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Posted on 2006-12-01
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I need to shrink the data store in exchange 2003 on SBS 2003 with exchange service pack 2.
They drive is full and I know users have junk in their mailboxes. what is the quickest way to clean this up and free up a couple of gigs..
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Question by:lvcg
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 2000 total points
ID: 18057078
Unless you are going to arbitrarily export and archive all messages before a certain date, or something like that, you have to get them to clean up their mailboxes themselves.  There are numerous approaches to this - it's essentially a personnel issue not a technical one.  If you have the authority to do so and/or can get your management's cooperation, you can set size limits on the mailboxes and prevent users from sending and/or receiving mail when they exceed the limits.  Of course, you need to warn them first what the limits will be and if they are already exceeding the limits they will have to clean up their junk before you put the limits in place.

Once the limits are in place and the individual mailboxes have been cleaned up, the mailbox management processes should take care of shrinking the database automatically.  

Another thing to be aware of is the deleted item retention periods.  People can delete messages all day long, but if you have the deleted item retention period set to too long a period, your info store will get bloated with things that should have long ago been purged.  I usually set the deleted item retention to 10 days at the most - if someone hasn't realized they deleted something by mistake in that period, they're SOL or we can recover it from a backup if it's really that important.

Hope this helps!
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by:redseatechnologies
ID: 18058384
>>the mailbox management processes should take care of shrinking the database automatically.

The only thing that will make the database files actually smaller is an offline defrag.

Good maintenance can stop them from growing, but will not shrink them.

To quickly shrink the mailbox store, I would be be archiving things out as mentioned above.  Get a hold of exmerge, and get it to export all messages older than a certain date, then get exmerge to purge those messages out totally - set your deleted item retention to zero days, wait for the mailbox management process to run (or run it manually if you are impatient) and then do an offline defrag.

Bear in mind that an offline defrag is going to take a long time depending on the size of your databases (and you will need a heap of free space (210%) to get it to run)

Short answer, there is no way to quickly shrink a database store.  Move it to another drive would be the quickest solution.

-red
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by:MATTHEW_L
ID: 18063698
You could force them to clean out their mailboxes.  Try a recipiant policy for mailbox manager settings.  Delete all emails in deleted items and junk email.  You could do size / date ranges.
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