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Correct sequence of events for bringing a user back from exchange mailbox size limits.

I need to know the correct sequence of events to bring a user back from their Exchange mailbox limit in SBS 2003. I know that I can create a PST file on the server, and move older emails to that PST file. What confuses me is how the built in "deleted items" in exchange holds so called deleted items for a set amount of days.

Q1. If emails are dragged from the mailbox to a server located PST file using Outlook, does the built in deleted items in exchange know to ignore keping these files, or are they still kept for the required period?
Q2. If I temporarily change the built in deleted ietms duration in Exchange, that should flush all users deleted items, not just the one in question. Is that the case. If so, does it happen immediately, or overnight?
Q3. So what is the best way to not only delete or move the emails, but to have that change quickly reflected in Exchange to avoid further warnings?
Q4. Do I need to also perform offline database compaction to A/ acheive the reduction required, or B/ to maintain a compact and efficent database?
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ThinkandBuild
Asked:
ThinkandBuild
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1 Solution
 
SembeeCommented:
Deleted item retention (DIR) has nothing to do with the user's Deleted Items folder.

Basically the steps for an item to be deleted are... Item Delivered to Mailbox, Press Delete they go in to Deleted Items Folder, user deletes the item from there, the item is now in the Dumpster (DIR). DIR time is set on the server. After the time is up, then Exchange flushes the items out during the nightly maintenance. You can see the results of the flush out by looking at event ID 1221.

Warnings are generated during the same nightly maintenance.

You should not consider an offline defrag to be a regular maintenance task, because it is not. I do not do offline defrags unless
- I am directed to by Microsoft Support
- I have hit the database limit in standard/sbs edition of Exchange (2000 16gb, 2003 75gb)
- I have removed significant amount of data which results in over 50% of the database being white space AND there is no possibility that space will be reused (for example half the staff have been laid off).

Simon.

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ThinkandBuildAuthor Commented:
Sembee,

Take the scenario of a user who is 2 or 3 days away from going overlimit after a few warnings. If the exchange server DIR setting is 14 days, are you implying that deleting enough files from the mailbox today will still result in an 11 day mailbox freeze while the DIR period expires?

If that is true, is my only option then to temporarily shorten the DIR for all users, and then lengthen it again once the shorter DIR has expired?

When I mentioned the user's deleted items on server, I was referring to the DIR, I just didn't know the correct techno jargon for it. I understand that it is separate to the user's deleted items folder.
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SembeeCommented:
Items in DIR do not count towards the storage limit. Therefore all the user needs to do is delete or clean out their Deleted Items folder or other folders to keep under the limit.

The main suggestion I make to users is to look in Sent Items and sort by size. It is not unusual for a user to forget that they have multiple copies of an attachment in that folder.

Simon.
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ThinkandBuildAuthor Commented:
Thankyou Sembee.

Another question that Jeff from Techsoeasy missed (he he).

 I am assuming then that the reported size of each mailbox in exchange also doesn't include the DIR files.

Simon
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SembeeCommented:
If you are looking at the mailbox size through ESM, then that should not include DIR items. It is one of the many reasons why the total of the mailboxes does not equal the reported database size.

Simon.

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ThinkandBuildAuthor Commented:
Sembee,

I know tla's (three letter acronyms) abound, and I must have missed that day at uni, but can you tell me what you mean by ESM? Exchange **** %%%?
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SembeeCommented:
Exchange System Manager. It is the most common acronym used in the Exchange community.

Simon.

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If your question has been answered, pleased remember to accept the answer and close the question.
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