Exchange 2003 / SMB Server priv1.edb file is too large.

Having a problem backing up a 2003 SMB Server. The Exchange  file priv1.edb has grown to over 30GB causing the tape drive to restart on that file until it uses up to 11 36GB tapes to backup 80GB of data on the server. I cleaned out a lot of emails from the 18 Outlook clients mailboxes, deleted all of the deleted files, etc.  The mailboxes are much smaller now but the priv1.edb file size has not changed.  If I can get the file to about 15GB I can get the backup on track again.

Can anyone tell me if and how to reduce this file size?  I have checked out a bunch of articles on the site but have not found the answer.  Thanks for your help.

Frank Domnisch
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Hi fdomnisch,

The reason why you dont see the db shrink as you would expect is because the database needs to be defragmented to reclaim the unused space you've created after you cleaned out mailboxes. Check this article out

Remember that once you defrag the database (s), you'll need to perform a full backup of the newly defragged db since data has been rearranged via defrag and any incremental/differential backups will be useless.

Hope this helps.

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I currently use PerfectDisk to defrag my exchange database.  It is a great program and will do everything you need to shrink you DB.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would do a full backup of Exchange before and after you defragment the database.
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

Perfect Disk automatically makes a backup of your DB on any shared or attached drive before it does a backup.
When will your next defrag run?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Perfect Disk isn't a bad program, but it's not a free program either.  The defrag can be done using built in tools.  In theory, you shouldn't be defragging the database much - it's expecting deleted messages to be used again.


keep in mind, if you have deleted item retention enabled, the messages you think you removed may remain for several days or weeks and the offline defrag may not gain as much space as you hope
fdomnischAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick response. Defragging the Exchange database was the answer. Although Microsoft has a built in utility I used Perfect Disk.  Perfect Disk shrunk the priv1.edb file from 30GB to 2GB. A trial version was available to download and it works great. I will definately be buying the software. It allows you to schedule defrags of the Exchange database as well as the file system with a GUI interface. The cost to purchase the software is $399. The cost of not being able to backup your data... well we all know that.  

Thanks again to everyone for the quick response and accurate answers.

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