Exchange database

Hi There,
we have an exchange 2003 server in a clustered environment. database is extremely large and my client would not agree to a downtime for an offline defrag. database is 300gb.(yeah i know. i inherited it like that). My question is this,
1)Can i move the mailboxes temporarily,to a different store,delete the database, create a new one and move mailboxes back?
2) would this reduce the size of the DB?
3) What would be the implications ie log files, data loss etc?
4) i assume i would need to do a backup immediately after this is done?
5) Would i need to move the logs as well and would they still be useful afterwards?
6) which log files would be required if any?
Thanks a million and apologies in advance for ignorance.
yvonne2010Asked:
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Glen KnightConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Good point leew, however, as long as the mailboxes are all moved to the same database SiS should be retained.
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Glen KnightCommented:
Yes, moving mailboxes to another database will reduce the size as whitespace is not copied to the new database.

A backup should be performed before and afterwards, you don't need to do anything with the logs, the new database will have it's own set of logs.

Also checkout my guide here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2730-Exchange-Offline-Defrag.html
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yvonne2010Author Commented:
Thanks a lot for that.
 i also would like to know how to (Steps to create a new DB) create a new DB. would i need to edit the registry and give rights/permissions to groups ie system,administrators etc for the new DB folder?
Thanks
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Glen KnightCommented:
No registry changes required, simply use Exchange System Manager, see here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/821748
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lloydclintonCommented:
Also, do you have storage quotas for the mailboxes?  If not, I would talk to them about it.  Many companies inadvertently use MS Exchange as a file server and media transport server.  That is why we many times see such large information stores, and you as well as I know how long it would take to recover a server with a 300gb information store!  You could also talk to them about archiving.  We have Exchange 2007 and use a Barracuda message archiver and it has allowed us to optimize our server for performance and longevity.  
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Demazter, correct me if I'm wrong, while doing this SHOULD clean up the white space, it will in a sense kill single instance storage since moving a mailbox will create make each message an actual message.  Though unlikely, it IS TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE that the database would GROW doing this... right?
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