Real Purpose of an Exchange offline Defrag?

We have a server that is approaching the 16gb mailstore limit for Exchange 2000 sp3.
We are considering doing an offline defrag but isnt the purpose of an offline defrag to regain physical disk space?  Will it also help with our mailstore size problem?

If the online defrag shows that there is plenty of white space but the edb file is still near 16 gb will exchange stop processing mail?

Thanks
master_winduAsked:
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
Offline defragmentation
Although online defragmentation provides some additional database space, you must defragment the Exchange database offline to reduce the physical size of the Exchange database. Eseutil is an Exchange utility that you can use to defragment, to repair, and to examine the integrity of Exchange databases. You can use the Eseutil utility (Eseutil.exe) to perform offline defragmentation when your mailbox stores and public folder stores are offline.

For example, you might perform offline defragmentation if you recently moved many users from a server that is running Exchange. In that case, offline defragmentation reduces the size of the Exchange databases by rearranging the data on the server's Exchange databases and discarding any unused database pages.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804

If you want to reduce the size of the DB then you must do an offline.

"The Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition Information Store automatically shuts down and will not restart when it reaches the maximum permitted size limit"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/813051

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Exchange_GeekCommented:
Q: "We have a server that is approaching the 16gb mailstore limit for Exchange 2000 sp3."

Ans: That spells disaster - please have your users delete as much data as possible ASAP - delete any unwanted mailboxes from the store.

Q: "We are considering doing an offline defrag but isnt the purpose of an offline defrag to regain physical disk space?  Will it also help with our mailstore size problem?

Ans: Regain, physical disk - offline defrag is always done to reduce physical size of the database. So, yes it does help you gain the disk space - but more importantly it gets rid of the white space and re-arranges all those 4kb pages within the entire Jet database.

Yes, it should help you with your mail store size problem. (My advice is to perform offline defrag as soon as you can generate as much white space as possible)

Q: "If the online defrag shows that there is plenty of white space but the edb file is still near 16 gb will exchange stop processing mail?"

Ans: Your approaching what is called Exchange store critical problem - stores going offline because of 16GB mark. As i had stated earlier get rid of

1) unwanted emails
2) unwanted mailboxes

If you have any further queries about the defrag - please feel free to ask.
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