02 August 2009

Exchange experiences massive database bloat, similar to Access databases. Over time, this becomes a major problem for backups since new data is written into random empty space in the database. That creates a situation where a few new emails can cause the entire database to require a backup. Performing an "offline backup" automatically compresses the database, but IĀ found a lack of documentation on how it was performed. Once the commands are identified, it is actually quite simple. The directories and database names are standard for a basic install on Windows SBS 2003.

First, select "Dismount Store" on the mailbox store.

Then, open a command prompt and run the following:

C:\Program Files\Support Tools>cd C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA
C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA>..\bin\eseutil.exe /d priv1.edb
Microsoft(R) Exchange Server Database Utilities
Version 6.5
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Initiating DEFRAGMENTATION mode...
            Database: priv1.edb
      Streaming File: priv1.STM
      Temp. Database: TEMPDFRG7700.EDB
Temp. Streaming File: TEMPDFRG7700.STM
                  Defragmentation Status (% complete)
          0    10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100
Moving 'TEMPDFRG7700.EDB' to 'priv1.edb'... DONE!
Moving 'TEMPDFRG7700.STM' to 'priv1.stm'... DONE!
  It is recommended that you immediately perform a full backup
  of this database. If you restore a backup made before the
  defragmentation, the database will be rolled back to the state
  it was in at the time of that backup.
Operation completed successfully in 3884.282 seconds.
C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA>

Close the command prompt

Finally, remount the email store.

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