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Priv.edb size is getting too large. How can I bring it back to normal size?

I have an Exchange Server 5.5 without SP on Windows NT 4.0 with SP5. We've been running this for the past three years with no problems. But for the past few months, I've noticed the size of Priv.edb is dramatically increasing. We have around 65 mailboxes on this server, and found that the size of priv.edb has increased to more than 6GB. We have another Exchange Server 5.5 SP4 on NT 4.0 SP6 with 104 mailboxes has a priv.edb as 1.5GB, which is quite reasonable. How can I fix the problem on the first Exchange Server, so that the Priv.edb comes to the normal size? This is a serious problem for me, as the disk capacity is approaching its maximum.
Reasonable is relative. :)

I've seen servers with 10 people that have 3GB databases; and servers with 500 people that had 1GB databases. What you want to do is use the Exchange Administrator application to locate the largest mailboxes on that server. This will show you where the data is, and then you can open the mailbox (or work with the mailbox's user) and see what is taking up so much space.

To do this:

  1. Launch Exchange Administrator.
  2. Expand Configuration, then Servers.
  3. Then, expand the large server, then expand Private Information Store.
  4. Select Mailbox Resources.
  5. In the right-hand side will be two columns, one with Total K (for KB) another for Total Items. You can also click on View | Columns in the menu to have a couple more size-related columns appear.

Once you find the large mailbox(es), you will find the messages; once you've found those, you'll know why this store has grown so much. Then, if you need to, you can delete items, take the store offline and perform an offline defragmentation to compress the database and reclaim disk space.

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