What can I do when our Exchange db file is abnormally swollen?

We have about 70 email accounts and the total size of all mail boxes is about 67G. But somehow my Exchange .edb file reaches to as big as 210G. Can you tell me what happened and how to fix this issue please? Thanks.
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Satya PathakLead Technical ConsultantCommented:
It could be below issue i would suggest you to check below things.

1) Disk issue
2)  VSS
3)  User mailbox currepted.
for user mailbox curreption you can ran exmon on exchange server .

rest two you can check the event Id or Vss writer status it might be issue.

last but not least create a New DB and move all users to old to new .
CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
sorry, what is VSS?
CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
When you said disk issue, what could be the issue?
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CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
I found three error events in the past months:
6003  MSExchange SACL Watcher
SACL Watcher servicelet encountered an error while monitoring SACL change.
Got error 1722 opening group policy on system danser.stone.local in domain stone.
(this is a domain we took down years ago. don't know why this Exchange still refers to it.)

8194   VSS
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error querying for the IVssWriterCallback interface.  hr = 0x80070005, Access is denied.
. This is often caused by incorrect security settings in either the writer or requestor process.

401   Storage Group Consistency Check
Instance 1: The physical consistency check has completed, but one or more errors were detected. The consistency check has terminated with error code of -106 (0xffffff96).

Can we see any more clear picture about this issue?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
First thing to do is run this command:

Get-MailboxDatabase -Status | Select Servername, Name, AvailableNewMailboxSpace

The Exchange database will never shrink. Therefore if something has happened to cause bloat, then you get a lot of white space in the database.

If that returns a large number, then simple option is to create a new database, then move all mailboxes to the new database and drop the original. No downtime, no risk.

Is the database being backed up regularly? If you look at the properties of the database, does it show a date for the last full backup as something you would expect?


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CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
The database did get backed up daily.

So moving mailboxes to the new db will not have downtime? How?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
That is how Exchange works.
The move takes place in the background. The only thing that happens is the end user will get a prompt to restart Outlook when it is complete, but otherwise there is no disruption to the end user at all.

CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much.... I already moved some successfully. But some are with "Completed with warning..." and the details show the old mailbox was not able to be deleted. How can I do to fix this issue? Thank you again.

Here is the details of warning:
Warning: Failed to clean up the source mailbox after the move.
Error details: MapiExceptionUnexpectedMailboxState: Unable to delete mailbox. (hr=0x80004005, ec=2634)
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
That could be an indication the source database isn't in a good state.
It shouldn't stop you from dropping the old database at the end of the process however, as the content should be on the new database.

CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
When I was still in the process of moving the rest of mailboxes to the new db, the old mailbox database got dismounted probably due to running out of the space in that drive. That is just what I guess. Could it be true the db dismounted by itself due to low disk space?
If that is the case, I'm doing a full db backup now and hope it can get rid of all log files and as the result I should be able to mount the old db, correct?
I haven't finished moving all mailboxes to the new db yet.  Please help.
CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
With db dismounted the backup ended up not to purge log files at all. sigh!
I turned out to move the log folder path and spare about 6G free. After that, Exchange took a couple of minutes to remount and working fine now.

Question to you guys, after I move all mailboxes out of the old db, do I simply delete the old db file?? Please help.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Once the database is empty, you need to remove it from within Exchange.
You can then delete the files. Don't attempt to delete the files until the database has been removed in Exchange.

Logs should ideally be on another drive from Exchange. When doing a major move you can enable circular logging, which will stop the log build up. However you should do a backup as soon as you have finished then disable circular logging.

CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
"When doing a major move you can enable circular logging"

Should I enable circular logging on the old db or the new db ??
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The new database, as that is where the logs are being generated.

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