Exchange 2003 priv store does not reduce when mailboxes are deleted
Posted on 2007-03-18
I have a client that has their own Exchange 2003 mail server, and suddenly one of the users lost a block of emails from the entire month of February and half of March. They are running Windows 2003 Server standard with Symantec Backup Exec as their tape backup solution. The user who had lost emails had looked through their deleted items folder and the messages were not there. I checked via OWA to see if her OST didn't have the messages, and they were in fact completely gone.
Since we have a daily backup, I decided to use Symantec Backup Exec to restore the one user's mailbox. The problem comes in because the mailbox is around 12GB in size. The restore operation completed, but all of the messages that were included in the backup were duplicated. Rather than weed through thousands of emails to remove duplicates, the messages that were received were saved to a PST and the entire mailbox was deleted. I used Backup Exec to recreate the mailbox, but apparently the size of the priv did not shrink when the mailbox was deleted, causing the RAID array where the information was stored to quickly become full.
My main question is, how can you make the size of the priv smaller when deleting a mailbox and totally purge the messages from the database? This is causing a major stoppage in work, but because the email is filtered before being sent to their server, Postini will hold the emails for a few days until they are able to be delivered.