Exchange database grows by 50% after restore! C: dirve ready to burst low on space!!!

First let me start with a reference to a previous question here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_27375705.html?cid=239#a36903811 

We had a catastrophic failure of our array last week, glad to say after the restore we are up and running now! However we had some trouble getting the client e-mails working. I had to delete the client OST files locally then relaunch Outlook and download the users mail agian, all went well until I arrived this morning and found 2 problems. First and probably the biggest problem, my C: drive is almost full. Yesterday I had almost 4GB of space available, today I have 350MB~!!!

I searched for files by size and date modified and found over 1000 log files in the MDBDATA directory on the C: drive that had either been created or modified yesterday, with a total size of over 5GB! Also on my D: drive the size of the Exchange database grew by around 50% !

So the question is what can I do to free up space on the C: drive pronto, and what can I do to reduce the size of the Exchange database (I also would like to know what caused it to grow so much!)

Thanks for your input,

Telefunken
telefunkenAsked:
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chakkoCommented:
To free up space on the C: drive I would move the log files location to your D: drive.

You can use the Exchange System Manager to move the log file location.

In Exchange System Manager, navigate to your Server, then go to the Storage Group, Properties.
There should be the location of the LOG files, you can click the Browse button and select a new location (example:  some folder on your D: drive, or another drive).

This will move the log files to the new location.

For you Exchange database look in your servers Application Event log and find the event ID's 1221
This will show the result of the online defrag.  It will show if there is any free space ('white space') in the database file.  If there is a good amount of free space available then you can perform an Off-line defragment of the database to 'shrink' / 'compact' the size of the disk file.  You would use the ESEUTIL program for that.
If the event log doesn't show any (or much) free space in the database then you can't shrink it down.  

You would need to delete stuff (email messages, mailboxes, etc) to make free space inside the database file and then use ESEUTIL to do an offline defrag.   I probably would not recommend this unless you have a disk space problem.
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telefunkenAuthor Commented:
Chakko,

I will look into your suggestions. I hate to say it but the situation on the D: drive isn't much better with respect to available space, there is only a bit over 6GB of space available at this time (yesterday that was over 12GB before the database size grew)

Telefunken
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andyalderCommented:
Back it up and it ought to delete the unused log files.

Next time turn circular logging on temporarily if you're going to import lots of mail so the transaction logs don't get huge.
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telefunkenAuthor Commented:
I moved the log file location, but the clients remain offline. Do I need to restart a service or something to get Exchange back online?

Sorry to ask a stupid question Andy, but I assume your talking about an Exchange manager task "backing up" the DB? How do I use exchange manager to backup the DB?

Nate
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you have a gazillion log files, backup Exchange with an Exchange aware program and it will purge the logs.

Alternatively, enable Circular Logging as mentioned by Andy, then Immediately perform a backup.  Circular logging will splat the logs that are committed to the store and then keep overwriting the logs so that they don't build up, which will buy you some time and some disk space.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314605

Once you have backed up the server - disable Circular Logging.
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telefunkenAuthor Commented:
Would the ntbackup utility be considered an "exchange aware" program? If not I don't currently have one available. Can I manually get exchange to purge the backups?

Telefunken
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
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telefunkenAuthor Commented:
All,

The crisis appears to have been averted for the time being. I will review the posts and links and get back to this thread when I have completed things. I will post any additional questions and award the points shortly.

Thanks again,

Telefunken
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Good news.  Well done.
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chakkoCommented:
For your space problem then you should check the event log and see the reported space available after the built-in on-line defragment finishes (by default it will run every day).

If you need to free more space then you will need to have users delete old email or archive it to a PST file.
Then after that you can check the reported free space available (check the event log).
You may have to reduced the Deleted Item retension time period for the space to show up.

Then you can use the ESEUTIL to defragment the database which will shrink/compact the file.  You will need up to 110% of free space for the temp db file use during this procedure.  It is possible to use a USB disk for the temp db folder location if you don't have disk space available.
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andyalderCommented:
On the database space problem it's likely the restore broke single instance storage which would happen if you restored individual mails rather than a complete DB restore.
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