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Exchange 2000 reporting 16GB store when actual mailboxes make up under 4GB?  Where is the space??

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
Hello,

First some background.  We are running Exchange 2000 on a Win2k server which used to be part of a large domain.  We have since been sold and are still part of the same domain, although we are now the only members.  Not sure if everything was properly cleaned up at the time of transfer or not.

This morning when I came in, my Exchange store was dismounted and the event log said it had reached its 16GB limit.  I promptly went into the MDBDATA folder and the two files in question were:

priv1.edb 8,695048 KB
priv1.stm 7,553,032 KB

So I ran an offline backup using ESEUtil which took about 3 hours.  After this time, the files were shurnk only by about 4MB.  So i stopped all the services and enabled the extra 1GB using the registry edit.  Next I opened Exhcange System Manager and looked at my mailboxes.  There was nothing sticking out at me, so i added up all the values of the Mailboxes which came up to just under 4GB of space!  Where is the extra 12GB gone?  I am currently running on the extra 1GB with no sign of shrinkage.  I am not sure what to do.  How can I reclaim this space??

I REALLY need to get some space free'd up.  Please help!
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Question by:electricd7
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19 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16943726
I might also add that there are 14GB of .log files in that directory.  Can these be deleted or purged by date or anything??
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Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 16943737
what does event id 1221 tell you?
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16944576
Grr..since I have left someone has purged the App log.  No 1221s left.  It said something about 4MB freed up or in that realm if I remember correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:jar3817
ID: 16944675
When was the last time you did an online backup using some exchange aware program (like ntbackup or some commercial product)? When you do a full online backup those logs will get written to the database and removed.
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16944724
Well that may be the problem.  I use NTBACKUP to do my backups but I am not sure that exchange is seeing it as a full backup.  I use a script to kick off my backup and a .BKS file to tell NTBACKUP what to get, but I don't know how to tell it to backup the exchange stuff properly with this file?  Also, after a full backup is complete, when does it delete those logs (immediately?) and will it shrink the mail store size as well??
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Expert Comment

by:jar3817
ID: 16944771
The log files should be gone when the backup process is complete. Maybe you should try running ntbackup manually and make sure you select the information store in exchange rather than just the files on the harddrive. If you are just backing up the files, the logs won't get purged.
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16944785
OK UPDATE:

I just finished an online backup of exchange.  The log files are now purged, but the mail store remains at 15.4GB.  My question now is if the store is holding old deleted items and not purging them because it hasn't had a backup in sometime?  If this is the case, how can I tell it to go ahead and run deletion based on its retetion policy of sent items and deleted items?  Thanks again!
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Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 16944882
what are the retention settings configured on the mailbox store (you will find it under the mailbox properties under the limits tab)
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16944940
7 days for deleted items and 14 days for deleted mailboxes.  It also has the checkbox for "Do not permantly delete mailboxes until backed up".  So the question is, now that I have done a successful backup, how do I clear up that stuff older than 7 days that is still being held in there??
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Accepted Solution

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rakeshmiglani earned 500 total points
ID: 16944959
you need to check whether any mailboxes have been deleted in the past that are waiting to be purged
in the esm, expand the mailbox store and right click on mailboxes under it
run the clean-up agent. this would bring up a red x on all the mailboxes that have been disconnected.
then you can verify whether they are required or not. if they are not required them right click on them and click purge
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Expert Comment

by:jar3817
ID: 16944973
It'll be purged during the next nightly maintenace. So tomorrow morning you should have some more space freed up.
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Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 16944991
jar3817 is correct. it would be purged when the online maintenance runs but the space will not be freed up automatically. you will have to run an offline defrag to reclaim that white space.
check event id 1221 to find out the free space that can be reclaimed with an offline defrag
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16945118
Is there a way to force an online maintenance now so that i can run the offline defrag sooner rather than later?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16946376
Simply change its schedule and then leave it to it.
To be honest - if you are going to gain 10gb of space, the online defrag is going to take a while. I doubt whether you will be able to do anything more with it today.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16946404
well i will just let it run its course tonight then.  Im still gonna have 16G taken up by those 2 files though right?  So exchange will still report its over the limit even after the online defrag?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16947101
Have you increased the limit?

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=813051

You need to allow the online defrag to run - otherwise you will not get the space back.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:electricd7
ID: 16950591
Yes I have already increased the limit.  The online defrag ran and event 1221 said:

The database "First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (WTHIBEFP1)" has 6155 megabytes of free space after online defragmentation has terminated.

The file size of the 2 files making up the store is still at 15.4 GB however.  Can someone explain this??  If I get another 600MB of mail will the store go offline again??
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Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 16950967
6155 comes to around 6GB of free space that can be claimed with an offline defrag

you have to check the registry setting for increasing the size to 17GB. when you remount the store the settings goes back to 0 to it has to be configured again to 1
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16956027
Also remember that adding up the mailboxes in ESM will not equal the size of the store. Exchange has a feature known as single instance storage that can make up the difference. There will also be some overhead in the store as well.

Simon.
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