how to reduce Exhcnge 2003 Database file (priv.edb and pub.stm)

Hi Expert,
We have an exchange server 2003 standard edition and EDB plus STM database file is reaching about 76GB(exceeded than 75GB) . 3 months ago, we had issue like mailbox store dismounted by itself and we have to manually mount it again. It happens about once a week.We advised users to archive their email and it helped to fix that problem but now when I check the priv.edb and pub.stm, the size become bigger (about 86GB). Anyway to reduce the size?

Rgds,
BMT
LVL 4
bominthuAsked:
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BusbarSolutions ArchitectCommented:
you need to run eseutil to defragment the database and remove free space
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rajkr2020Commented:
Create a new database and move some users to the new database.

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bominthuAuthor Commented:
Hi Rajkr

I mentioned it is Exchange server 2003 Standard edition.

Busbar,
I've checked in event viewer how much it'll free up. It is some MB. won't help.

Any suggestion?

Rgds
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Shabarinath RamadasanInfrastructure ArchitectCommented:
Hi,

If you don't have an option to create a new database and move users, the only option left-out is dismount the store and perform and offline fragmentation. This is the only way you can shrink the DB size.

But before proceeding to that, have a full analysis.

How many users are loaded on this DB and how much size these mailboxes consumes.
Is online maintenance getting completed on time everyday ? You can check for the respective events on event viewer.
How much white space exists on this DB? Check for event id 1221
What is the value set for deleted mailbox retention? If its too long, disconnected mailbox will consume your space.

Without pinpointing whats causing the DB size to grow, you will end up again on the same issue.

Good luck
Shaba
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
"I've checked in event viewer how much it'll free up. It is some MB. won't help.

Any suggestion?"

If doing a defrag wont help then you need your users to delete lots of emails. Do you have storage limits on your users? Do they have large attachments that they keep in exchange instead of saving to disk and deleteing the email?

As you have said that an offline defrag wont free up much space then your options are limitted
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
I think it come back to the same thing (archiving email)..
I asked users to archive, it helped to fix auto dismounting databse file but databse size is not reduced
I'm looking for solution how to reduce Database file size.

Rgds
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
IF they have archived emails then an offline defrag will reduce the database size by that amount. Depending of course on your retention policies. Deleting 1 gig of emails today and running the defrag tonight will not work that simple.
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sumit_aroraCommented:
Ask few users to create PST in the Outlook and export few users emails into it
=======================================================

Then run offline defregmentation.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Set the database retention to Zero for both mailboxes and items, then wait for 24 hours for the online maintenance to complete and then check event ID 1221 to see how much space you can effectively recover.

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/mf022.html

If this is not significant, then running eseutil /d to reclaim the space is not going to be productive.

You will need to get your users to archive / delete mail (after you have set the retention to 0) and then that should free up the same amount of space they have archived / deleted.

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/exchange-isinteg-eseutil.html
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lucid8Commented:
Agree with Alan and one thing you might check as well is if your users are emptying their "Deleted Items" folder since many times I see users utilizing that as a filing cabinet and never emptying it.  You may find that forcing this will give you allot of space back as well, if not then other data needs to be removed/archived out.
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
Alan,

One thing I'm not sure as I never set retention to "0" before.
 If I set it to "0", will it effect users Outlook deleted folder ?
Users Outlook deleted folder will be emptied or their deleted item will remain in their Outlook.?

rgds
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lucid8Commented:
No the "Deleted Item Retention" just effects items that have been

A: Removed/Emptied from the "Deleted Items" folder
B. anything that was hard deleted i.e. when users utilize SHIFT+DELETE to move items in effect hides them from the interface in the folder they were deleted from and waits to age past the "Deleted Item Retention" setting  
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Yep - as per lucid8's comments above :)
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
Hi
I set retention period to "0".
Still database size 80 plus GB.
Any suggestion?

Rgds
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lucid8Commented:
So the DB size itself will not deflate without a proper defragmentation, however what counts is the size of the data within so you need to know the amount of available white space and to find that you need to do what Alan stated which is to wait for 24 hours for the online maintenance to complete and then check event ID 1221 to see how much space you can effectively recover, so what does your latest 1221 even tell you?
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
It says
The database "First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (svr)" has 1420 megabytes of free space after online defragmentation has terminated.

But I think it won't help. I think I have to ask users to archive email only.
Now my DB size is 85GB. Is that harmful?
You have any idea till to which size database size can grow base on you all experience?

Rgds
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
The size of your database is the physical size of the .EDB file PLUS the Physical size of the .STM file MINUS the Free Space identified in Event ID 1221 (White Space) - which suggests your database is about 83.6GB in size and will be dismounting daily.

If you don't have more free space available to remove, then your users need to purge something or archive mail to reduce the size of the database.

If the size of the database is reduced to less than the 75Gb limit, then it won't dismount daily.  This can be achieved by simply increasing the "White Space".

The alternative is to upgrade to Exchange 2007 / 2010 which doesn't have the 75Gb limitation.
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
Is there anyway to archive email from exchange server 2003 itself ?

Rgds
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You can use EXMERGE but you have to setup a specific account to do this and it can only Export 2Gb at a time.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2710-Export-mailboxes-using-Exmerge-and-Exchange-2003.html

This won't delete mail from the server though - only copy it to .PST's.
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bominthuAuthor Commented:
If it won't delete from server, then it won't help.
What I'm trying to achieve is to reduce mailbox database size.
Any other suggestion?

Thanks,
Rgds
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
There are no more suggestions to make.

People need to remove mail from the Exchange store - that is the only thing that can happen to make it smaller.

They can either delete emails and empty their recycle bin or Archive to an Archive .PST file locally - then with the store retention set to 0 - after the online maintenance has done it's job, the virtual size will have reduced.

The physical size can ONLY be reduced by eseutil /d if there is 100% free disk space on the server running the defrag (or you can defrag on another server) and if there is sufficient space to reclaim as identified in Event ID 1221.

If you are after a miracle - then you are out of luck I am afraid.
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lucid8Commented:
+1
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jennylembertCommented:
I believe Exmerge is your only savior now. What you can do is keep a backup copy of your database file before running eseutil.exe in case you run into some sort of data loss during defragmentation.
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