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Exchange 2003 drive full due to logs - store unmounted, veritas backup exec due to backup

Hi,

We have exchange 2003 which is normally backed up by Veritas Backup Exec v9.1 during the weekend. After backup the transaction logs normally reduce in size.

On Friday our lto-3 failed and with our next business day support we had to wait till Monday for the engineer to come and replace, as such our full weekend backup couldnt take place until this was fixed, so our backup started last night.

Mid morning today, our exchange server stopped, and on investigation, it had run out of disc space and the store had automatically unmounted.

My questions are.
1. How can I check whether the store has dismounted cleanly?
2. Will veritas backup exec with exchange licence, still be able to backup the exchange server and flush the log, eventhough the store is not mounted? (The exchange server is still on and can be reached across the network)
3. Assuming Backupexec can still backup the logs and flush them, and that this gives me some free space, is it then just a matter of mounting the stores again to bring exchange back online?

In addition, I do have some spare drives that I could add to this exchange server, the whole os and logs/database is all stored on one 136GB drive currently. This was setup before I joined, and I have been planning to migrate to a better server with more storage.
Q4. Can I add some more drives to the server, point exchange to use the new drives for its transaction log and then mount the stores? Does exchange automatically copy the logs to the new drives and automatically make use of any additional drive space?

This is urgent, hence the high points, as I have a lot of unhappy exchange users!

Cheers
Paul
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paul_at_work
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paul_at_work
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1 Solution
 
SembeeCommented:
In an emergency you can compress the Exchange logs. That should buy you some space to get Exchange running.
Then use either ntbackup or Veritas to do a backup to disk somewhere so that the logs get flushed.
You cannot do an online backup if the databases are not mounted...

Therefore..

1. Compress the logs. ONLY THE LOGS.
2. Mount the stores.
3. Run a backup.
4. Once the logs have flushed, decompress the directory.

You need to get look at your drive configuration so that you have enough capacity in case of backup failure again.

If you can get those additional drives in place, then use them. That is a better option. Depends which is going to be quicker to run.

If Exchange dismounted the store then I would expect it would be clean. Or put it another way, when this has happened to me in the past, I have been able to mount the store correctly once some space has been gained.

Simon.
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paul_at_workAuthor Commented:
Hi Simon

I think I can buy myself enough time to install some additional drives tomorrow. But if not, to compress, do you mean to right click on the MDBDATA folder-advanced and then select compress contents? Does this have to be done when the stores are dismounted> (which they are currently)

Can compressing the log files do any damage to them?
Also, I have read elsewhere about removing the badmail folder to give some extra space, is this something I can do without concern? The drive currently as less than 1mb free- its a 137GB drive and the logs are using 127GB of this. Theres about 500mb in my badmail folder. So im wondering if this would be enough for me to delete, remount the stores and then perform an online backup?

Thanks for quick response.
Paul
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SembeeCommented:
Is this server service packed? The badmail folder functionality was disabled in one of the service packs. That was why I didn't mention it.
If you have 500mb in badmail, then rename the folder and SHIFT-DELETE it, don't try and open it. That will give you enough space to get the server running again.

If you haven't put the logs in to their own directory then compressing the mdbdata folder isn't a good idea as that will probably contain the database as well. The logs will compress while the server is in this state - it isn't advised as a long term thing, as it will have a performance hit on the server - used for emergencies only.

However get rid of the badmail first.

Simon.
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paul_at_workAuthor Commented:
Thanks Simon

All your advice was very useful, i removed the badmail folder as you described, and was able to mount the stores and its back online.

My full veritas online backup is scheduled for about 2am in the morning, so now the server is back up and running, im hoping the backup will succeed and compress the logs as i could do with a little more than 350mb ish spare! Plus I will install the additional drives and relocate the logs at the weekend, as a more permanent fix.

Cheers
Paul.
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