Exchange 2003 archive/delete not fully deleting

Posted on 2009-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
My DB is getting large so I am archiving some retired users. Deleted item retention =0 days for these users, but archived email appears to move to deleted items space on server when viewing mailboxes in system manager. Even though a large amount shows as deleted items, these emails can not be recovered using "recover deleted items."  However,  emptied deleted items go immediately off of the server. Why does archived mail stay on server? Will it go off in 7 days? Can I make it go faster for the next users archived?

Question by:JohnRuch
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    With deleted item retention set to zero, any deleted mails from the deleted items folder will be permanently deleted and can only be recovered from backup.

    What is this archived email that you have mentioned?

    Author Comment

    I'm archiving from an Outlook client to a pst. I want to free up as much white space as possible in the Exchange DB, but it looks like the archived mail is still in the Exchange DB. It appears in the Deleted Items(KB) column in the mailbox store viewed through System Manager. I have more of these to do, I'm wondering if there is a way to have the archived mail completely leave the DB immediately so that I avoid hitting DB limits in the next month or so.

    If I simply hard delete, the mail seems to completely leave the DB as I would expect. I'm just not sure why the archiving process does not work like the deleting process.
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    When you archive the emails from your mailbox into a pst file, you are taking it off from the server and putting it as a file, whereever you store it. It might take some time for Exchange to pick all the changes.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution


    setting the retention period to "0" was nice idea. now let the online maintenace run, it run at 5.00 am default time. once the online maintenance is run it will create white spaces in the database.

    now run offline defragementation to remove or shrink the database.

    plan downtime  dismount the stores and run "eseutil /d <path of the .edb>"

    note: you should have 110 % free space on the disk which had BIN folder.

    offline defragmentation is the only answer to reduce the database.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks - the white space was freed up over night and the deleted items(KB) dropped to 0 as expected.

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