How do I get Exchange running again after running out of space?

Posted on 2008-11-05
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I have inherited an ageing Exchange 2000 server running on Windows 2000. Unfortunately it has managed to hit the 16G limit, and I am working to get mail up and running. My first pass was to defragment the database offline, but this failed (sorry, I don't have the error code on that one - my bad). I have run the defragment on another server (in parallel), but not copied the new files back as I only saved 0.1G on the file size.

Unfortunately the server did not have any service packs applied, so I was unable to temporarily extend the limit to 17G without updating. The plan was/is to then move some of the mailboxes across to the other Exchange server in the same domain. I have no applied service pack 3 and the rollup required to make the necessary registry change, but am now unable to mount either of the stores.

Pre updates my only problem was the size of the private store, and the public store was mounted without problems. Now I am unable to mount either store and get the error message:

An internal processing erro has occurred. Try restarting the Exchange System Manager or the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service, or both.

ID no: c1041724
Exchange System Manager

I've tried both of those without improvement. I've also searched Google and checked the space on the drives, as well as looking at this article:

which also doesn't help.

I'm getting more than a little frustrated with this, so any suggestions from Exchange experts would be very welcome.
Question by:apt
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    You said you've searched Google, so I'm assuming you saw to run the offline defrag in order to recover some space?  

    Outside of that, you'd have to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition, at which point you may as well just upgrade to a newer version of Exchange.

    I may be wrong, but I'm pretty darned sure you cannot upgrade Exchange 2000 past 16 GB (excepting the 1GB reg hack to make it 17GB) without going to Enterprise Edition.

    Author Comment

    Yes, the offline defrag was my first fix, and that, as mentioned, produced two outcomes - an error on the server I was running on, and on another server (where I copied the files across to get a bit more processing horsepower), I only ended up saving 0.1G.

    If I upgraded to Exchange 2003 SP2 (or I presume new on both the SP and Exchange version) the limit is extended to 75G per store as I understand it. That would be plenty of space (for now!), but requires a new software purchase.

    What I want to do is mount the existing store with the 17G reg hack to then look at clearing some space with archiving. I'd lay pretty good odds that there's a decent amount of mail in 'deleted items' folder that can go. That assumes I can get the existing database running, and following the necessary service packs and rollups I am actually worse off now (no public store either). The other thing I can do is move some users onto the other Exchange server on the domain, which will (as I understand it) give me two 16G stores by virtue of splitting across servers. That may only be a temporary fix as the second box was (apparently) intended to migrate too, not supplement!

    Accepted Solution

    I've finally found the solution, so for future reference for anyone else I'm adding details here. If you ignore the fact that I've hit the 16G limit and can get past the fact that every time you follow a link from the Event Viewer it no longer exists on the Microsoft support site, the basic problem comes down to the upgrade of Exchange 2000 to service pack 3.

    The key problem following this upgrade for me (which took me a step backwards instead of forwards in my original problem) is that following the upgrade to service pack 3 Exchange can no longer work with stores on compressed drives, directories or that have been individually compress at a file level.

    Once I had removed the compression I was able to mount the stores again. This wasn't a problem in my case space wise as it turned out that only the .stm files were compressed. This was on a per file basis (not per disk or directory) and was only saving 2M on one file, nothing on the other!!

    So to summarise, make sure your store files aren't compressed after upgrading Exchange 2000 to service pack 3.
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Excellent.  Good luck getting that deleted mail taken care of.  Always a pain in the butt to go through :)

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