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Exchange 2003 (no SP) Information Store reached its maximum size

Posted on 2009-04-27
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I have a client (charity) that has a SBS 2003 Std Edition server. About a few weeks ago their Exchange 2003 Information Store has hit its maximum size. I used the method described in the http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828070/ article to temporarily increase the Exchange 2003 IS limit by 1GB, but couldn't really upgrade to SP2 as the server was running out of the hard drive space. There were some problems with getting the money for the new hard drives and the RAID controller (it's even tougher for charities now; I eventually decided to buy it for them and let them pay when they have some cash) and some time has passed.

I have installed the new RAID, but I can see that the IS nearly reached 17GB. I don't want to make any mistakes as the client relies on their email quite heavily.

My questions are:

1) Can I upgrade Exchange to SP2 straight away or I should rather upgrade it to SP1 first?

2) I understand (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998066.aspx) that the IS size limit after installing SP2 should get increased to 18GB out of the box without changing any registry settings, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

3) I want to move the data to the new hard drive (as per http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708031.aspx). My plan is to first of all install Exchange 2003 SP2 and then move the data (including Exchange databases and log files) to the new RAID. Do you think that it might be better to first of all move the data and only then upgrade Exchange to SP2? So far I managed to free up about 15GB of space on the original hard drive (still the size of Exchange IS is increasing rapidly and I am afraid that it will only last at most two days unless I upgrade it).

Your help is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jay
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Question by:jbodys
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by:FearNoMore
ID: 24246883
1) Yes you can upgrade to SP2 directly without installing SP1 first
2) With Exchange 2003 SP2...yes the new size limit is 18gb
3) Move all the data first (database as well as log files) to the new drive and then upgrade Exchange 2003 to SP2
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Author Comment

by:jbodys
ID: 24246900
It would be really easier to upgrade first and then move the data. Is it really that important how it's done?

Also, are there any other updates I should not forget about before upgrading Exchange to SP2?

Many thanks for your help.

Jay
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by:FearNoMore
ID: 24246913
No its not important how the upgrade is done.....I suggested it just becasue you were short on space.
So if you find it easier to upgrade first and there is ample space then proceed this way
Regarding updates there are non in particular that I can think of.....You should be fine upgrading it directly
 
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Expert Comment

by:Erik Pitti
ID: 24246917
1) Service packs are cumulative.  You can go straight to SP2

2) You are mostly correct, but you should remove the "Temporary DB Size Limit Extension" registry setting that you configured using KB828070.  Also, based on your Exchange growth predictions, it may be wise to set the registry to allow the 75GB limit ASAP.  

2a) Warning: I don't recommend doing this at all without solid, tested backups.  You may also want to consider an offline defrag of the exchange databases to reduce their size.  This is of course dependent on the amount of white space in the Exchange DBs (look for event id 1221).  You can find more info on offline defrag here: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html   

3) That should work
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Author Comment

by:jbodys
ID: 24247101
FearNoMore:

I have about 15GB of free space on the original hard drive. I believe it should be safe to to the upgrade first.

chakote:

ad 2) I understand that I need to remove the "Temporary DB Size Limit Extension" registry setting that I configured using KB828070. Is it enough to simply change the registry key value and then install SP2 or I have to do any additional steps (i.e. unmount stores, stop services, etc). If any extra steps are needed what would be the correct sequence of these steps?

ad 2a) I had bought external hard drives and the SBS backup is done on daily basis. It's been successful since I installed it

ad 3) Could you please confirm that by "That should work" you  mean (as FearNoMore) that I can upgrade Exchange to SP2 first and then move the data?

Kind regards,

Jay
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by:FearNoMore
ID: 24247213
Everything will be done automatically once you start installing.SP2, it will stop and start the services automatically.

Once SP2 has been installed then you would need to make the registry modification to increase the limit to 75GB
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by:gupnit
ID: 24247251
Hi,
In continuation to what I have seen above:
  • Upgrade: Goto SP2, it is cumulative, it is a pretty straight forward process. But like all wisemen say, always take a backup before you upgrade.
  • Size: You should aim at 75GB,  with all that has been mentioned above. But But But - I am wondering, how many users does your client have. I would also look at options like Mailbox Size Limits, Archiving etc along with what you are trying to acheive. See, if not controlled size will continue to grow and after 6 months even 75GB would not be enough, then you will wonder upgrading to ENT right ? Also Refer to something I had answered earlier: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_23677038.html [Look ar Step 1 primarily]
  • Upgrade of Move: Both the activities are independent of each other. There is going to be no harm at all, in what ever sequence you do it. Take the call, but had I been you, I would first take care of SP2, then move, as for me increasing size would have been priority.
Let me know
Thanks
Nitin Gupta (gupnit)
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Author Comment

by:jbodys
ID: 24248124
Could you please confirm that I have to change back the "Temporary DB Size Limit Extension" registry setting that I configured using KB828070 before installing SP2?

Kind regards,

Jay
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Accepted Solution

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gupnit earned 2000 total points
ID: 24248541
Hi Jay,
You will have to refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912375/ post SP2 upgrade
Thanks
Nitin Gupta (gupnit)
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 24248549
Hi,
Also NO, you need not change anything before installing SP2
Thanks
Nitin
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by:Mark Damen
ID: 24250180
Also, do you want to keep increasing storage until you hit the upper limit of 75GB, or do you need to think some more about controlling the size.  Get users deleting emails they no longer need, and the offline defrag could save you physical disk space, but not get you back under the limit of 16GB.
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Author Comment

by:jbodys
ID: 24251277
They managed to reach 16GB after 5 years of using the server and they do send more and bigger emails (not much bigger though), but it is really similar amount. I doubt that they are going to go over 50GB before this server will be replaced. However, the control of the mailboxes is implemented per individual account requirements.
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 24252563
Great, for all options do refer to Link that I gave.
So how did the upgrade and movement go....I am sure u r done with that by now :-)
Thanks
Nitin
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