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How long should an offline defrag of Exchange 2000 take?

Posted on 2007-11-15
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I did an in place defrag of the 16GB file since the server does not have enough space for creating a separate defrag. It has been going for an hour and for the past 30 minutes or so is stuck at the 4th dot on the defragmentation status. I'm just trying to buy me some time to get this email up now, so we can migrate to Exchange 2007 next week.

Thanks.
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Question by:adminknight
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20292592
Offline defrag goes at between 1 and 4gb per hour, depending on hardware. Therefore you have at least another hour and maybe another 15 hours before it will be completed.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:jeffster1
ID: 20292605
On a 30 gig store with the same problem a couple of years ago it took approximately 2 full days on reasonable hardware.  I think it varies greatly.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20292643
can you cancel it once it starts?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20292741
If you are using a copy of the files - which you should be - then yes, and replace the the originals back. If you are working on the originals then no.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20292785
Then i wait.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20292813
Should the file size of the databases being changing while the Utility runs?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20294638
Not always. Do you know how much free space was in the database before you started?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20296428
no idea how to tell how much free space there is. I canceled the defrag utility *no no I know, but I have help that microsoft doesn't* and rebooted. Store came up, services started and email is good to go. I imposed strict limits, the 1GB extension is going right now and I will have every person clean out their boxes tomorrow.

I would assume this thing has never been defragged and if it has its been years. I will research or post a new questions *unless someone ones to answer here  for now points* how to do a defrag the proper way. There aren't but ~200 users, most with little to no email and a few with 200+MB  so there "should" be plenty of free space, just hasn't been maintained.

:)
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20297715
Offline defrag is not something that has to be done regularly. It is not a routine procedure.

I only do offline defrag for the following reasons

- when the 16gb limit is hit on Exchange 2000 or older
- when directed to by Microsoft Support
- when I have deleted a significant amount of data (at least 40%) AND there is no chance that space will be used again - ie because the staff have all been fired.

You were lucky to get away with cancelling the procedure and the store coming up. That should have broken the database. The free space in the database is found in event ID 1221 which is recorded overnight. Note that Exchange does look after itself, so if there is free space it should use that first.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20297989
Lucky doesn't begin got cover it, as a matter of fact I have my "I'm not lucky I'm good" shirt on today. I realize it should have broken and I was prepared to work today and the rest of the weekend on recovering the email server. I wasn't looking forward to it, but thats the nature of the beast. Good, no, lucky no, blessed would be the best way to describe it.

I have hit the 16GB limit on Exchange 2000 is the reason i would consider a defrag. Event ID 1221 from last night shows 968 of free space. Does Exchange clear out space nightly? Even though there is 1GB or later more, of free space the actual files size will not decrease unless I do an off line defrag will it?

I appreciate the info Sembee.
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Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 20300943
If event ID 1221 says that there is 968mb of free space that is all that you would gain on an offline defrag. That is probably why you got away with it - nothing had been changed because the files were so full. If there was more space and content had been moved then it would have been a different story.

Exchange uses space marked as white space first. The event log should really say white and no free space. However remember that the databases are separated in to Internet data and internal data. If your users are removing lots of email that came in from the internet and replacing it with internal data then the white space may not get used.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20320621
how do you do an online defrag?
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20320651
It isn't a process that you run - Exchange does it during the night automatically, unless it has been disabled.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:adminknight
ID: 20321487
thought so, but I've been way wrong many times. I appreciate the help.
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