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I just took a look at my event log and saw eventid 9688 warning me that the database is 47gb out of 50gb big.

Right below it is a eventid 1221 telling me that I have around 6gb free after the online defrag early this morning.

Now I'm worried that I don't know what's going on with free space. Is it 3gb or 6gb? I also read that eventid 9688 is pretty serious because if it hits 50gb the exchange IS will shutdown and dismount the store. I'm considering bumping it up to the 75gb max, but am not sure whats going on with free space. In the meantime I'm having some of my users doing archives and deleting old users. Any ideas?

Exchange 2003 SP2 is it matters. Thanks.

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So this is the Standard Edition of Exchange 2003.

What event ID 9688 is telling you is that you have a database limit set for 50 Gb, and your database has grown to 47 Gb -- so you only have 3 Gb left to grow.

However -- Exchange databases do not shrink on their own when mailboxes are deleted or messages are pruned (you need to dismount databases for offline defrag with ESEUTIL for that), so your event ID 1221 is telling you that within your 47 Gb database you have 6 Gb of free space. Any additional growth, from new mailboxes or new messages, will use that 6 Gb of internal space before the whole database needs to grow further. So you do have some breathing room for the time being.

If you have some maintenance time to do an offline defrag, you can reclaim most of that 6 Gb, and end up with a database around 41 Gb. But I'd still think that raising your database limit higher than 50 Gb may be a good idea.

See also "Defragmenting an Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 Database" here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192185

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