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what you do when an Exchange Database taken offline automatically

Posted on 2011-10-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14

recently I have attended an interview, one of the quetion i think i couln't answer properly

The question (scenario) was
you are administring Exchange server, suddenly you realised that one Exchange Databse is taken offline automatically without your intervention.

why it might be happend ?

what do you do next ?

could you please help me to answer this question perfectly in future interviews and i need to know for real time situation as well
Question by:Moonatwork

Expert Comment

by:Michael Knight
ID: 36939509
the database most likely is in a dirty shutdown state. You need to run eseutil against it first to verify integrity
LVL 76

Accepted Solution

Alan Hardisty earned 2000 total points
ID: 36939527
If an Exchange Database is taken offline automatically, it won't be because of a dirty shutdown, it is more likely that the database has hit the database limit.

Exchange 2003 will automatically dismount a database that is over size.

To remedy the situation, you would need to get users to clean up / archive / delete unwanted mail, then either set the store retention period to 0 to allow the White space to quickly increase, or check event ID 1221 and see if an offline defrag (eseutil /d) is going to reclaim much space.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 36940229
Also, for Exchange 2003 SP2 you may have to increase the size limit in the registry. If it is set to below 75 GB you can increase the amount.  If it is at the 75GB max size already then there is a registry key hack to enable 1 GB of Temp extra store size limit.  That can give you enough time to empty out the database.

Expert Comment

ID: 36941490
The first thing you need to do is check the event log on the Exchange server, Exchange is pretty good for logging errors telling you what the problem is. As @chakko stated, it is usually because you've exceeded the limit configured in the registry so the easy fix is just to increase the limit. It's also possible it was due to another issue so the event log is where you need to start.

In the event that you're not able to keep your mailbox database below the limit (e.g. you're running Exchange 2003 SP2 and your mailbox database is greater than 75gb), our solution was to have a VB Script scheduled to restart the Exchange Store service every morning at 5.30am as the mailbox or public folder stores are automatically dismounted at 5am every day if they are over the limits configured in the registry. If that's happening there'll be an event log entry. Restarting the service automatically every day kept us going while I planned and performed the migration to Exchange 2010.

You'd also want to make sure your Exchange backup finishes by 5am every day.

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