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Exchange Server 2000 Offline Defragmentation Batch File

Posted on 2005-04-13
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
Is it possible to let a batch file do an offline defragmentation of our server every Friday night? I need this script to re-mount the Exchange databases automatically if it is possible.

250 pts if anyone can explain why this can not be done OR 500 pts for anyone that can write the batch file for me.

If a batch file can do this you guys should know that when I defragment, I use the following command line:

E:\>eseutil /d "d:\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb" /t "g:\exchange"

As you can see, I need to switch to the server's E drive, and copy the database to the G drive for defragmentation.
I appreciate the help!
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Question by:mckeough
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by:
ATIG earned 400 total points
ID: 13774043
Why do you want to perform an offline defrag on a weekly basis? I would not recommend performing this action since all users will have no access to thier mail during this process. There are 3rd party utlis (goexchange) that allow solid defrags while keeping the information store online. Exchange performs nightly online defrags to rearrange the database the only advantage to the offline is that it compacts the database and reduces the space. Are you have issues with you database consuming to much space? Is management willing to have an outage on the database every week just to degrag it?
I believe you will find numerous people the would recommend against you running this on a weekly basis!
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by:ZabagaR
ZabagaR earned 200 total points
ID: 13774105
ESEUTIL is not meant to be casually ran as a cleanup tool.  It is meant to be used if you *have to* use it.

If I ran eseutil, I would not want it to occur without me being there to watch it and manually bring everything back up.

BTW : Above, in your command, there is no space between /t and "g:\exchange"

-z-

ATIG - are you bored too?
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by:flyguybob
flyguybob earned 400 total points
ID: 13774402
http://blogs.brnets.com/michael/archive/2004/11/02/240.aspx  This question will never be put to bed.

ATIG - aren't the Bahamas coming up in a few 4 months?

  Exchange_Admin and I had a thread a few weeks back where we discussed the offline defrag.

  The only problem that I have seen with it is this:  My team performed an offline defrag in E2K and all of the attachments for that storage group disappeared.  That solved our 16GB issue...all too well.
  We restored from backup, flipped the extra 1GB switch, had users clean up their mailboxes, and I think we ran eseutil again without incident.  Around 3 weeks later we dropped on Exchange 2000 Enterprise.  After that I have never ran eseutil for an offline defrag on Exchange 2000.  Though, I have helped friends who have.  It's usually a non issue...but can really be problematic when something goes wrong.

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LVL 24

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by:flyguybob
flyguybob earned 400 total points
ID: 13774448
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by:Exchange_Admin
Exchange_Admin earned 200 total points
ID: 13775342
Just my 2 cents worth.

I agree with the above statement that ESEUTIL is not a "casual" utility. Also I agree that I would want to be present when it runs in case there are problems.

In my past working at MS Support for Exchange, I have seen a defrag fail and cause many problems. Usually this was related to user error but not always.

Offline defrag should not be run unless you have made major deletions in the store.

The reasons above is also why I do not recommend products like GoExchange. I am not saying that GoExchange is a bad product, just that I would not use it.
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Author Comment

by:mckeough
ID: 13782109
Thanks for your comments guys. Our server is a mess, and it has been a difficult job to convince management that we needed to do soemthing about Exchange being full. They don't want to spend money on archiving software, yet they don't want to limit the size of anyon'e email account. They thought it might be nice to run the eseutil every Friday night until we can come up with a solution. The server has crashed 3 times in the last two months because of it being full, so now I'm getting more leverage for my, "Either give me money to buy archiving software, or put limits on our users" case. The limits one is really hard because our CEO has an email box that has a size of 1.3 gb with 39,000 mail items in it. He would be the hardest hit.

Anyway, I'll just tell them that this is not an acceptable solution. If, er, I mean when we get to our 16 gig limit again, I'll just have to take the server offline the night before it would go down.

If anyone has any other comments, feel free to post them. I'll wrap this post up either later today or tomorrow.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Admin
ID: 13784697
You can put general limits on most people and then special limits on certain individuals if you want.
Before doing an offline defrag, look for event id 1221 in the application log. The value listed in the description is the approx. amount of space you will reclaim.
Remember that Exchange will reuse this space before increasing the size of the database.

I may be blunt, but I am sure that they will sing a different tune when the databases reach 16 GB and there is no space that will be availiable to reclaim with an offline defrag, and the server is down for a couple of days.

I feel you pain. Email never seems to be important until the users don't have it.
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by:ZabagaR
ID: 13786341
MCKEOUGH -

What you can do after running a defrag (eseutiul) once is to put a few processes into place:

- Archiving old e-mail : At least ask the individuals with the LARGEST mailboxes to take everything older than 9mo. or 1yr. and archive it off to a .pst file.  It is readily available to view on their local PC. Default name = archive.pst.

- Ask users not to keep large attachments in "Sent Items" and "Deleted Items".  E-mail text itself takes up small space.  It's the attachments that really eat free space.  Nothing irked me more than users that would send 5-10mb attachments on a regular basis and keep them *forever* in "sent items".
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by:flyguybob
ID: 13788108
Going on ZabagaR's notes...
One great thing is Zantaz EAS.  A few of my co-workers really like it.  It takes those 5-10MB attachments and, if they are the same, creates a single instance store of sorts.  Yes, it is quite a bit extra and requires extra hardware...which may not be in your bag for now.

Bob
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Author Comment

by:mckeough
ID: 13791554
OK. Thanks for the comments guys. I'll be taking this information to a meeting later today, and convince them that this is not the best idea. This will put a fair amount of pressure back on them to actually implement a solution.
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