troubleshooting Question

Exchange 2003 Database store too large & dismounting

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laurencoull asked on
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Exchange 2003 database store is regularly dismounting with Event ID1216 being often seen in Event Viewer:
"The Exchange store is limited to 18Gb. The current physical size of this database is 24Gb. If the physical size of this database minus its logical free space exceeds the limit of 18Gb, the database will be dismounted on a regular basis."
I've got all users to delete and archive email as much as possible.
Can the 18Gb limit be increased by any means?
Also I've been advised to back up the Store so that the store can be purged of any deleted items so have done so but the edb & stm file sizes have not reduced. Does the store automatically get purged of deleted items after a backup, or is there something I have to do to tell it to do so?
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