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How to move Exchange Server transaction logs and databases to a new hard drive

I'm running out of space on the C drive of my Small Business Server (SBS) 2003. How can I move the exchsrvr folder to the D drive to free up about 4.25 GB of space? I should have installed it there from the start, but failed to change it.

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Depending on how much free space you have on drives other than c:\, you can move the transaction logs and/or the Exchange Server databases (mailboxes and public folders). It should go without saying that you will need to have adequate free space on the drive where you are going to move these items, so check first and don't try to put a 15 GB database onto a drive that has only 15.5 GB of free space (sounds obvious, but I've seen this happen).

To move the Exchange transaction logs, you first need to determine the current location of the logs:

  1. Open Exchange System Manager, drill down in the left pane through the server object and to the storage group whose logs you plan to move.
  2. Right-click on the storage group and select Properties. The file path for the logs will be indicated on the General tab, and will probably be c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata.
  3. Browse to the folder where you want to move the logs. This will be on a different drive letter, since the goal of this procedure is to save disk space on the c-drive. Click OK when complete.

Note that when you move the logs, the Exchange databases will be temporarily inaccessible, so don't do anything that will have your users screaming at you because they can't read their email!

To move the Exchange databases:

  1. Open Exchange System Manager, drill down in the left pane through the server object and storage group, and select the mailbox or folder store whose contents you plan to move.
  2. Assuming that you are now moving the Exchange mailboxes, right-click on the Mailbox Store and select the Database tab.
  3. Click the Browse button next to the Exchange database field and select the folder to which you plan to move the database. Click the Save button when complete.

    Do not yet click Apply or OK on the Database tab!

  4. Now, click the Browse button corresponding to the Exchange Streaming Database field and select the folder to which you plan to move the database. I recommend using the same folder as the actual database. Click the Save button when complete.
  5. Now that you have changed the values of both the database and the streaming database, you can click the Apply or OK button to actually make the move.
  6. Repeat the above steps if you also want to move the Exchange public folder store. Just select the Public Folder Store instead of the Mailbox Store in step #2.

Note that when you move the logs, the databases will be temporarily inaccessible, so once again don't do anything that will have your users screaming at you because they can't read their email!

Additional details on these procedures can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 821915, How to move Exchange databases and logs in Exchange Server 2003.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Tip: How to manually (and safely) purge Exchange Server transaction logs
  • Tip: Backing up, truncating and cleaning up Exchange transaction logs
  • Tip: Moving Exchange 2000 logs and databases
  • Tip: Move those logs for faster performance
  • Exchange Admin 101: Create extra mailbox stores
  • Expert Advice: How do we move Exchange from the C drive to the D drive?
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server data management and storage resources
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server transaction logs tips and resources
  • This was first published in June 2006

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