Microsoft KB Archive/170361

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 170361

Article Last Modified on 10/28/2006


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170361


This article describes the steps you can use to troubleshoot a rapidly growing Exchange Server information store (the Priv.edb or Pub.edb files).

In certain cases, the information store can grow to from a few megabytes to several gigabytes in a 24-hour period.


Usually, a looping Inbox Assistant or Public Folder causes this problem. Assistant rules that cause a message to be continuously sent and received.


To avoid the problem, set mailbox size limits for all users on a server. This prevents the information store from continuously growing.

Set the mailbox size limits in the Exchange Server Administrator program on the Advanced tab of the mailbox properties.


Use the Exchange Server Administrator program to determine which mailbox or public folder is causing the problem. To do this, view the mailbox resources in the properties of the private information store or the public folder resources in the properties of the public information store. Look for mailboxes or public folders that have an unusually large number of items or are using an unusually large amount of disk space.

After you determine which mailbox or public folder is causing the problem, log on to the Microsoft Exchange Client and disable any rules that reply or forward messages. Also delete items from the mailbox or public folder.

Deleting messages in the mailbox or public folder does not automatically reduce the size of the Priv.edb or Pub.edb files. To recover the disk space, you must compact the Priv.edb or Pub.edb files; use the Edbutil.exe utility with the /d switch. Note that the Edbutil utility requires disk space in an amount equal to twice the size of the database that you want to process. Before you proceed, confirm that you have enough disk space available.

To compact the database files, perform the following steps:

  1. Stop the information store. Use these steps:
    1. In Control Panel, double-click Services.
    2. In the Service list, click the service that you want to stop.
    3. Click Stop.
    4. Repeat steps b. and c. as necessary to stop other services.
    5. Click Close, and then close Control Panel.
  2. At an MS-DOS prompt, change to the Exchsrvr\Bin directory.
  3. Type the following command to compact the Priv.edb file:

    edbutil /d /ispriv

    Type the following command to compact the Pub.edb file:

    edbutil /d /ispub

    NOTE: For Microsoft Exchange Server, version 5.5, use the following commands:

    eseutil /d /ispriv
    eseutil /d /ispub

NOTE: In Exchange Server version 5.5 Service Pack 3 a rule can start regardless of the mailbox or public folder quota limits. This was first changed to correct the situation in which meeting requests are not delivered if the recipient mailbox is full. For additional information about that situation, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

217139 XADM: Meeting Requests Are Not Delivered if Recipient's Mailbox Has Exceeded the Storage Limit and Has a Delegate Defined

However, you can create the following registry key to troubleshoot a rapidly growing information store on an Exchange Server 5.5 Service Pack 3 computer:


Value Name: Apply Mailbox Quota to Rules
Data Type: Reg_DWORD

If this value is not 0, messages sent by rules still have the mailbox quota checked. If the value is not present or is 0 (the default in Service Pack 3), messages sent by rules ignore the mailbox quota for sending messages.

IMPORTANT: If you set mailbox quotas to rules, there may be side effects. For example, if you set a forward and delete rule, it may result in data loss, and if you set meeting requests to go only to the delegate, neither may receive the request if the mailbox is over the limit.

Additional query words: tshoot

Keywords: kbprb KB170361