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Exchange 2003 Ridiculously Large Mailbox Problem

Posted on 2010-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
So, I know no one likes to delete emails, and I thought that my previous boss was a problem when he had a 10 GB PST file.  But this client I'm working with now has a mailbox that's over 30 GB.  Yes, 30 GB.  He is getting a new computer, and I tried using Outlook 2003 to look at his mailbox and put in the correct settings, but whenever I open Outlook with this guy's profile, the attached (Word doc with screenshot) displays.  Anyone have any pointers?
mailbox.doc
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Question by:sedberg1
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17 Comments
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33674557
If this is exchange 2003
a) Change deleted item retention period for this mailbox to zero.
b) Use Exmerge and get all his mails out prior to 1/1/2010 into a PST

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_23919688.html
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 33674567
There is probably a policy in place that is restricts having a mailbox over a certain size limit. I would check the exchange server to see what the mailbox size limits are. You might want to also start archiving this users mailbox as well.
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by:sunnyc7
ID: 33674583
its better to exmerge than archive.
take out those items directly from mailbox.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 33675296
If I exmerge, will the user have to not be using his mailbox?
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Expert Comment

by:Dunedan79
ID: 33675532
No. You can run Exmerge while the mailbox is active.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33675557
let me know how the cleanup goes.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 33675752
Unfortunately, there is no possibility of a clean up.  This guy refuses to delete anything from his mailbox.  I'm going to try to redo his profile in Outlook and see what happens before the exmerge, because I know the exmerge will take forever.
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Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33675763
you can tell this person that all his mails will be available.
It will be neatly arranged in PST files under his mailbox.

Please exmerge out his emails. I wonder what percentage of 30 GB mailbox is spam which was never deleted.
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Expert Comment

by:hera2755
ID: 33677085
I would update to a newer version of Outlook.  2007 will handle the box with more grace.. we have users that have 16+ Gig boxes, and 2007 with all updates works well. and doesn't run in to this.
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Expert Comment

by:Dunedan79
ID: 33680923
Sunnyc7 is right in that the best solution is to get as much out of the mailbox as possible. Hera2755 makes a good point that later versions of Outlook handle abusively large mailboxes better.

Our organization has users just as abusive as yours. I have found that these folks can still function (even using Outlook 2003) if they keep the following folders under 2000 items:

Inbox
Sent Items
Deleted Items
Calendar

If they can keep these folders small and move things they don't want to delete to other folders Outlook deals with it much better. I would still try and go with Sunnyc7's suggestion of moving things out to a PST file.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 33691753
I'm waiting on confirmation from my boss to go ahead and do this.  I work for a outsourcing firm, and this particular customer pays for managed services.  However, since this is beyond typical work, we're trying to get project work for this, and since the client hasn't approved the work yet (though eventually they will be forced to), I'm on hold with this.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 33729328
Ok, so if anyone is still monitoring this, I have some updates:

We want to export the emails to several PST files.  Then we would copy the PST files to the new computer and import them into Outlook.  Outlook would be set up in non-cached mode during the import, otherwise, we would get the same error we are getting right now.  After the import is done (if the import runs successfully), we would convert to cached mode, otherwise, none of the guy's new emails would be copied onto the workstation.  If we changed his Outlook profile to cached mode at that point, what happens to the PSTs that were imported?  Are they all merged into one giant PST?  Or are they converted to one OST file?  And if we changed the profile to cached mode, would we then run into the same problem we have now because the Exchange server will want to sync up the contents of the mailbox with what's already on the local workstation.

Any suggestions?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33729584
Create new profile
setup outlook with mailbox.
If mailbox account is blank and you set it up with non-cached mode...then OST is blank at this point.

Import PST in outlook.
At this point - Imported PST data will be merged to exchange mailbox and also to OST.

Monitor the process from OWA and see if all mails are getting imported.

After the import process is finished, you can turn Outlook into cached mode.

>>
And if we changed the profile to cached mode, would we then run into the same problem we have now because the Exchange server will want to sync up the contents of the mailbox with what's already on the local workstation.

>> NO.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
ID: 33742104
Install Outlook 2010, it supports PSTs/OSTs up to 50Gb...
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
ID: 33742121
exmerge won't export more than 2Gb... so you'd have to use outlook to do an export/archive.

Were there any mailbox limits (under ESM) that restricted his mailbox to 30Gb?
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Accepted Solution

by:
sedberg1 earned 0 total points
ID: 33743475
Check out this link.  The default size for an OST file is 20 GB.  You have to go in the Registry and change the limit to a max of 50 GB.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832925
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Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
ID: 33743486
Changing the registry won't work for PSTs over 20Gb unless you are running Outlook 2010
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