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Exchange running out of hard disk space, what to do?

Posted on 2010-11-08
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Just noticed our exchange 2003 is running out of space, so the mail stores are not mounted.
I have only C and D drive, C has few gb left and D has 0. What actions should I take now to get the exchange backup asap?
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Question by:okamon
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:rjwesley
ID: 34090152
Delete IIS logs, symantec type logs if there. Are backups of exchange being run?

Rob
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:nwtechdesk
ID: 34090176
From DOS, try deleting all the system logs within windows.  Some of them may be quite large.  
example:
cd \windows
del *.log /s /q
cd\windows\temp
del *.* /s /q

You want to nuke all the temp files.  But it is only going to get the system up for a short time.  You will have to install a new drive ASAP and move exchange to it.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:sunburnt_robot
ID: 34090276
Also try a disk cleanup and compress files. I normally wouldn't do that but given you have no free space at all the (small) performance hit is worth it.
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Author Comment

by:okamon
ID: 34090368
will that help if I archive each mail box?
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Expert Comment

by:jodix2002
ID: 34090467
are you installing exchange on the D: drive?

if yes, the fastest thing you can do is to delete exchange log files from D:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA. the file names look similar to this: E0030843.log. the size is 5,120KB each. be careful, dont delete log files other than those. you should keep some log files -let's say- 2 months back and delete the rest.

if you have multiple exchange storage groups, you may also want to delete log files in other storage groups' folders as well, for example: D:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Second Storage Group\E*.log.

once you delete those, you will gain enough free space, so you can manually mount your exchange stores, and start exchange services that were stopped.

once your exchange is back online, you may want to clean up windows temp files, smtp log files, etc.

hope that helps, at least that's what i used to do, and it works perfectly.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:JuusoConnecta
ID: 34092170
Sounds like alot of the suggestions here are workarounds, you should strongly consider a long term resolution, like installing an additional exchange server,

Thanks,
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34092286
I agree a long term solution is your best option. You have so little space, if you are able to free up some you will very soon be in trouble again.
Can you not add an additional drive or array? If so you can then move the Exchange Database as per the following article which would allow for lots of additional room for exchange and also free up space on the system partition:
http://www.petri.co.il/move_exchange_stores_to_a_different_disk.htm

There are numerous default folders with SBS that can be moved if you need to create space. The following article outlines the various options and methods, specific to SBS 2003.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708031(WS.10).aspx
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Author Comment

by:okamon
ID: 34094975
ok. My setting is as below. I have C and D drive. Exchange is installed on C, but I changed edb and stm to store on D, C drive only store log file. My goal is to clean up space on D. On cleanup the log file will not help in my case.  I know I can add more hard drive there and move the data base file. But as we are migrating to MS exchange online very soon, there is no point we spend money on this. So my question is if I archive each mailbox, will that help? or any other ways I can reduce the size?
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34095026
Archiving mailboxes should free up some space on D where it stores edb and stm, depending on the number and size of mailboxes.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:jodix2002
ID: 34099359
Yes, archiving will help.
You can then run offline defragmentation using Eseutil /d. Please note that Eseutil requires free disk space equal to 110 percent of the size of the database being processed.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192185/EN-US/
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Author Comment

by:okamon
ID: 34099396
ok. i also did some research and I think archive email will not help.... database size still stay the same. The only way is to do offline defrag, am i correct? what do you mean 110 percent of the size?
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Accepted Solution

by:
jodix2002 earned 400 total points
ID: 34099463
You may still need to archive mailboxes before you do offline defragmentation, to get smaller defragmented database. Use exmerge to export old messages from mailboxes, lets say, emails that are more than 2 years old.

110% of size means that if your database size is 80GB, then you need at least 88GB of free space on the drive, to do offline defragmentation. But dont worry about this, eseutil can defragment by creating a new database on a different location, using /d /p.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 34102486
Regardless, unless you can free up a lot of space you are going to have further issues as user files and e-mail continues to grow. You need to maintain a reasonable amount of free space to operate as well as when you do your migration. Even if you were to install a $50 IDE/SATA drive to carry you over it would be a better long term solution.
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Author Comment

by:okamon
ID: 34108343
> get smaller defragmented database. Use exmerge to export old messages from mailboxes, lets say, emails that are more than 2 years old.

As i know exmerge only make a full copy into pst file, it will not delete any emails after export to pst file right? And with exmerge, you cannot even specify what you want to export, it's exporting the whole mailbox right? So I am not sure how you going to archive emails are older than 2 years....
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Assisted Solution

by:jodix2002
jodix2002 earned 400 total points
ID: 34109406
please see below lines. its from exmerge.ini.

specify the dates of emails to be extracted here:
========================================
; example: SelectMessageStartDate = 12/31/97  00:00:00
SelectMessageStartDate =

; example: SelectMessageEndDate = 12/31/99  23:59:59
SelectMessageEndDate =
========================================

tell exmerge to delete emails after extraction:
========================================
DataImportMethod =3
========================================

You can also do this from the interactive window if you like. in the source server selection window, theres a "Options" button. you can select dates and extraction method from there.

please be careful when using "DataImportMethod =3" option. if you forget to specify the dates, or if the dates selected is invalid, it will select all messages, which then results in an empty user mailbox, since the contents are all moved into PST.
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