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What is the best way to run offline defragmentation of Exchange 2003 mail store if you don't have enough disk space on the server. Can you attach an external drive and store the temporary defrag file and then just copy the defrag file to the path where the database is located.

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migrated from Dec 29 '09 at 17:31

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You can redirect the temporary files to another drive using the /T option, or indeed if you really have to you can actually take the database files (you want the EDB and STM files) and the ESEUTIL tool and run it on another box which does not even have Exchange on. Obviously transferring everything all takes time while Exchange is offline, so this is a last resort. How to run Eseutil on a computer without Exchange Server

How much free (white) space do you have in the database? The online tools are pretty efficient normally unless you have done a big bunch of mailbox move or delete operations.

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Unless you have gobs of whitespace I wouldn't worry about an offline defrag. – Evan Anderson Feb 7 '10 at 14:58

Another option because defrags can be a little scary - just create another database and move all the mailboxes to it. You then don't have a big long outage for everyone and there's very little risk. You now have a shiny new database without too much defragmentation.

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You lose single-instance storage when you do this. Depending on your data this may result in a larger database at the end of the process – Evan Anderson Feb 7 '10 at 14:57

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