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Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database full of logfiles

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have an Exchange 2010 SP1 server that has been running since late December last year. Recently we started noticing an increasing amount of space being taking up on the hard disk. Inside the folder where our Mailbox (For everyone in our organization) is stored there are thousands of log files each about 1024 KB in size. The dates on these files are ranging from last year to today. Aren't these log files supposed to get truncated or something?

We haven't noticed anything strange in the event logs other than it's unable to completely create a global address list. A preview
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Question by:jpwallen
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13 Comments
 
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 34953440

Those are the transaction log files, which log all data which goes in and out of the database.

They are truncated but only when you perform a full backup with an Exchange-aware backup utility.

What are you using to back up the server?

-Matt
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Expert Comment

by:zipp83
ID: 34953483
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Expert Comment

by:uescomp
ID: 34953543
usually if you run a server backup which can clean out those log files, also refer to this link on cleaning those up.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_4259-Exchange-2007-2010-Backpressure-Quick-Fix.html
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34958032
We are using the Windows Server Backup utility to backup the database every night overwriting the same path on a USB hard drive (temporary solution). The backup is backing up the System State and the Data D drive where all our Exchange data is kept. It does say VSS Full Backup as the advanced option. So what your saying is that we have to preform a full backup for this for exchange to recognize that we backed it up? And if so, is there any way to  backup only the D drive in the full backup option?
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 34960027

You need to do a full backup of the Exchange database files, using the VSS Full backup option. You don't, however, have to back up the rest of the data on the server - in fact it's unnecessary.

Did you start the Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup service? Make sure that is started and set to "Automatic".

-Matt
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34960387
Yep that service was disabled. I re-enabled it and will report back with the results when the backup runs tonight.
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34975745
Nope that didn't work. The service actually turned itself off for some reason. After the backup I got the same 3 error messages I get every time we backup:

Exchange VSS Writer (instance a165a9a8-acc7-4ecc-971c-32f4445ec313:4) has completed the backup of database 'GTS Public Folder Database' with errors. The backup did not complete successfully, and no log files were truncated for this database.

Open in new window


Exchange VSS Writer (instance a165a9a8-acc7-4ecc-971c-32f4445ec313:4) has completed the backup of database 'GTS Mailbox Database' with errors. The backup did not complete successfully, and no log files were truncated for this database.

Open in new window


Information Store (5152) Shadow copy instance 4 aborted. 

For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp.

Open in new window


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LVL 58

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by:tigermatt
ID: 34975782

Okay - the issues are with the VSS writer then.

First of all, does the Exchange writer show any errors if you run vssadmin list writers at the command prompt?

Hopefully it shows up as "Stable".

The service could have crashed during the backup -- that's a very real possibility.

-Matt
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34975850
Writer name: 'Microsoft Exchange Writer'
   Writer Id: {76fe1ac4-15f7-4bcd-987e-8e1acb462fb7}
   Writer Instance Id: {f7853d03-3c1e-4bba-b21b-3d3dca4cd492}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34979173
This is getting a little out of hand here. The folder contains 107,537 files and is taking up half the drive with 196 GB. Is there any way to truncate or merge these files manually? I think at a certain amount of free space exchange stops working as a safety feature.
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Author Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 34980411
The window server backup extension starts then stops after 5 minutes.

Does anyone please know how to truncate these files? It's only a matter of time before we exchange fails all together.
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Accepted Solution

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jpwallen earned 0 total points
ID: 35156848
After almost a month of exhaustive research, trial and error, and error tracing: a system restart and a FULL SERVER backup seemed to solve the problem. No matter what I cannot get the backup to backup the Exchange application when only the D: drive is selected (contrary to what Microsoft documentation explains)
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Author Closing Comment

by:jpwallen
ID: 35187287
It appears to be a network error that occurred when we started up Exchange in a state that could not communicate with any domain controller
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