how do I regain space on my exchange server?

I am losing almost a half a GB a day now for some reason that I cannot pin down. 10 to 15 MB a day I understand but 500 MB. My drive is down to 8.90 GB So I expect to be down within 5 days if I do not resolve this issue. Im very much a novice at running exchange so Im stuck.
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ID10TzAsked:
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Probably log buildup.  You can do an exchange backup using windows NT backup to flush the log store.  Are your backups running properly?  Usually after a fullbackup the log store clears.  

You can also use treesize to see where the gobs of space are being taken up:

http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
Yeah I have TreeSize already installed.

I have 1 visible folder on this drive that houses my exchange data:
* HDD Size: 68.3 GB
* edb size:    52,4888.8 MB
* stm size:    8,270.0 MB
* Pub.stm:            4.0 MB
* Pub.edb:            3.0 MB

How do I insure the NT backup is flushing the logs or how do I properly configure the backup to do just that?
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Looks like your edb is just huge.  You might need to defrag it to flush out the whitespace.

Defrag:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804

Backup exchange & Flush logs:  http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2003/high-availability-recovery/Exchange-2003-Backup-Restore-NTBACKUP.html

Have the users empty their recycle bins.  Make sure you have no repeating sync issues on users mailboxes (target the largest ones first).

Possible infection on a users system, is your email queue filling up with garbage?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Hello,

If your database is growing, a defrag won't help. A growing database means there is no whitespace to reclaim.

Check the dates on your .log files to determine if they are being flushed. The oldest log files shouldn't be older than your last full backup.

Do you have mailbox size limits setup for your users? How many users are on this server?

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
NRhode: Backups are working fine. verified by looking to see oldest date for last backup & it's good to go. The files total 79.5 MB and they are not the same drive as my edb/stm files.

jjmck: I dont have mailbox size set up for users and I have a total of 156 users
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Thats most likely the cause.  Lets say you give your users a 1gb limit in the mailbox that is 156gb which would exceed your hard drive space.  You might want to consider adding more disk space or upgrading the drives to handle the load.  Thats what I would recommend for that many users.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
500MB of mail for 156 user is only about 3MB / user / day, which isn't much. You either need to impose limits or get some more hard drive space.

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
If I set the back up to delete logs older than 1 day how will that affect Exchange? & will having users clean out their deleted items actually recover some space? need a temp solution till I get more drive space.
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Yes and Yes.  Problem is not your logs but clearing them out after a solid backup will help with drive space.  Dumping the recycle bin and having bulk users clean up their email will help reduce the size.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
You can do a full backup every day, which will clear the log files. This will not negatively affect Exchange. It is actually good for disaster recovery as you would need fewer tapes to restore. The only negative impact is that is is going to increase the number of tapes you need.

Having users clean out their deleted items will not recover any disk space. The Exchange database never shrinks unless you do an offline defrag, which you cannot do because you don't have enough free disk space. What it will do is create white space inside the database. This will buy you some time until you can acquire more drive space as Exchange will use up the white space before it starts growing the database.

One thing to keep in mind when having users delete data is the deleted item retention period you have set. Items will not actually be purged from the database until that time has expired. For example, if you have it set to 14 days, you won't reclaim any white space for 14 days and your database will continue to grow. You should reduce the deleted item retention period before you have your users delete data.

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
jjmck: where do I find the deleted item retention period for the database. I know where it is for the individual.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
ok did all of that. The customize schedule looks archaic. How do I get it to run right now or is that a bad idea. :)
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
The schedule is for the warning message interval. The deleted messages will get cleaned up during the regular nightly maintenance.

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
No way to run it now?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
You can but be careful about running it during production hours.

Open the Properties page for the mailbox store. On the Database tab click Customize then select to run immediately.

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
Email will just slow down a bit right?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Yes, depending on the current load on the server and the resources available, it could affect performance.

-JJ
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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
ok
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