Move old locked Lotus Notes email journal files

Posted on 2011-05-05
Last Modified: 2013-12-18
After implementing email journaling on Lotus Notes 8.5.1 we configured it to rename the mailjrn.nsf to something like MJ05042011.nsf every night. This will give us a daily database journal copy of all mail.  Then we would like to MOVE these renamed files to another archive location to satisfy our email retention policy, using a simple .bat file.

However, now we find that we cannot "move" these files because appearently they are locked. Anyone have an idea how we can move these without taking the server offline?
Question by:cruderhays
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    by:Sjef Bosman
    You are not supposed to handle Notes databases on the server directly, even renaming it is asking for serious trouble. The reason that databases are locked can be that a Domino server keeps a delayed write cache in memory. That's why there are backup agents available especially for Domino servers (e.g. Symantec), they flush the cache first and then handle the files. The only way you should move databases using a batch file is when the Domino server is down.

    What you could do to move a database:
    - automatically shutdown Domino, and start it up later
    - make a replica of the database to a different server or place, and then delete the original database.
    - use a proper backup agent
    - use API calls available for this purpose
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Renaming of the finished mail journal volumes is done by Domino itself, this is OK.
    When you cannot move them then because Domino has the NSF file still open and some of its pages in the memory buffer cache.

    To solve this, you should issue a "dbcache flush" command to the Domino server console. After this, it will take a few seconds (up to perhaps 30 seconds) and then you should be able to move the file away safely (since it is no longer open by Domino).

    To issue the "dbcache flush" command to the Domino serve console, you can use the nserver.exe executable file: nserver -c "dbcache flush" (the command and argument(s) must be enclosed with quotes. Issue the command from the Domino server program directory.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you! That worked very well for us. Allowed us to move the old journal files to a remote location and we are still able to retrieve the email documents from that location without having to restore or move them back.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    by:Sjef Bosman
    I can see a very faint glimpse of Mr. Murphy... ;-)
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    sjef_bosman, this time you are wrong. Using "dbcache flush" and then moving away files is recommended in such situations even by IBM Lotus support.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    by:Sjef Bosman
    Even with a running Domino server? I know chances are very, very slim, but not zero. Well, you must be right, when the server cannot be shut down, a flush is probably the only possibility.

    But don't worry, I'm wrong many times, learning every day, so thank you as well. :-)

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