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Reducing the size of the mail store

I'm having a problem on a Exchange 2003 server that I know I solved in the past, but can't recall how! I need to reduce the size of the mail store - it's an old server and banging against the disk limit. For many reasons the system cannot be replaced/upgraded right now. After removing a bunch of Sync Issues / Conflicts, the user accounts in Exchange System Manager are down to about 20gb total. But the priv1.edb file is still about 55gb. I dismounted the store and ran eseutil /d and it only cut her down about 1gb.
Starting the mailbox management process doesn't seem to help. For some reason I can't seem to get the files down to size. I remember having this problem before, but can't recall the solution. Help!
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1 Solution
mikerigelTech Support AnalystCommented:
Exchange Server 2003 mailbox store reaches the limit:

How to increase the Exchange database size limit:

Not directly related, How to remove Exchange Server transaction logs:

danielsmooreAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info Mike, but it's not really what I'm looking for.
The first issue is the old 16mb limit; this is 2k3 SP2. The problem is not Microsoft's limit; it's the disk drive itself filling when the store hits about 59gb (it's at 55 now).
The second is the SP2 update to exceed 16gb.
The third is about transaction logs. I already have them on a seperate drive, plus I backed the thing up (which deletes all the old logs at it's conclusion).
What I really need is the process that clears pages as white space so that eseutil /d can ignore those pages on a defrag and get the store to about 22gb (where system manager says it should be based on the mailbox sizes - there's only 5 on this server, and they show as about 4 1/2 gb each ).
Hi Danielsmoore,

The following MSExchange link will provide you with the exact steps required to defrag your database and bring it back down to size:

Please note that you need 110% of your current database size available before running the defrag, you may need a USB drive handy to run this off and if you do take this option it will take quite some time, so it may be good to run over night to prevent disruption to users.

Finally a reference MS KB article for the process and available switches: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192185

Best of luck!

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danielsmooreAuthor Commented:
Wow. THis is tougher than I thought!
I appreciate your help. However, I already did that - it's what I meant when I wrote in the question that "I dismounted the store and ran eseutil /d and it only cut her down about 1gb." THe file is 56 gb now - but the mailboxes are only a combined 22 gb.
I KNOW there is a way to "clear" the empty space so that it becomes white space and eseutil /d can do it's job. I just can't find it in the literature. Thought some here might know.
Hi Dan,

There is a little more to that simply adding up mailbox sizes in ESM, you also have the Public Folder Database.

The following link should pinpoint most of the pending answers and provide a little more understanding:

danielsmooreAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys. One of my staff actually reminded me what the answer was!
In case anyone runs into it, the answer is to set item deletion time in the database to 1 day, and then forcing an ONLINE defrag to zero those pages. Once I got my 1221 event in the log, an offline defrag works it's magic - my priv1.edb dropped 30 gigs - from 55 to about 23gb. The drive has plenty of room now.
danielsmooreAuthor Commented:
Not a typical Exchange scenario, a result of the poor design of the Sync Issues / Conflicts nonsense.
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