Ask the Expert

Is an Exchange 2003 offline defrag needed prior to moving databases?

I am running Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2). I would like to move a priv1.edb file (125 GB) and a priv1.stm file from the X: drive to the P: drive. I would like to know the following:

  • Should I perform an offline defragmentation prior to the Exchange database file move to reclaim at least 25 GB of white space? Is an offline defragmentation even necessary? I am concerned about potentially corrupting the Exchange database.
  • Can I rename the priv1.edb and priv1.stm files? If so, should I rename the database files before or after the move? I understand that in doing this, I will have to do a full Exchange Server backup right afterward.

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You can perform the Exchange 2003 offline defragmentation during your next maintenance window. You won't corrupt the Exchange database, so whether you run the offline defragmentation or not is really a matter of preference. Assuming you have adequate room on both drives, it really doesn't matter when you do the Exchange database file move.

You definitely should NOT rename these files.

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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Tip: Is an offline defragmentation really worth it?
  • Tip: Exchange Server storage sizing and location best practices
  • Expert Advice: Running ESEUTIL to compact an information store
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server defragmentation tips and resources
  • This was first published in November 2007

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