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Exchange 2000 Priv1.EDB defrag

A thanks in advance to anyone that can help.

Our Exchange server private store has hit 16GB.  I've talked a number of the users through deleting mail they don't need and exmerged some old mail to PSTs (removing from Exchange as it goes) - as a result I've got the amount of email down to 12.8GB according to Exchange System Manager.  I ran eseutil last night to defrag and rebuild priv1.edb but priv1.EDB dropped only to 15.3GB, with a 900MB priv1.STM - the problem being that the store still dismounts often.
I've used the temporary registry key to allow it to mount at over 16GB, but due to other things beyond my control (dodgy motherboard in the server causing it to reboot almost daily, and then Exchange not mounting without the regkey being added again) it's turning my hair grey rather quickly.

So, the question is - how come even after running eseutil on a database that *should* be 13GB, it's come out at near 16GB again...

Buying the Enterprise license to remove the 16GB limit will happen in future, but not until we get all the user mailboxes under control and imposed limits (I don't want to just tell everyone that all limits are removed and they need not worry about housekeeping).  Downtime needs to be kept to a minimum ideally - the best I can get is running any defrags from about 1am-4am and checking back at 6am before anyone gets in the next morning.

Any and all thoughts welcome.

Ta.
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Dhope
Asked:
Dhope
2 Solutions
 
ikm7176Commented:

"I've got the amount of email down to 12.8GB according to Exchange System Manager" - There are lot of other stuff hidden away in the database that mailboxes are not charged for. For example there are search folders, indexes, and system tables that allow Exchange to operate.

Your best option is to upgrade to exchange Enterprise Edition.

http://www.tek-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=3841
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SembeeCommented:
You need to verify what the actual white space in the db is before considering an offline defrag. Look for event ID 1221 in the application log over night. This will tell you how much there is. If it reports 3 - 4 gb (16gb limit minus your 13gb) then you are correct in thinking that an offline defrag will help. If it reports some small figure like 100mb, then an offline defrag will not help. As "ikm7176" says, I would purchase Enterprise edition sooner rather than later. No need to tell the users anything, other than you have fixed the problems with Exchange. As for limits, start very high and bring them down. Users are forgetful and will not remember what they were before.

Simon.
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DhopeAuthor Commented:
Sounds promising - after setting retention to 0 as mentioned in the link from imk7176 and leaving it a few hours to tidy up the stores, then checking for the event 1221...

The database "First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (SERVER)" has 6595 megabytes of free space after online defragmentation has terminated.

I'll set the eseutil going now and let you know in 5 hours when I get up for work and remount the stores.  Actually, that's another question - is there a way to automatically mount the stores after an offline defrag has completed?
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DhopeAuthor Commented:
Priv1.edb is down to 9GB, priv1.stm is 700mb - better than I'd hoped for given it still shows as near 13GB if add up everyone's mailbox sizes as shown inside Exchange System Manager.

I'll up the points a bit and split them between ikm7176 and Sembee as IMK's link provided the deletion retention period bit that was what I think made the difference, but checking the event logs to see if it was worth doing a defrag in the first place was helpful in seeing how much space would be saved.

Thanks to both for your quick responses, much appreciated.
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ryanwilliams_gaCommented:
Check out this site:

http://www.goexchange.com/

We use it and it seems to do what your wanting and allows you to do other things while it runs.
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1jalmadaCommented:
If you have the hard drive space, and hopefully you do, just create additional mailbox stores under the current storage group, then move users into those new mailbox stores.  For example, you can categorize the new mailbox stores you create into "Executives," "Managers," "Users" or whatever.  Each of those stores you create will have their own priv1.edb and priv1.stm, and each one of those can go up to the 16GB limit.  What's more, you can take just one of those stores offline to perform a defrag without disrupting ALL users of the server.  
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