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Exchange Server 2003 Offline Defrag or Create New Mailbox Store?

We currently have Exchange Server 2003 with a priv1.edb file size of 43.22GB and priv1.stm file size of 22.75GB.  We have 25.85GB of white space (reported in Event log 1221) after we had our end users remove a LOT of old email and have restricted their mailbox sizes.  Note - we also set the deleted items retention for 30 days and have passed this 30 day mark, so the mass deletion we had our users perform is "complete".

I have researched the procedure for performing an offline defrag of the database and found many posts that an alternative to this idea is to create a new mailbox store on our existing server and move our mailboxes to the new store and then remove the old one.  I really like this idea for many reasons, one being the time it takes to perform the offline defrag.  

My question is this:  How much free space do I need on the server disk drive to create the new store and move the mailboxes?  Or will this process be sort of an "even swap" and not use any extra disk space?  I currently only have 30GB of available space on the server disk drive.  
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SolCow
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SolCow
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RadweldCommented:
For offline defrags In theory you need at least 110% on the drive. That's double the current size of the database plus and extra 10%

Moving mailboxes to a new db will generate logfiles but your looking at the current database size minus white space for the new database size I would also add 10% as well.
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amenezes0617Commented:
You can also set both mailbox stores to do circular logging and turn it off after the move is complete. This will keep your log files to a minimum and you won't have to worry about running out of space.

I think a new mailbox database is a much better choice over an offline defrag...any day.
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RadweldCommented:
Use circular logging with caution, this kind of logging seriously impacts your ability to recover a danaged store. I would never use circular logging in production unless the data wasn't important.
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SolCowAuthor Commented:
We have decided to go with a plan to create a new mailbox store and move a few mailboxes at a time, keeping an eye on the disk space used.  We plan to do a full backup of the database if there are a lot of transaction logs generated to help reduce the amount of space used until the project is complete.  It will take some time and probably a couple of weekends, but I think this is the best option given that we cannot determine the actual amount of disk space needed to accomplish this task all at once.
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SolCowAuthor Commented:
I received no replies to my actual question of how much disk space would be needed for the mailbox move, so I came up with a "safe" plan to perform the move in phases while watching the disk space available on my server.
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