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Offline defrag -- can it be done in parts?

If I have an exchange DB that is going to take forever to do an offline defrag, could I start a defrag at night, and then stop it in the morning, partially done, and then keep doing that until it finally gets fully defraged?


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Xetroximyn
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Xetroximyn
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5 Solutions
 
tigermattCommented:

Nope. You have to do it all in one pass.

But... which version of Exchange? If you have Exchange 2003 Enterprise or 2007 or 2010, there is no need to run an offline defrag. These versions allow for more than one mailbox database, so just create a new database, move the mailboxes to the new one and then delete the old one. Zero risk. Zero downtime.

The only time I would ever consider an offline defrag is when running Exchange 2003 Standard, which only allows one database. Even then, I would question whether the downtime was worth it just to recover the whitespace.

-Matt
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pmorton23Commented:
if your databases have alot of users in them and the database is over 30gb then I would suggest doing the offline defrag. moving a large abount of mailboxes can be risky if any issues occur during the move. the only thing is an offline defrag can take anywhere from 4-20hrs depending on the size and amount of issues in the database. run a backup before taking database offline and run one immediatley after the offline defrag.
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tigermattCommented:

On the contrary, an offline defrag actually runs the risk of causing data corruption more so than an online mailbox move.

In my time working with Exchange I have moved thousands and thousands of mailboxes between servers and never encountered an issue. Moving mailboxes is a routine operation. An offline defrag is not, and should never be considered "routine" maintenance.

If you encounter corrupted items in a mailbox move then it is likely you will hit them with greater consequences with an offline defrag too.

-Matt

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tigermattCommented:

You might want to refer to demazter's article here to read about this in more detail:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2730-Exchange-Offline-Defrag.html
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pmorton23Commented:
I hear ya. we dont have enough servers to be moving mailboxes so we have to use the defrag. we do not use the MS version though, we use GoExchange.
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XetroximynAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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