Exchange Information Store hitting 75GB Limit, but mailboxes only total 30GB

I have an information store that shuts down every morning because the size of the 75GB Information Store limit in SBS 2003.
The size of priv1.edb is 40.6GB and priv1.stm is 39GB.
An offline defrag was done yesterday.
When adding the size of all mailboxes in the Private Information Store, they total 30GB.
Does anybody know what could take up the other 45GB and how I could clean it out?
Thanks in advance
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Glen KnightCommented:
The limit is the combined size of the 2 files listed in your post.

When you performed the offline defrag did you copy both files and then ren eseutil?

Instructions for eseutil here:
boshaughAuthor Commented:
I understand that the limit is the combination of both, what I dont understand is why when I add up all of the mailbox sizes, the total is only 30GB.

But to answer your quesiton, eseutil was run on both files.
<file name>.edb   These are the rich-text database files for individual private or public stores. The rich-text database file for the default private store is named Priv1.edb. The file for the default public store is named Pub1.edb.

<file name>.stm   These are the streaming Internet content files for individual databases. The streaming database file for the default private store is named Priv1.stm. The file for the default public store is named Pub1.stm.

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The reason that adding up the mailboxes does not equal the size of the store is because ESM only shows you one part of the database.

"When you view the space that a mailbox uses in Exchange System Manager, the amount only includes the space that is used by the Priv.edb file. The amount does not include the space that the Priv.stm file uses. "


Basically if you have hit the 75gb limit, then you have four options.

1. Keep mounting the database every morning.
2. Move to Enterprise edition
3. Deploy an archiving solution (PST files are NOT an archiving solution)
4. Move to Exchange 2007.

Note that as you can no longer purchase Exchange 2003 you would have to purchase Exchange 2007 Enterprise and use downgrade rights. However Exchange 2007 standard has effectively unlimited database size, so may well be cheaper to move to that version and the new CALs than purchasing Enterprise edition.

Deleting content out of the database will be a short term fix. In my experience once a company hits the 75gb limit they will constantly hit it again and again until a more dramatic change is made.


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Mestha, provided some good advice and only thing I could add here is that the ESM is not going to show you items that are sitting in the deleted item retention.  So I would suggest that you

1. Check the current deleted item retention settings

2. If they are set to say 30 days you can lower this setting to 0 (for deleted emails & deleted mailboxes) in properties of Mailbox Store. HOWEVER, you should probably discuss this with management first to ensure your not unwittingly causing addition problems i.e. suddenly someone wants to recover something and they expect to be able to do so and once you set it to 0 that negates the option.

3. Tell users to delete unwanted emails & you as the administrator should delete unwanted mailboxes.
NOTE: If any email or mailbox is deleted after setting retention period to 0, it will be deleted almost immediately & could not be recovered unless you have a backup.

4. Wait for nightly online garbage collection maintenance process to complete & then proceed with offline defrag.
NOTE:  The online garbage collection maintenance process  usually runs between 1-5AM each night however, if a backup is kicked off or running during that time it can stop that process from completing which could be another reason your defrag didn't recover as much as desired so check your backup times.  You can also set the online garbage collection maintenance process  to run all the time so that you can force the issue, however, be aware that this will effect performance and IMHO should only be done during non-peak times when you know the process hasn't been able to complete OR after you have done a mass  deletion.  A good time to do this is on a weekend prior to a defragmentation and then set back to the an off hours schedule where the backup process wont interrupt it.

Also when doing a defrag you need to utilize the appropriate ISinteg commands as well to ensure you have a clean store, otherwise you may cause yourself more problems in the long run.

boshaughAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help.
We are replacing the server with hosted Exchange.
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