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Exchange Freezing Problem

About a week ago we had an overheating of the server room that caused many of our ESX servers to overheat and power down as well as our EMC Ax4 on which the ESX servers were using in a SAN.  Since then we've had two occasions where our Exchange 2003 server will not allow a majority of our users to connect resulting in the "Disconnected" message on their 2003 and 2007 Outlook clients.  During this time even though some users are connected they cannot send or receive emails from either outside or inside the enterprise.  After a reboot the server comes back up as normal.

In addition, the total Exchange database size is currently 77 GB on Standard Edition although 30 GBs of that is composed of deleted mailboxes, do those still play a part in the restriction that un-mounts your database if it is over 75GB?
Watch Question

what version of exchange is it. I think the limit on Standard is 75gb and Enterprise is 8000gb. Have you ran an offline defrag?


Not recently.  I'll run one of these tonight.
BusbarSolutions Architect

I don't think that the DB is the issue, do you have any errors in the event viewer, also are you sure that performance and resources assign to the VM is ok


I've set the retain mailbox settings to 0 so it will purge the mailboxes immediately after they are deleted and deleted 30 GB worth of old mailboxes yet we still have a priv1.edb file of 77 GBs.  I set the mailbox management process to run continuously for the past 24 hours and still the priv1.edb Exchange database is 77 GB.

When i attempt to go through the mailbox recovery process in System Manager it doesn't find any mailboxes "proving" they have been "purged", yet (as i've said before) the priv1.edb file is 77 GB.
Mailbox management though is dif from the offline defrag.  Did you follow the steps here for the offline defrag. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804
Senior Server Administrator


As per your information your Exchange database size is 77GB, also you are using Exchange2003 standard version. In Exchange2003 standard maximum database size limit is 75GB. So you exceed your maximum Database size limit.
Also you have 30GB of deleted mailbox data.  You set mail retention period ‘0’,  so it deleted the mail from the database but the white spaces remained in the database, you can’t  get this spaces without doing Exchange offline defrag. So it is highly recommended to run Exchange offline defrag.

To check how much white spaces available in the Exchange database , go to the event viewer application event log event id 1221, it will show how much white space available in the Exchange database.
To generate more white spaces to inform the end user to download their mail to PST

Prerequisite for run Exchange offline Defrag.
1) 25% of white space available in the database that recommended to do Exchange offline defrag
2) Must need  110% of free disk space in same drive or other drive. (you need 85GB of free disk spaces)
3) In general 4GB  database  required 1hour to defrag,  also it depend on your Exchange server performance (you need around 20 hours Exchange down time)

Follow the below article and do the offline Defrag



I'll wait until we've seen that this solution works before awarding points, but until then thanks for everyone who's posted a response!