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how to free some space on my exchange server 2003

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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
my exchange server is runing out of disk space and i do not know what to clean in the exchange partition .
please advice
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Author of the Year 2010
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Commented:
What are the sizes of your mailstores?
Have a look in the event log for event ID 1221 how much white space does this show?

The only real option for reducing space on your Exchange Volume is to run an offline defrag as per: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html

There is little point in doing this though if there is no whitespace available.

If you don't have any whitespace you can create it by setting the retention period on deleted items to 0 and then get users to do some archiving.
Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project Lead
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Commented:
How many Storage Groups do we have ??
What is the amount of log files with total size ??
What else do we have on that drive ??

If there are to many log files take an Online Backup of the Storage group and that would automatically purge all the logs files after a successful back and you can get some free space as Offline Defrag suggested by Demazter would mean downtime of the stores and very IMP thing to note would be the amount of free space we would achive after running the command .... as for example if the Database is of 50 GB and after running the command we can only retain 1GB, it would not make much of sense. The commands for Offline defrag would be
eseutil /d "location of the .edb file" - Now this would require 110% free space from the drive where you execute the command, if you can get 110% of free space of the database why take such a pain to get Offline defrag why cant we place the logs to another location and work as this command would ideally run at 4 GB per hour but could be slower or faster depending on the performance of the server and the amount that the command can get.
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Commented:
The amount of space gained from doing an offline defrag would be the amount of whitespace available (or pretty close to) and this is the space reported by the event 1221 as I suggested "There is little point in doing this though if there is no whitespace available"

The logfiles should be flushed after a full backup of the Information Store by any Exchange aware backup product.
If you do do an off-line defrag after creating some whitespace then please make a copy of the EDB & STM files BEFORE you start.

Author

Commented:
i have 2 storage groups and the log files space for the two groups are 10.62 GB and i have only program files for the exchange only on that drive.
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Commented:
OK so the Log Files and the Database files are on different drives?
10.62GB is a lot of logs, are you backing up the Information Store Database using an Exchange aware backup program?
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Commented:
Hello,

Maybe you can get all your users to create archive folders.

Then they can move any emails that they dont necessarily need but might need to reference to in the future to the archive folder which will save alot of space.
I have about a 50 mb mailbox at the moment at work with about 2 GB archive folder.

This archive folder is usually stored on your local computer or can be changed to save on a netowork drive (probably better as it will be backed up) which will help in freeing up space if you are running out.
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Commented:
PST files are not supported on network drives.

Commented:
Also, I presume that you would backup network drives / servers to help with data protection.

Commented:
They are as that is what they do in my company.
Store the actuall file when archiving to point to the network drive.
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Commented:
You may well be storing them on the network and you will be able to do it but it is not supported.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297019

Commented:
please see screenshot below
untitled121.bmp

Commented:
That said .pst files where not designed for long term storage...
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Commented:
RatBiy1 > Please read the link I have posted.

Commented:
Still is a possible solution but was not their original purpose.

Author

Commented:
i already did an online backup but nothing changes these log files are located in the folders for the storage groups (MDBDATA) not in the exchange log folder.

Commented:
Ahmed911: Please consider my comment regarding Archive folders, I think this will be your best and most effective option.
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Commented:
As also mentioned in my very first comment.
However please note that PST files should not be stored on a network drive as there are performance issues along with the possibility of data corruption.
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Commented:
Can you have a look at: http://www.petri.co.il/move_exchange_stores_to_a_different_disk.htm
And confirm that the location of the logfiles is where you physically think they are.

Commented:
Demazter, please stop knocking my idea. We can both see that it is the best solution, but you did not think of it first ;)
There are no preformance issues or chances of corrpution. Also the archive folder is backed up if you backup your server / network drives (which everyone does).
Storing an archive folder on your local computer is not safe as if the computer dies or needs reformatting for some reason (at worst case), you loose the folder including any emails saved inside.
Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project Lead
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Commented:
Look for the Online backup be able to purge log file you have to backup the entire Storage Group and no Store should be dismounted .......... Also what backup software are you using to backup the data and can you make sure its an online and not VSS or anything else ..........

Also could you please let know what all kind of data you have on the drive where we have disk space issue and is there something we can move for sometime just to get some free space for the time being
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Commented:
Ratboy1 > As per my very first comment: "If you don't have any whitespace you can create it by setting the retention period on deleted items to 0 and then get users to do some archiving."

As per the link I provided earlier PST's are not supported on network drives: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297019

I have witnessed corruption with OST/PST files being stored on network drives.

Author > We need to confirm where Exchange thinks your log files are stored using the Exchange System Manager.
You mentioned earlier this drive only had the Program Files for Exchange on this drive, what is the total size of the drive and what EXACTLY do you have stored on there?

Commented:
ahmed911, if you want the best solution, use archive folders. I promise you wont be disapointed.

Demazter, Archive folders are supported and they will work. If not, find me something that states so otherwise? (other than that document that just says they are just not designed for that purpose, nothing about it not being supported on a network drive).
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Commented:
The documents title gives it away: "Personal folder files are unsupported over a LAN or over a WAN link"

Also the opening paragraph: "This article tells you why personal folder files (.pst files) are unsupported over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link."

Commented:
did you actually read the contents of your own link rather than looking at the title ?
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Commented:
RatBoy >  I am not going to argue with you, there are many other experts on this site that will tell you the same thing.  Just because it works for you and you have not experienced any corruption means you have been lucky the fact that it IS unsupported means we should advise the author of such.

Just a simple google search brings many of a bad tale regarding network shared PST files.  

See here: http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2007/01/21/network-stored-pst-files-don-t-do-it.aspx
here: http://www.microsoftnow.com/2008/01/never-store-pst-files-on-network-shares.html

To name just 2 from reputable sources.

Author

Commented:
i think the archive folder will be the best solution and thanks for all.
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Commented:
Once you have archived you will need to set the retention period to 0 as per my first post and this will create whitespace.

Once you have some whitespace reported by event 1221 you will be able to do an offline defrag.  Archiving will not reduce the size of the Exchange data store it will only help you to create whitespace.  The only way to reduce the size of the datastore files on your server is to defrag them as per the petri document I posted earlier.
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Commented:
I would also advise against storing the archive files on a file server.
As per the previous links/discussion

Commented:
demazter: you got a better solution ?
tigermattSite Reliability Engineer
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Commented:

RatBoy1,

Can I please ask that you take a look at my article here at EE? It specifically discusses why you shouldn't implement PST files in a corporate environment with an Exchange mail system. You can find it at https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Why-you-shouldn't-use-PST-files.html.

The misleading fact PST files will work over a network share does *not* necessarily mean they are supported. The first line of the Microsoft article demazter linked to specifically states "personal folder files (.pst files) are unsupported over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link". That statement is pretty clear and can't really be argued with.

Then comes the issue of archive corruption. PST files *are* incredibly susceptible for corruption - particularly as they grow in size. Not witnessing it yourself does not necessarily mean the potential for data loss is non-existent. If the email being archived is important, my advice would be to avoid placing it into a PST file altogether.

PSTs will work well as a temporary solution, or for archiving email you could lose should the PST become corrupted. However, long term, you should really consider something much more robust. That would entail either upgrading the disk subsystem in the Exchange Server to give greater capacity, upgrading your Exchange Server to Exchange 2010, which has server-based archiving support or investing in an archiving product. Examples can be found in my article.

-Matt

Commented:
Have you try deleting the badmail files? and make sure that you are using circular logging.
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Commented:
Can you download and run foldersize: http://foldersize.sourceforge.net/
I wouldn't recommend leaving it on the server as it can be a little resource hungry but it will help you to identify where the space is being used.

What sort of server is it? Do you have any slots/bays available for new storage? Do you have any other volumes available with sufficient space that you can move the exchange databases to?

An offline defrag should be the last resort. But if it's your only option then it will need to be performed after archiving and the retention period has been set.

Commented:
Archive folders in this case are the best solution, and do not necessarily need to be on a network drive (i would reccomend as usually they are backed up unless you have a backup system on each computer).
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Commented:
Archiving is only part of the solution!

The exchange database will not shrink by itself which is why you need to run ESEUTIL along with the retention period as detailed in my first post.

However what should also be considered are other items that may be taking up space on the server and if additional storage can be added to resolve the problem rather than temporarily fix it.

Another option that should be considered once archiving is completed and the defrag has been done (if that's the route the autho decides to take) is setting mailbox limits so the situation does not occur again.
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Commented:
@RatBoy1 - You keep singing that same old song, but there ain't nobody dancing. :)

MS have established 'Best Practices' for their products and we should all be careful to only recommend "Supported" suggestions to other Members.

I will very often see Experts making recommmendations for some method that they use in their isolated environment - which is normally an OK idea - EXCEPT when their recommendation goes directly against the developers recommendation.

A number of Experts have explained why you are wrong and you would do well to pay attention. I learn more on EE everyday than I teach, and this would be a really good opportunity for you to learn something.
tigermattSite Reliability Engineer
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Commented:

Archive folders do provide a nice intermediate solution here which would be a step in the right direction for solving the author's space problems. However, it's important to note it's most certainly not the only solution to the problem. There are others.

"...do not necessarily need to be on a network drive (i would reccomend as usually they are backed up..."

I would strongly advise against this advice. The fact it works for one person does not necessarily mean everyone's systems will be the same, particularly considering storing PSTs on a network is not supported by Microsoft. You could see funky behaviour which would land you in all sorts of trouble.

If there is email you could store in a PST which wouldn't be a major loss should the PST be corrupted, then go for it. However, you've a nice Exchange Server sat ticking over, so ideally you don't want to move ALL your mail to the PST. I certainly wouldn't see any of my users with a small mailbox and a much larger PST for many of the reasons I outlined in my aforesaid article.

-Matt

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