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I have an issue where I don't have enough space to run an offline defragmentation of my exchange database. Can I hook up a 1 TB external HDD (like E: drive) and run the defragmentation process on it.

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migrated from superuser.com Mar 5 '10 at 20:43

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If it were me, I'd move other data onto the external HDD and let the offline defrag play around with the fixed disk. Last thing you want is the drive disconnecting for some reason mid-defrag. (Unless you only have Exchange on the drive in question of course.) –  Kez Mar 5 '10 at 20:07

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The eseutil /t flag specifies where to put tempfiles during defrag, so I guess you could do that. For safety's sake if you have enough space or more than one USB drive, I'd take a backup of the db beforehand.

I don't know that a USB drive will be very fast though. When I had an offline defrag to do on a server with low disk space and no access ot a USB drive, I used workstation with a gig Ethernet card and a file transfer utility (Windows networking is too slow for this IMHO) to fire the file to the workstation, run the defrag there (just needs a few DLLs and the eseutil) and then send the defragged db back. I had a handy backup on the oringal db on my workstation then, too. Sorry, can't remember what file transfer tool I used though. Could have been as simple as TFTP...

Edit: MS article for flags. USB2 HDD might be your best overall option for speed.

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You can move databases safely and quickly by using eseutil /y "source" /d "destination". –  Kez Mar 5 '10 at 20:08

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