboxes older than a certain date that you pick.

3. Last, you can use Exmerge to copy an entire mailbox to a .PST. Then delete all the mail in the mailbox. Give the .PST to the user on a CD or over the network.

As you probably already know, you cannot let your DB go past 16 GB if you are using the standard version of Exchange. Its a nightmare to fix if you do.

The problem is more of a user-education issue that a technical one. Until they form the right habits, mail admin will be difficult.

bz7
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Author Comment

by:jjeff1
ID: 6287724
My users are dumb as lamp posts. I actually figured out about the clean mailbox tool. I plan on using that along with mailbox manager. I should be OK.


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Expert Comment

by:bluezoo7
ID: 6287740
Couple that with mailbox limits and your Exchange server will be as best protected as you can make it.

And you must qualify your statement above. Your users a probably as dumb as lamp posts that know how to spam each other HUGE attachments via e-mail ;-)

bz7
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6287848
Is the problem solved or would you like to leave it open and see what other suggestions you get?
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jjeff1
ID: 6288018
95% of them don't know how to attach a document to email. I will leave it open till the end of the week.

I already notified my users about the impending deletion. I only intend to delete unread messages more than a year old anyway. At any rate, since it's a school, most of the users are on summer vacation, when they return, they probably won't even notice.  MUHAHAHAHA
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jjeff1
ID: 6321428
I used Mailbox manager along with the clean mailbox tool.  That seems to have done a fairlygood job.
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