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Exchange Server Issue

Posted on 2014-03-02
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Last Modified: 2014-03-31
We have a server that stopped receiving emails due to HD capacity issues.  We moved the QUEUE processing to another partition to make email flow temporarily.  The database HD partition is at 1.79 TB of 1.81 and filling up fast.  We tried backing up using windows to clear the 700K+ log files but it failed.  I tried Shadowprotect server but it also failed.  I'm thinking there are problems with hardware.  We want to migrate but can we?

I personally wanted to clear all the log files before trying to migrate, but that's not working.  Can we dismount the database and delete all the log files?

considering the situation.  What would be the recommended approach?

the server is also the DC/Exchange/Endpoint Protection server/etc... I know - big issue.  Right now the critical issue to backup Exchange but it's not working and I'm sure I will run into big issues migrating. Running 2008 R2.
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Question by:Anthony H.
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Accepted Solution

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Alan Hardisty earned 500 total points
ID: 39899766
If you enable Circular Logging that will clear the log files and then you MUST immediately backup the server.

http://henrysluiman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/enable-circular-logging-in-exchange.html

That will allow your mail to flow and should sort out your disk space problems.

Once the backup is complete, you should disable circular logging and then investigate why your backups are not purging your log files.

Alan
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ssmith81
ID: 39900237
Agreed with Alan on few points.
Set-MailboxDatabase -CircularloggingEnabled:$true
By using above cmdlet, you will be able to enable circular logging and then take the backup of server. (You needn't do Dismount/Mount for DB's which are members of DAG with two or more copies, after enabling Circular Logging. )
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39902422
what could/will happen if I enable circular logging and it won't backup for X reasons?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39902617
You won't be able to restore Exchange and replay all messages received since the last backup!

Worst case, try a trial of BackupAssist and get the server backed up with that.

Alan
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39905359
Thanks Alan - i'll try BackupAssist.  I've already tried Symantec, windows, and shadowprotect but no luck.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39905548
what happens if I delete really old logs? or move them to another drive?  

will exchange crash?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39905696
It won't crash, but you can't replay them if the server dies and your backup is old, so there is the potential to lose data.  Worst case, move them to a different server / hard disk / computer or enable Circular Logging, then install BackupAssist and shout if that gives you trouble and get backing up the server.

Alan
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39905701
I tried to install BA and it errored out too.  something about VSS time out. can I move log files without dismount or stopping exchange services?
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39905713
WTH!  It has reached over 1 million log files!

any ideas? still circular loggin?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39905747
Ouch!  Yes - you can move the log files as they have been written and are just for reference.

If you can move them, please move them, otherwise enable Circular logging and then get fixing the backup problems.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39913645
so why can't I leave circular login ON?  Do I have a timeframe to disable back?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39913648
You can leave it on, but it means you don't keep the logs, so IF there is a problem and you need to recover from your last backup, you will end up losing data.

It's not a problem as long as you have good, regular, reliable backups.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39913658
I plan on migrating data to new server over the weekend. can I leave circular login ON while migrating?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39913666
Absolutely - and it's a good idea to enable circular logging when you are migrating so you don't fill up the disk with tons of logs anyway, so in that case, just enable away and get migrating.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39913678
Looks about right.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39913876
it wants me to dismount and remount DB. is that ok?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39913915
Yes - it needs to or it can't enable circular logging.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39913998
do I need to have circular loggin enabled on the new server before migrating?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39914375
It saves writing a ton of logs on there too, so it is a good idea.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39915460
are mailbox moves a lot slower if I have circular loggin enabled on the destination server? I had to enable it to move the database to another partition and my mailbox moves seem to be taking a lot longer.
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Author Comment

by:Anthony H.
ID: 39917863
Can I disable circular loggin and not have a problem??? mailbox moves are SUPER SLOW.

I had to move the database to another partition so I had to enable circular login on the DESTINATION server too.  Is it OK if I disable it to make the transfers faster?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39917967
You will interrupt the transfers if you change and restart the store service mid-transfer, so pause the remaining ones, then enable circular logging and then restart the store and unpause the transfers.  Not ever noticed the speed increase / decrease with/without logging as I usually set the transfers up and then get on with something else on another system!
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