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+16GB Mailstore won't mount after defrag, how can we build new server using those mailboxes?

henrykock asked
Last Modified: 2008-04-24
Greetz! This is our story....

We are running Exchange 2003 Standard Edition on a Windows 2003 server. Our mailstore hit the maximum - size 2 days ago: priv1.edb 16,553,672 MB and priv1.stm 3,3321,864 MB - After we ran up and down getting users to clean up their mailboxes, move mail to local PST's etc., we were pretty sure we freed about 3 GB - so we dismounted the mailstore nicely to do an offline defrag with eseutil - but we faced constant errors due to space on our server hard drives. We deleted the log files and tried again - but we were constantly getting error messages releated to space (it skipped our minds that we needed 110% of the total size of these two files together). Running these utilities take on a lot of time and this makes it a little nerve-wrecking.

We had no choice as to copy these two files to a large network share and run eseutil from there. After some hours of waiting it lowered the priv1.edb to 15,852,552 and the priv1.stm 2,672,648. Dissappointed, we couldn't understand how that was possible! Not much change at all in the file size!! Were were the 3GB's we cleaned up. As we tried to mount the newly defragmented mail store, we were constrantly getting errors like:
c1041721, c1041724, Event ID 9175 - No matter what we did, the mailstore wouldn't mount. We ran isinteg on it just confirm on the correct shut down - and yes, that looked fine - but we still had a mail store size problem, and constant errors trying to mount. We also tried editing the registry for the extra 1GB but we were still getting errors. Nothing seemed to help to mount the store.

After 2 days of thinking and frying our brains, we decided today to install a brand new server with a different server name with Exchange 2003 Enterprise edition and copy the defragmented priv1.edb / stm files to the mdbdata directory of the new server - as we knew that Enterprise edition's limit is much more that 16GB. Again we got the some error messages trying to load these in the new server. This time, after we tried a few times, it started giving errors of corruption, Event ID 454 with error -1018. We copied the original files just (priv1.edb 16,553,672 MB and priv1.stm 3,3321,864 MB) to the new server to see - Nothing, only a different message: C104173a. Next step, we did was create a recovery group and there it successfully mounted, but I still can't see anything in there at this particular point. Our minds are ... well... extremely tired...

Basically this is my situation:
A) Our other (old) exchange 2003 server (standard edition) is still up, but it can't mount the store files due to lack of space. It has not logs on it, but two sets of mail store files - 1 original version and another after defrag.

B) Our new exchange enterprise edition is up, but can't mount the store of the other server either.

C) All our users are still pointed to the old exchange and using web mail (not OWA), which is slowly but surely going to kick a few out due to storage limits per mailbox.

D) I'm planning on purchase ontrack's powercontrol tool tomorrow as this could help rebuild the exchange on the new server the hard way (manually extracting PST's off the dismounted edb file).

E) We have no backups that can be restored.

As we're running against time, we would appreciate a hand in helping us walk the right way.
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