• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 498
  • Last Modified:

Reducing the mailbox size of users as an archiving solution in exchange 2003 server and Outlook 2007

Hello Experts,
Before posting this, let me tell you that i have looked at most of the articles on this website regarding my query and i didn't find any reasonable answer. so I am posting my question here.

I would like to reduce the user mailbox sizes as its getting more than 2 GB which is not good interms of performance and some has got around 5 GB. I am looking for best possible ways to reduce the mailbox size on the exchange server as well as in Outlook Inbox size.

Going through lot of responses, here is what i understand going for .pst file by doing archiving is not recommended it seems and some say its good. Well, i am confused with both the solutions.
Also, while doing this archiving its going to move all the emails from the Exchange server mailboxes, if its so.

Could you suggest any best practices to achieve this. i know about the GFI mailarchive and other similar archiving solution providers. But i am looking for something which can be achieved with out those 3rd party mail archiving solutions.

Any help in this would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!
0
SALinfo
Asked:
SALinfo
  • 8
  • 8
1 Solution
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
I'm not sure which articles you have read that said that archiving to PST is not recommended.  We've been working this way for years.

First, we have all users setup to archive mail on their main outlook machine to PST files.  This runs every day and archives items older than X months (dependent on the volume of email that user gets).  This works well to keep mailbox sizes on the server to a manageable size).

Now, to get the mailboxes down from your 5gb sizes there are 2 options that I can think of that are workable.

The first is simple.  By either using archiving within outlook or by selecting ranges of messages by hand, move the messages from the mailbox to archive PST.  We tend to have these pst files separated out by year.  For higher volume users we have done 1/2 year or even pst by quarter to keep them small.  Like I said, "simple:" just drag and drop or set archiving for the folders and run it.  I'm unsure of the downside that you're referencing, but let me know and I'd be happy to provide my thoughts.

The second option would be to use exmerge, the MS tool on the server side to copy mailboxes to PST files.  It's been a while since I've done this by hand, but the tool allows for date selection.  Make sure that the date ranges you select aren't over 2gb at a time.  If you use exmerge in archive mode, it'll delete the messages from the mailbox after copying them to the pst.

Of course, make a backup of your mailboxed before doing any of this....

Hope this helps get you started.

0
 
TBK-ConsultingCommented:
Without 3rd party solutions you are essentially stuck with Outlook's built-in archiving feature.  The bad about this is it removes the emails from the exchange system and server, and places them in a PST file on the local drive, and as such are not as easily backed up, at least not centrally backed up from the server anyways ... the good about it is that it removes junk (yes I find if users have that much email they are not deleting ANYTHING from their email - they are pack rats and need to learn better housekeeping skills for their computer!) and hence improves speed and performance of Exchange.

****Personally - I have one user that uses Exchange thru Outook Anywhere Access across the web and has a 10Gb file and wonders why it takes 20 minutes to load ...ROFL ... I tell him but he doesn;t do anything about it and keeps on complaining no matter how much I tell him to delete all of the Viagra emails he gets and the size of his file would be half of what it is now ...****

You can script files to copy the archive.pst to a centrally located share on the server at logon and then beat the harder to backup problem with that. But emails would still not be individually recoverable from this solution.

IMO - The best solution is a combination of above and User Education about how things work and get them to start doing some Computer HouseKeeping, or show them how to create rules to better housekeep and move things out of the inbox and into folders and how to setup their archiving, etc ... Does 2 things - 1) helps the system, and 2) helps the user get better and to not feel so stupid about computers and that things are happening on their unit they don;t have any control over ....
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
weinberk:
I have already tried doing archiving through File - > Archive - > and set the options of archiving all emails before 01/01/2011 but nothing is getting archived in the .archived folders. All it shows at the bottom as archiving and gets finished l10 secs and when i look at size of the .pst folder its just 256 MB where as it should be definitely more than this size and there are no emails in archive folders. But i can see all the sub folders been created under Archive folder.

Also to do it manually by pulling all the emails from the Inbox to Archive folder, i can't do it as most of the Inbox emails are been seperated in to different sub folders under the Inbox. If i drag the emails, it would take lot of my time looking at all the email dates.

Also by doing this way, is that going to take all emails from Exchange server mailboxes, if so, whats the best practice.

Could you please provide me the detailed steps as i already tried doing and its not archiving.



0
VIDEO: THE CONCERTO CLOUD FOR HEALTHCARE

Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Take a look at this simple guide:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/archive-a-folder-manually-HA001121610.aspx

If nothing is being archived, it sounds like you've got a setting that's wrong.  Are you selecting the 2nd option of "Archive this folder and all the subfolders" and then selecting the mailbox itself?  That'll archive all of the folders, regardless of individual settings.

Once you get archiving working, the messages will be removed from Exchange.  It could take a while depending on what your retention settings are on the server, which I believe could delay deletion in this case.

After that's done, I would suggest having autoarchive settings set for each folder to keep the mailboxes acceptably small.
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
Weinberk:
I have tried the same archiving method many times so far and all i get is replica of my Inbox and sub folders in it with out any emails in it. I have tried the same with other users mailbox and its still the same. So, please advise how do i make this working, is there any way to check why its not working.
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Before we get into why this might not be working, can you confirm that you're selecting the second option "Archive this folder and all the subfolders" and not the first one?  Also, confirm that you're selecting a date something like "1/1/2011" to archive everything before that date.  Lastly, I suppose you could check the checkbox "Include items with Do not AutoArchive checked" just in case you have certain folders / items set to ignore autoarchive.
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
Yes, i have been doing exactly what you are asking me to do and its still not working, I have checked the 2nd option of  "Archive this folder and all the subfolders" and checked the option of  "Include items with Do not AutoArchive checked" and its still not archiving emails. it seems it is doing in the outlook status bar and it finishes in 10 secs or more and all i get is the replica of folders under the archive folder.

So, can you please let me know the way to troubleshoot and achieve what i am looking for...
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Please remember that the "experts" here are all volunteers.  We need to ask basic questions prior to offering additional suggestions / troubleshooting steps.

This Microsoft KB Article:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297226
suggests that exactly what you're seeing could be caused by exceeding the capacity of your message store.

Are you getting any error message when you try to send a message as the article suggests you should if this is the problem?

Another possibility that I found is:
"AutoArchive works off the modified date of items, not the received or created date.  If you moved an item, for example, from one folder to another the modified date will change. That's a common reason why AutoArchive might appear not to work."
I don't think that applies to your problem, though I suppose it's possible.  The modification date can be changed due to: reply, reply to all, forward, move to another folder, editing, saving or importing.  It would be highly unlikely that you've performed one of these actions on all of your messages, unless you've recently moved them into folders.  Just a thought, in case you have.

 


0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
weinberk:
I have looked at the MS KB article which is for outlook 2002, 2003 and not for 2007. I am using Exchange 2003 Enterprise edition SP2 which can give mailbox store capacity limit up to 8000 GB which shouldn't be a problem in our case. Well, I agree on one thing, we move emails to other sub folders but there will be many emails which are not moved in into sub folders and at least those should be archived. But its archiving any emails before the mentioned date and all it does it creating the replica of Inbox folders that i got in my mailbox with out any emails in it.
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Two things for you to test / check in OL2007:
1) try manually moving a message or two into the archive. I can't see why this wouldn't work, but if it fails, we'll need to look into that
2) Right click on a given folder.  Goto the autoarchive tab.  Let us know if it's set to do not archive, default, or what.
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
weinberk:
1. I can manually move messages into the Archive folders which are created by default by doing archiving from the File - > Archive.
2. I looked at the folder properties already and its been checked to Archive i.e the default option.

All i am looking for is to archive items when i choose archive option instead of having the archive checked as a default for folders.
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
weinberk:
Sorry, i mean its not doing archiving even after the archive option is already checked for folders to be archived.
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Have you tried this on other machines to eliminate the possibility of a bad outlook installation or corrupted profile?

Would you consider exmerge on the server again?  How many users are you talking about?
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
Well, i will try doing that tomorrow as a first thing and let you know.
Could you explain a bit more detail about Emerge in this particular instance as to what you are asking me to do.
we have got about 20 users altogether.
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
Exmerge runs on the server.  You can export emails based on date and then delete them without relying on outlook (an it's hatred for large data stores).
0
 
SALinfoAuthor Commented:
i have tried running the archive on 2 different PCs with outlook configured and its still the same not archiving at all. all it does is showing the status bar as archiving and after few seconds, it just displays Inbox folder and sub folders in it with out any emails in it. I will try with exmerge and let you know, even that is also getting some error while doing exmerge, i will post you that here shortly.

can any one help me out in this.

Thanks
0
 
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerCommented:
The exmerge error would be quite helpful.  Looking forward to that post.

Can you try creating a new test mailbox?  Send a couple emails to it then try archiving anything older than tomorrow.  See if at least that works....
0

Featured Post

Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

  • 8
  • 8
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now