Mailbox store not getting smaller after deleting mailboxes

I have recently moved almost all of my users from an Exchange 2003 server to our new Exchange 2007 server.  I back up the Exchange store every day with Windows Backup.  The size of the backup file from the Exchange 2003 server has not gotten any smaller, even though the server went from around 50 active mailboxes to just 6.

When I go to the First Storage Group, I see only the 6 or so mailboxes left on the Exchange 2003 server.

Is there a command to compact the database?  Am I doing something wrong when I move the mailboxes?

Thanks.
Christopher BeaugrandCIOAsked:
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Rajith EnchiparambilConnect With a Mentor Office 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
Only if you run an offline defragmentation, the space gets freed.

Otherwise, Exchange uses the freed space called White Space when your mailbox database grows.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q-23899429-Can%27t-reduce-disc-space-of-exchange-2003.html
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DMTechGrooupConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You need to use the ESEUTIL to compact/defrag the DB to make it smaller.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998249.aspx

Exchange 2007
Eseutil

Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1 Topic Last Modified: 2006-09-14

The Exchange Server Database Utilities (Eseutil.exe) is a tool that you can use to verify, modify, and repair an Exchange database file. When a database is corrupt or damaged, you can restore data from backup or repair it using Eseutil. Eseutil is a command-line tool that works with the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), database files, and log files associated with a Microsoft Exchange database. Eseutil is located in the Exchange default install folder, which is <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Bin.

Eseutil can be used against any ESE database in Exchange Server 2007. In the past, Eseutil could only be used with mailbox and public folder ESE databases, but with Exchange 2007, Eseutil can be used with ESE databases on the Exchange 2007 Hub Transport and Edge Transport server roles as well.


Defragmentation
 /D
 Defragments the database offline but leaves the new, defragmented database in the temporary location with or without overwriting the original database. This mode reduces the gross size on the disk of the database (.edb) by discarding most empty pages and by rebuilding indexes.
 
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Christopher BeaugrandCIOAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks for the info.  Will the database reduce in size by itself over time if I don't use ESEUTIL?  IT's not urgent to get it to shrink.
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exx1976Commented:
You could have an issue with your backups..    How do you run them?   They need to be exchange aware backups, otherwise if the box is checked that says "Do not permanently delete mailboxes until the store is backed up", they'll hang around forever.


Failing that, then yes, you need to do an eseutil /d to compact the database.  Pretty simply process.  Depending on database size though (and disk/processor speed), it can take a while.  It once took me almost 30 hours to compact a 16GB database (back in the E5.5 days)..

HTH,
exx
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
No.. it will do online defrags of the DB's but you wont reclaim the space.
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exx1976Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Oh, one more thing - the databases have to be offline to run eseutil /d.   So schedule accordingly..
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Christopher BeaugrandCIOAuthor Commented:
Excellent - thanks for all the info.  It is an Exchange-aware backup, but I am hesitant to do the offline defrag.  I'll wait until everyone moves off the server.
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