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I have a SBS 2003 running exchange. 135 GB of HD space. In the past 2 days the server keeps on running out of disk space. I have deleted 'lots' of stuff of it (7-10 gig) and it still keeps on dropping very fast till it forces my Exchange offline.

I have run a virus scan, disabled BES, etc.

What else can I do to keep the server from 'eating' up my disk space so fast??

asked 06/01/2011 09:45

clesin's gravatar image

clesin ♦♦


16 Answers:
first of all, create a few dummy files

Fsutil.exe is a built in filesystem tool that is useful to do file system related operations from command line. We can create a file of required size using this tool.

syntax to create a file:
fsutil file createnew filename length
(length is in bytes)

For example, to create a dummy file test.txt, with size as 50MB :

fsutil file createnew test.txt 52428800

when you have a problem with space, just delete the dummy file

second: do some search for files created today, when you find out what files are created you will know where the problem is
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M3rc74's gravatar image

M3rc74

Try running a disk space analyzer to see which folders are taking up all the space - that will help us figure out what's happening.

Here's a free one:
http://windirstat.info/

Post back which which folders are taking up all the space.

Do you know how big your exchange database is? It's normally at \Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA
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DVation191's gravatar image

DVation191

What are we going to accomplish by creating this file?
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

 
Exchnage size
 
 
Exchnage size
 
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

Base on your result your exchange database is approx 66Gb, which is quite large and close to its limit of 75Gb (assuming you are running Exchange 2003). You need to do an offline defrag and you probably need to have an external hard drive to do that as you have no room on your server. You will need 110% of free space on that external drive to perform a defrag. During the process exchange will be offline so you may do that in the weekend.

I would also suggest you get your users to delete whatever they don't want from their emails, or at least archive them as that would remove the archive items from Exchange.

You may also look into the Applied folder.
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ormerodrutter's gravatar image

ormerodrutter

What does %110 free space mean?? and how exactly would I perform the offline defrag??
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

So it looks like most of your space is going toward your Exchange database - not really unusual.

If you want some details on the stm and edb files, see here:
http://www.msexchange.org/articles/Exchange-Databases-Disk-Consumption.html

So the exchange database and the slight overhead accounts for 90gb of usage. The app reports you're actually using 127 - leaving 37gb for the OS and other apps. That doesn't seem to unusual either.

As for the offline defrag - he's suggesting that to shrink your exchange database. When files get deleted from the database, it doesn't actually make the file any smaller. By doing an offline defrag, it will shrink the file and give you some free space back.

To do it though, you need 110% of the space of the exchange database free on your hard drive. A 50GB exchange db would therefore need 55gb free - something you don't have. You'd have to use an external hard drive instead.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804
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DVation191's gravatar image

DVation191

This is how you offline defrag an Exchange 2003 d'base :- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804

Because you have no space on your server you need to set the TEMP location to an external hard drive. 110% space mean you will need 110% of total space on the external hard drive - in your case you need to make sure your hard drive has 100Gb free space before you started the process.
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ormerodrutter's gravatar image

ormerodrutter

OK. Since the space on the server was being used up too fast (way faster then the legitimate usage) I logged off one workstation at a time till I got the culprit!!

It seems that one workstation (or mailbox) was causing this issue.

I am in the process of running some scans to see if we come up with anything.
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

If you're not using quotas, you might want to consider it:
http://www.petri.co.il/setting_mailbox_limits.htm

Also, have you looked to see if any users are using a large amount of space for the exchange mail? Take a look at the mailbox sizes in ESM.
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DVation191's gravatar image

DVation191

Its not even a issue of limits. This particular user has a 'real' mailbox size in ESM of approximately 2.5 gig. If I look at the OST file on the local workstation it is currently at 12+ gig....

This is the core of my problem!!!

Any ideas now?
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

If it says 2.5Gb in ESM then his mailbox occupies 2.5Gb on the server, not 12+Gb.

BTW, I believe you problem is "more" than just this user. Even if you clear his/her mailbox you only retrieve 2-3Gb of space, which doesn't help much? I think your problem is users not removing unwanted emails from their mailboxes. Looking at the figures your email database is approx 66Gb (which is close to the limit of 75Gb), how many users are there in your company? I have over 100 users in our company and the database is only 62Gb (I am not using Exchange Enterprise so no worry on limit :P).

So I still believe your first step is to offline defrag your mailbox, then implement an appropriate policy for email house-keeping. Good luck.
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ormerodrutter's gravatar image

ormerodrutter

It seemed to have been a corrupt 'ost' file, to prove it, since I deleted that ost file and recreated that exchange account in outlook the new ost matches the size in ESM and my exchange store stopped growing.

Now I just need to do an offline defrag to get my 10-13 gig of empty space back.
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

The size of that OST file only reflects the space it takes on that workstation.
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ormerodrutter's gravatar image

ormerodrutter

Are you implying that the OST file size has nothing to do with the mailbox size?
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

I ended up doing an offline defrag, pointing the temp .edb to a different drive. It reduced my edb-stm files by 18 GB!!

Thank you all for your help.
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clesin's gravatar image

clesin

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Asked: 06/01/2011 09:45

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Last updated: 09/13/2011 08:02