Exchange 2003 using eseutil /d but have not enough HD space

Hi Experts,

I have exchange 2003 SBS std edition. I am reaching the max allowed space on my SBS server and might have to look at options of upgrading however i have had users look at their mailboxes and instructed them to trim it down as much as possible.

I have made them use personal folders and drag folders down to their personal folders. I use PFbackup to backup those e-mails so all in all im happy.

I have service pack 2 for exchange and have increased store to 75GB. I have deleted any user accounts not active too. My MDBData folder has not deacreased at all and i plan this weekend to do a ESEUTIL /D and degrag the database offline.

My Questions

1) I have run out of space on my hard drive and i cant free up anymore. The defrag wont run fully unless i have enough space. I am still aprox 20GB too big. Is there a way for me to run the backup but have a command that runs the backup copy on an external hard drive?

2) is a defrag enough. In the past even after freeing up many GB's it only mildly made the database smaller. Does /P just overwrite existing database. I dont want to use ISINTEG as the last time there was a very small amount of e-mail loss but is that the only way to rid white space and free up max space?

Thank you for your time.
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You can run eseutil on a computer without Exchange with larger disk space..
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You can add the /t switch to point the temporary defrag files to another drive / path or you can copy the database and the relevant tools to another server (without Exchange) and defrag the database on there.

The /t switch would be added as follows:

eseutil /d /tx:\tempdfrg.edb

The way a defrag works and anyone can correct me if i am wrong is it creates a new db. It basically moves everything to a temp db then renames the old to the new hence why you need a crap load of drive space.

Now there was a way to redirect where the temp db (the new one as you put it) can be put in a different directory (network share or external drive) but I would have to look it up. We had to do that once but it was 5 years ago and I still curse our old it director for not looking at system reqs.
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DCHMIELAuthor Commented:

Thank you for prompt reply. With space issues at the moment i would prefer to use an external USB hard drive attached to the server in question so would this switch above help to store the temp database to the USB drive?

Thanks in advance
Well  alanhardisty posted the answer while I was typing mine. As long as it has a drive letter it should work. Same goes with network shares.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
It will be slower, but perfectly capable of using the USB drive.
DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts,

Well thanks for all the responses. Seems this will work well for me. Just before i close the question could i just query the syntax?

 I usually run this command which defrags the database in the bin directory

eseutil /d "c:\Program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb"

where exactly would i enter this command? eseutil /d /tx:\tempdfrg.edb

Would i be right in saying that the USB drive will hold just a backup of the database and log files and if it came to recovery i would use the USB drive to recover.

Finally is event ID 1221 accurate in seeing how much space is available in exchange
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
eseutil /d "c:\Program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb" /tx:\tempdfrg.edb

The USB drive will have a temporary copy of the .EDB file written to it.  Once the defrag has completed, your original files will be deleted and the temp files will replace the original ones.  The temp files may get left on the USB drive.

Event ID 1221 is accurate in showing you how much space a defrag will recover.

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DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
alanhardisty would it be ok to leave this running until the end of the weekend?

I am doing this over the weekend and just wanted to ask questions if i need to regards this. I will award points monday if thats ok.

Thanks to everyone who responded.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Of course - you shouldn't close down a question until you are happy you have had it answered.

If you have any questions while you are doing the defrag, just fire them at us - I am usually around, but a bit slower to respond.
DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
Hi Again,

Could you clarify the tx in /tx:\tempdfrg.edb

Is x the drive so if i for example map the path to the USB Hard drive to Q then would my full syntax be:

eseutil /d "c:\Program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb" /tQ:\tempdfrg.edb

Would the t just remain or does that change too?

Thanks again
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
That's 100% correct.

The switch is the /t and the x:\ is just a pointer to wherever you have a drive with the space.

The /t will remain whenever you are pointing the temp file to another location.
DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
Perfect, Thanks
DCHMIELAuthor Commented:
Great answer. Worked like a charm. Was exactly what i wanted,

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