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Clearing Log files

Posted on 2006-11-13
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We installed a 2003 server with Exchange on it last October.  I still have log files since the day we started.  My backups will not fit on our Rev drive.  I have been trying to backup to a hard drive, and also backing up just the exchsrvr directories on C: and D: -- still the log files remain.  How can I get my backup to clear the log files?
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Question by:btmtech
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Expert Comment

by:dynamitedotorg
ID: 17929824
The safest way is to run a full backup of the public and private stores using NTBackup or another exchange-aware backup utility.
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Expert Comment

by:ckeshav
ID: 17929843
Manually removing transaction log files that are not required
To correctly remove excess transaction log files, follow these steps:
1.      Stop all the databases in the storage group.
2.      Verify the state of each database file in the particular storage group. For information about how to verify the state of each database file, see the "Database states" section.
3.      Perform one of the following actions:
•      If one or more of the databases are in a Dirty Shutdown or Inconsistent state, determine which transaction log files can be removed without affecting database consistency. For more information, see the "Log files" section.
•      If all the databases are in a Clean Shutdown or Consistent state, you may remove all the transaction log files except for the current transaction log file. Removing the current log file when all databases are in a Clean Shutdown state will cause a reset of the log file sequence. This does not prevent databases from starting. However, a reset of the log file sequence affects the ability to roll a database forward from a previous backup if the situation occurs.
4.      Copy all the transaction log files that you want to remove to a different location before you permanently remove them from the transaction log hard disk. Do not permanently delete the transaction log files until you have successfully completed a full online backup of all the databases in the storage group.
The following sections describe the relationship between transaction log files and the Exchange Server database. The sections also provide detailed instructions about how to determine which log files are safe to remove.
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by:Sembee
ID: 17929850
What are you using to do backups?
Are you using an Exchange aware backup application to backup the information store?

If you are using a third party application that backs up the mailboxes and not the information store, then that is not considered a valid backup by Exchange and will not flush the transaction logs.

Do a backup with ntbackup, then look at the properties of the store to see when Exchange thinks it was last backed up. That will confirm if the backup is working correctly and it just the flushing of the transaction logs that is failing.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:btmtech
ID: 17931707
I am using the Backup Utility for windows copyright 2003 that came with 2003 server.  I believe that is also known as NTBACKUP.
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by:btmtech
ID: 17931719
I have also tried using a trial copy of Retrospect Backup version 7.5 which supposedly has an exchange backup component.
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by:dynamitedotorg
ID: 17931926
As Simon said above, when does the information store think it was last backed up? You can find this on the properties of the store.

If the last backup time matches when you think you last backed it up, then it's a problem with the logs not being cleared. If it doesn't claim to have been backed up recently then you've got a backup problem.
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Author Comment

by:btmtech
ID: 17932088
Properties of the store indicate that it has never been backed up.  Do the services have to be shut down in order to do such a backup?  If so, can this be automated with NTBACKUP?
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by:dynamitedotorg
ID: 17932109
You can back it up online quite happily.

in NTBackup you should see the Exchange server listed alongside the filesystem. If you expand that you can select the public and private stores and backup them up online.
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17932141
If the store says that it has never been backed up, then that is your problem.
What exactly are you selecting when you setup ntbackup to backup the server? It should be the information store. Backing up the file system (ie the contents of \exchsrvr) is not an Exchange aware backup.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:btmtech
ID: 17937737
I am selecting the \exchsrvr directories under program files on c: and D: .  I have also tried doing a full system backup including system state without success.  So what you are saying is that I should just backup the MDBDATA directory?  If not, what exactly should I be backing up?
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by:dynamitedotorg
ID: 17937756
Ignore the filesystem, that won't do what you think it does.

Go into NTBackup, ignore all the wizards, and on the backup tab you should see My Computer, My Documents, Microsoft Exchange Server, and My Network Place.

Microsoft Exchange Server is the one you want. Expand that, you should see a list of all Exchange servers, expand the one you want to backup and make sure Microsoft Information Store is selected.
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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 17939620
Take a look at this site, which has screenshots of what you should be selecting.

http://www.petri.co.il/backup_exchange_2000_2003_with_ntbackup.htm

Backing up the file system is not a backup of Exchange.

Simon.
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