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Exchange 2003 private information store is larger than it is

Posted on 2004-10-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a Small Business 2003 server with Exchange Server 2003.  The private information store says it is at its 16GB limit, but when I calculate all the mailboxes, they show upas 4.6GB.  I ran an offline defrag and it didnt help at all.  I have the temporary 1GB extension applied, but I need to get this resolved ASAP, as this is at a law firm and they arent happy at all.  Please help
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Question by:dslivingston
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Expert Comment

by:munichpostman
ID: 12366517
are you sure that you defragged correctly?

In order to run eseutil/d you need to have a minimum of 110% of the size of the information store free.

Here is a detailed explanation of the eseutil process.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804/en-us
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Expert Comment

by:rlindermeier
ID: 12367311
If the defrag works as expected try this way:

- Export als Mailboxes with exmerge to PST-Files
- Dismount the Mailboxstore
- Delete the priv1.edb and .stm
- Mount the Mailboxstore an let create Exchange new stores
- Import the Mailbox content with Exmerge
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Expert Comment

by:yducerf
ID: 12367870
Look at this article if you havent already read it ...
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;828070

Also try this way, backup your information Store in Brick level mode with Arcserve and Exchange Bacup Agent or Veritas Backup Exec and Exchaneg Backup Agent, unmount your information store, create a new one and restore your brick level backup in this one...
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12368289
I am going to try the idea from  rlindermeir.  If I export and reimport does anything change on the user side?
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by:marc_nivens
ID: 12368368
Be careful, exmerging out and in will cause you to lose single instance storage, actually growing the database file.  If offline defrag did nothing, then its possible that the online defrag is not completing.  Check your application log for a 1221 event.  If you have one then it ran, and it should tell you how much white space you have (aka how much space will be reclaimed with an offline defrag).  If it is not finishing, then check the schedule for online maintenance (properties of the mailbox store/database tab/maintenance interval).  Make sure it has time to complete.  If you have to, extend the schedule a few hours.  Again, if you do not see the 1221 then its not finishing.  Also, make sure you're counting mailboxes that have been disconnected but have not been purged from the database yet.

And if you do end up exmerging, be sure you check the size of the exmerge PST folder before you re-import.  And to answer your last question, if you do this the user will be prompted with a message to rebuild their shortcuts, but that is it.  No matter what they choose it will let them into their mailbox.
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by:rlindermeier
ID: 12368370
No, because the mailbox is already the same!

You only delete the content ;-) but re-import it
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12368680
i dont have 110% more than 16GB, so maybe that is why it didnt defrag completely
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by:rlindermeier
ID: 12368754
Yes, it seem´s so.

You can use the /t-switch of eseutil to set an other path for the temporary databases. Therfore you can install another harddisk, or so ....
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by:marc_nivens
ID: 12369238
And if you have to, you can copy the databases (stm and edb files) to another machine that has the space, along with eseutil.exe, ese.dll, and exchmem.dll and run the defrag there.  I would try to avoid using the /t switch over a mapped drive.  But if you have enough space on another local disk that is your best option.  An example of the usage would be:

eseutil /d dbname.edb /tx:\temp.edb
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12369929
I read the 110% wrong, I was thinking of 110 times the size.  I have 61GB free on the partition with the Exchange Server.  So with that being said, I guess the Offline Defrag ran correctly, but just didnt budge for some reason.  So does my best option look to be Exmerge?
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12369948
Did you check the online maintenance/1221 idea that I suggested?
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370002
I looked at the eventviewer and it said 1 MB free after online defragmentation has terminated
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Expert Comment

by:rlindermeier
ID: 12370038
There is a problem with your database, use exmerge to recreate it ......
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12370046
Ok, so online defrag is completing.  Have you (or any user) recently (within the last month) deleted a large amount of email or deleted some mailboxes?  If you have then let me know and I'll tell you how to reclaim that space.  If none of these are the case then you can run exmerge to get the mail out, just make sure you take note of the PST sizes before importing.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370145
Several users have deleted big amounts, so we could fix this issue but of course never could get it to do anything.  I have also removed old mailboxes.
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Accepted Solution

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marc_nivens earned 500 total points
ID: 12370192
Mailbox retention and Deleted Item Retention is most likely taking up the remaining space.  I believe both of these settings are on the mailbox store properties.  Change both to 0, and wait until online maintenance runs again.  You should see much more available space in the 1221 afterwards.  If so, you can then proceed with the defrag.

If this works for you, be sure and change the settings back to what you want them when finished.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370228
Will Changing this to zero completely remove everything in the deleted items boxes?
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by:marc_nivens
ID: 12370246
Not the deleted items folder of the users, rather the dumpster (the place you recover deleted items from, where deleted items go when the deleted items folder is emptied).  Keep in mind online maintenance has to run before this takes affect.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370299
Awesome.  I just changed those items.  Is there a way to run the online maintenance during the day, or does everyone have to be out.  
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12370349
You can change the schedule to start sooner.  The schedule is on the properties of the mailbox store/database tab/maintenance interval.  You will get an event in the app log when it kicks off, and of course the 1221 when it completes.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370679
One more question, I changed the schedule, but havent seen any evidence that it started.  I am learning alot about Exchange in the process of all of this, and I appreciate everyones help.  
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12370692
Changing the schedule will not start it immediately, it may take up to 30 minutes (maybe more).  It will however start eventually.  
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12370701
Ok.  Thanks for your patience.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12371399
Does it usualy take more than an hour to start?
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12371413
Not usually but it can... online maintenance is not easy to force.  If you're trying to start it during a high traffic time it may wait until the server is less busy.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12380736
I was able to free up 9 GB of space from the dumpster.  What is the correct syntax for the eseutil /d program?
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Expert Comment

by:marc_nivens
ID: 12380781
If you have enough drive space on that volume its:

eseutil /d dbname.edb

If you need to redirect the temp file to another drive use this:

eseutil /d dbname.edb /tx:\temp.edb
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12381536
Thanks Marc, i will be doing the Offline Defragmentation tonight.
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Author Comment

by:dslivingston
ID: 12404428
The database is now down to 3.5 GB.  Thanks again for your help Marc.
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