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

Find out if an Exchange 2003 offline defragmentation is needed prior to moving Exchange database files and whether renaming these files is a good idea.

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.
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
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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