Exchange 2000 Crash over the 16 G limit cleanup advice?

So our Exchange 2000 server shutdown last night as we went over our 16 gig storage limit.  I was able to remove 650MB off that drive so I could restart the mail services and it was successful.  Now I am trying to free up some space by having all of our people archive their mailboxes and to purge any unused mailboxes that we have.  The problem is our priv1.edb is staying constant even after I have deleted/archived massive amounts of mail.  I have "Keep Deleted items/mailboxes" set at 0 days.

I would like to free up some space without using Offline Defrag because I don't have enough room on this server to do this.  Well, I have two partitions our paging drive 17 gigs available and our Data drive 19 gigs available.  Would I be able to utilize these drives for an offline defrag?  Also, I am concerned at the risk of doing the Offline defrag since our tape backup library/drive is under repair and I havent had a backup of the Mailbox store since last week.  Is there a lot of risk in doing this operation?  I appreciate any advice that you can give me as I watch that 650MB dwindle down.  Thanks
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You need just over double the size of the database to do an offline defrag. This size needs to be in on one drive. It looks like you will have to move the file off to another location.
Risk? You are working on a database file, so yes there is a risk - there always is doing anything that Exchange doens't do itself.

650mb isn't really a great deal, Exchange will use that in no time. See if you get it down further before contemplating doing an offline defrag.
There is a registry hack that you can do to increase the store to 17gb:

However you are going to have to start considering some drastic measures to get this under control.

Upgrading to Enterprise Edition is the primary fix. This is what you need to aim for long term.
Shorter term, limits on the size of the mailbox is probably something that you need to look at. Try to encourage users to get rid of some email, archiving or deleting what isn't required. Some users can be real pack rats.


However you really need to think about upgrading to Enterprise edition. While I appreciate that you may not have the budget, if manage
PeteH67Author Commented:
         Yes, I plan on purchasing the Enterprise addition asap.  But I will have to upgrade the hardware also as there is not enough physical storage for all these mailboxes.  I am looking for a fix that can be applied right now because I am down to 420MB of free space as we speak.  I have archived at least 25 users with probably over 3 gigs of email but I have seen no increase in free space.  If this continues the server will probably shutdown again tonight.  

   You can upgrade to evaluation copy of enterprise exchange server.
   And then you will have 3 months to go to retail version.
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thats risky, money may not be there in 3 months. Easies thing is to add the additional space. Create a new mailbox store and have it hosted on said space. Move all the mailboxes over. Delete the original problem child store. Only way around it . Won't have to move it to defrag it. The mailbox moves automatically put the new information store database in a "defraged" stated. You can check the 1421 event logs to see. They show you how much white space or empty space you'll regain. Moving users to new store is more effecient without bring user service down. Best of luck

You will not see the store drop in free space - the Exchange db doesn't work like that. It will leave the db the same size and create white space.
Leave it overnight and then look for event ID 1221 in the logs during the night. This is when Exchange cleans itself up and it will report how much white space there is. If you have removed 3gb of email then Exchange will use that space first, rather than growing the db again.


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PeteH67Author Commented:
Made a windows backup of the store and Ended up doing the offline defrag, all is well for now.  Thanks guys!
Check out the knowledge base article 813051  there is a registry hack that you can do that will add one gig to you limits (17Gig)
HKEY_LocaL_Machine\system\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\<exchange server name>\Private<long hex string
Add value, type in value name box: Temporary DB Size Limit Extension
Select REG_DWORD for the data type - OK
Enter a value of 1 and OK
Quit registry.

This gives you 17 gig in storage.  Stop SMTP services, defrag - remount storage have people clean up thier mail or you can do it.  You'll need to run another defrag to clear white space.  Remount store and start SMTP - note if you don't have some sort of mail bag service with your ISP any incoming mail will not get come in once you restart SMTP services.  Stopping SMTP service will stop any mail from coming in, users have to be online when cleaning up thier mail boxes.  
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