how do I shrink down the size of my email disk without damagin the data?

Recently downsized the accounts on my exchange server from 220 email accounts to 9. i want to run vmware converter to shrink down the size of the disks but unsure on how to do this correctly without damaging the data on the disks.
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ID10TzAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you want to remove the white space from your Information Store (priv.db), as @paulsolov has mentioned you could complete an Offline Defrag, I'm not a great fan of this, it takes many hours to complete, Exchange is offline for that duration, and I've seen mailboxes disappear as part of the process, when corruption has been found.

if this is what you want to do, I would add a new virtual disk to the VM, create a new datastore on this correctly sized virtual disk, e.g. 40GB, and the  use the Move mailbox, from the old datastore to the new datastore on the new virtual disk.

Benefits, information store, defrgamented, and reduced in size, Exchange remains online during the process, virtual disk is the correct size, and this is Support by Microsoft.

then remove the old Exchange datastore, and possibly the disk if it only contains the datastore.

Using converter, creates a new V2V machine, which could possibly be different to the last VM, because it's a conversion, which is more risky.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
See my EE Article and Hints and Tips

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Stop ALL Exchange Services, and Create a V2V of the server, when you create the new Target Server, specify the size of the disk you want to create.
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
creating a v2v to the same host server wont conflict?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No, but ensure, once you have completed the V2V, you turn the old one OFF, and turn the new VM ON.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Running VMWare converter will not shrink your information store, this is because you now have white space on it and no matter what you do phyiscally (V2V, P2V) will changes the size of the priv.edb

What you need to do is to perform an offline defrag first on the Exchange 2003 information Store.  This will decrease the the database and you will not have a smaller database to deal with.  Once this is completed you can perform a conversion using vmware converter and the OS will now show that you are using much less storage then you did previously and allow you to resize as needed.
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
when doing this I get unable to convert powered on machine so I shut down the guest then power off through vclient, but when running the converter I get unable to obtain hardware information for selected the machine.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
install Converter on the VM to be converted, this is Best Practice!
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
I think I may have to reboot the server then get a clean shutdown
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
doing it now
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The heck with it, with 9 mailboxes you can export and import them back in..delete the old information store and you're done.
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
paulsolov: I would but I need the other data for historical purposes. Sorry should have declared that in my opening question.
hanccocka: In response to ID:38403393:
1. shutdown the guest & power off the vm add an additional vd the vm
2. powerup create a new mailstore
3. move mailboxes to the new mailstore
4. delete the old mailstore and remove the VD it was stored on
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, but 1. you can add new virtual disks hot.

So you can keep you Exchange 2003 server UP at all times.

Only users accessing their mailbox, when it's moved will be affected.
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
=) doing it now. How can I determine which disk to delete. I have a total of 4 disks now.

C: operating sys                  39GB
E: exchange installation    256GB
g: unallocated                   256GB      <-- want to delete this one
F: the new VD/mailstore     40GB

Also I really want to delete this E:\Exchsrvr\Recovery Storage Group folder with the following:
priv1.edv 33,699,464KB
priv1.stm   4,175,880KB
pub1.stm   2,848,776KB
pub1.edb      424,072KB
and  127 GB in log files
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
check the Disk Numbers in Disk Management, and compare against disks added.

remove storage group using Exchange Manager
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
when you say disk added you mean from vSphere client? i have compared them there and from the following is what I can tell:
From vSphere:
SCSI (0:0) Hard Disk 1   39 GB<--OS
SCSI (0:1) Hard Disk 2 256 GB
SCSI (0:2) Hard Disk 3 256 GB
SCSI (0:3) Hard Disk 4   40 GB<--Just added

From Windows disk management:
Disk0 C: OS 39GB
Disk1 E: Exchange installation and old mailstore 256GB
Disk2 G: Unallocated disk 256GB
Disk3 F: new mailstore

In vSphere I cant tell which 256GB is the installation for exchange and the old mailstore so that I can remove via VSphere. Also that recovery folder is not mounted & not used. I am guessing its safe to delete.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
check in Exchange Systems Manager, I would remove from VM, and later delete from disk, just in case required!
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
that recovery folder is not in Exchange Systems Manager
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay remove from VM?
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
the results are scary. After transferring the mailboxres to the new mailstore there are 13 mailboxes that are marked with red "X's" and the size is set to 7kb or less with 0 items. When I check the new mailstore these boxes do not exist. One of the mailboxes is mine so I attempted to reconnect the mailbox to my domain account. The following accounts happen to be the ones I need. Besides the logfile/SMTP (EXCHANGE-0987)/system attendant/system mailbox, but when I log into my account I can see all of my emails but when attempting to log into the network administrator email account it will not let me login (I am also the network administrator account holder). Am I missing something?
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
also the reports were save in XML format which is making it cryptic to decipher
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
these accounts with the red x's are also the only accounts still remaining active the old domain.
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
worked like a charm
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