Exchange 2010 not removing mailboxes

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My problem is with the size of the database and removing mailboxes to reduce the size. My company has been having problems with the size of the mailbox filling up the small harddrive we had available for database. We currently have 5gigs left and that takes a week to fill up. I have been backing up the log files and removing them in an effort to clear space while trying to educate employees on the issues we have from them holding onto EVERY email they ever received. One of the solution I thought would help me would be to remove all accounts that no longer work for the company. I deleted the accounts and made sure the mailboxes were in the disconnected folder in the EMC. Well I check today after the 30 day period and they were gone. However no additional space has freed up. I should have an additional 15 gigs space. How do I make sure those mailboxes are gone and recover the lost memory?


AndyD_ [MVP]

What are the send and receive limits set to for those mailboxes? If you are going to use storage that isnt sized correctly for your environment, then you need to set limits. You can't expect users to manage your storage problems.

A couple more things:

Are you doing full exchange-aware backups? Those will clear the transaction logs when they successfully complete.

Deleting mail and mailboxes does not shrink the store on disk. I would look at addressing the storage issue first however before you consider doing any sort of offline defrag.

Alexei Segundo

In addition to Andy's thoughts, you could also consider the following:
Moving mailboxes to a new mailbox database as an alternative to defragmentation. Probably less impact to the users given the online mailbox move capabilities of E2010. Introducing an email archive to support the reduction in mailbox sizes and the introducton of mailbox quotas. As you probably know E2010 offers an archiving capability with (in SP1) the ability to move the archive database(s) to lower cost storage. Alternatively, there are a number of 3rd party archiving solutions that a wider set of features, including single instance storage.



I have the default limits set, I believe that is 10 gigs. I have begun working on the everyone's issue with holding onto emails from over a year ago and backedup their mailboxes using outlook and attached the backups as data files so they can continue to view the older emails they use and need. The problem of the hard drives storage space is we just do not have the money to get suitable replacements and I have been asked by the President of the company to find a way to fix the problem until we have the money later. This is why I am trying to clean out old email boxes to preserve space. If I can get rid of them then I would be able to work comfortably until funding came in the future for new hard drives.


I am not familiar with exchange 2010. I did not install it and was not involved in the IT work at the time of install. I graduated in 2008 just before Server 2008 came out exchange was not even part of the curriculum now I have been thrust into the IT position with no help. How does the archiving feature work? Also what is involved in the defraging of the exchange server. I assume its not like a Hard drive defrag.

I appreciate all your guys help and solutions

Thank you

Novak Wu

Exchange Server 2010 introduced Personal Archives. An archive mailbox appears as an additional mailbox in Outlook 2010 or OWA. In Exchange 2010 RTM, an archive mailbox is moved along with the mailbox if one exists. The archive mailbox is also saved on Exchange server and consumes the server space. Hence, it"s recommended to archive the client"s mailbox via Outlook and move their emails to the local archive folder. To do this, you can save more space on server.

For more information about Archive Mailbox, please refer to the following article:

Regarding to the disk defragmentation process, it rearranges the data that is stored on the server's hard disks so that the data are more contiguous. It is familiar to the Hard drive defragmentation. For more information about Exchange Defragmentation, please refer to the link below:


Novak Wu

Gulab Mallah

One more thing i would like to add here is, before you start moving the mailboxes make sure that you have circular logging enabled on the database, cause when move mailbox process starts it generates log files.

I agree with the suggetion from rest of the guys.

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