Sunday, 31 July 2011

SBS 2008 - Move Exchange Database

Today I have been addressing a problem with a Small Business Server 2008; the C drive has run out of space. The first indication of a problem was when the users reported that external email had stopped being delivered. After some basic troubleshooting I noticed that space on the C drive was the problem. An SBS 2008 feature called "Back Pressure" was preventing any more mail being delivered, I will cover how I made a temporary fix to this problem in a separate post.

To help with the problem of low disk space on C:, I decided to move the Exchange database files and logs to the D: drive, which had plenty of free space. Having done this with Exchange 2003 I was pleasantly surprised to find that SBS 2008 included a wizard to automate the process. 

Before starting this process, I have made sure that all users have closed down Outlook, and advised them that email will be unavailable until I let them know otherwise. First, I opened the SBS Console, then selected Backup and Server Storage, then the Server Storage tab. I can see my available drives, along with a warning that C: is low on space.

This clearly showed the problem. Storage Tasks on the right hand side included the option Move Exchange Server Data - the first on the list. After selecting this, the Move Exchange Server Data wizard starts, and I get a message saying Checking you server... This may take several minutes. And it does, but not too long.

When it is ready, I get the option to back up my data before proceeding. 

I've not done this process before, so decide a current backup would be a good idea, so I select Yes, and the backup begins. This server is configured to use SBS 2008 backup feature, and already has an external drive attached for backup. I presume my current backup settings are used. If the server backup was not in use, I expect I would have to enter some additional information at this point.

The backup takes a while, about 30 minutes. Once it is done, I am now ready to choose the new location for my Exchange data.

There is no option to choose the location or path for the new data location. I am only presented with a list of available drives. In my case, the D: drive. I leave this highlighted, then select Move.

The data move does not take long.

Once I see the message telling me the data move was successful, I select Finish, then test email by asking on of the users to open Outlook. Everything appears fine.

I check the D: drive and can see the new data location is D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server

I am slightly surprised that I have not reclaimed more space by moving the Exchange files. After using TreeSize to scan the C: drive, I discover that two folders are taking up most of my space:

C:\Windows\SYSMSI - 11.5 Gb
C:\Windows\winsxs - 12.5 Gb

I will write how I solved the problem of these two folders taking up so much space in a separate post.