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Running offline defrag after mailbox deletions

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi

We recently had a large number of mailboxes deleted from some of our Exchange 2007 databases due clean up after people leaving the company etc.

I now understand that the space previously taken up by their mail has become 'white space'. Online defrag shows that there is a significant amount of white space within a few databases where these users' mailboxes resided.

We were thinking of running an offline defrag. From what I understand, this will reclaim the white space and therefore reduce the overall size of the database.

Our plan was:

1. Make a copy of the database.
2. Dismount production version
3. Run offline defrag on copy
4. Assuming defrag works fine, run ISInteg -fix on the copy
5. Assuming no problems, mount the copy as the production database

I just wanted to check that this was the best course of action. Also, I've read that ISInteg -fix should generally be run after an offline defrag, however I've never been quite sure why? Could someone explain?

Many thanks
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Question by:smith1974
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Glen Knight earned 2000 total points
ID: 33685854
There is no technical reason to run an offline defrag or isinteg of an Exchange 2007 database.

You can create upto 5 databases so the best course of action is to create a new database move the mailboxes to it and then delete the old one. This will give you a completely defragmented error free data store with the added bonus of no downtime.

Please see my guide here for further details: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2730-Exchange-Offline-Defrag.html
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Author Comment

by:smith1974
ID: 33685943
Ok, that makes sense :)

Two questions..

1. Do you recommend circular logging when moving the mailboxes to avoid the possibility of our t-logs filling up the drive?

2. If we do use circular logging, do we enable that on the source db, the target db, or both?

3. I am correct in thinking that to enable/disable circular logging, you need to remount the store?

4. Just in terms of the offline defrag, do you know why people advise to run isinteg afterwards? Is that necessary?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 33685973
Personally when I am moving mailboxes I enable circular logging because I normally leave the mailboxes moving overnight.

You need to consider that if you turn on circular logging and there is a hardware failure with the disks that your mailstores are on then you will only be able to recover from the last backup.  So always take a backup first.

You will need to do it on both and yes you will need to remount the stores.

It's not necessary, there are a number of functions that ESEUTIL performs, one of them is an offline defrag, however it also performs repairs (when used with different switches) it is always recommended after running these repairs that you check the integrity of the database using ISINTEG which again performs different types of tests and fixes.
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Author Comment

by:smith1974
ID: 33686023
Thanks for the great help!

Before I close this out, just to clarify, ISINTEG is only really needed after a ESEUtil hard repair, not an ESEUtil offline defrag?

In any case, we will go with the mailbox moves. Thanks so much!
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 33686033
There is no technical reason to run ISINTEG after running an ESEUTIL for  offline defrag.
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