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How to Find and Delete Old Exchange Mailboxes

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How to Find and Delete Old Exchange Mailboxes - 28.Jan.2007 10:39:33 AM   


Posts: 4
Joined: 28.Jan.2007
Status: offline
Running Exchange Server 2003 SP2 in a native W2k3 forest/domain. Need to identify and delete old Exchange mailboxes which haven't been used in over a year. This is an inherited legacy implementation in which mailbox limits have not been enforced and the mailbox store size is becoming a concern even though we have the Enterprise version and 75GB max store size.

I'm using oldcmp to identify and delete the old user accounts for the Active Directory. How do I do the same for the Exchange mailboxes? I have been told that the mailboxes corresponding to the deleted old user accounts will eventually be deleted automatically after a certain length of time, but I wish to avoid the unwanted nag messages cluttering up event viewer during that time.

Is there a way to do this? If not, what is the default period of time after which Exchange automatically deletes the mailboxes of the deleted AD user account and how can this default value be shortened?
Post #: 1
RE: How to Find and Delete Old Exchange Mailboxes - 28.Jan.2007 1:18:59 PM   


Posts: 8232
Joined: 7.Jan.2004
From: California, USA
Status: offline
If you're deleting the exiting user account (not just disabling them), then the mailbox is marked for deletion according to the schedule you find in the ESM.  Drill down to the mailbox store containing that mailbox and display the properties.  On the Limits tab you'll see the setting for how long the mailbox remains.  If you drill down even further and right-click on the mailboxes (under the store), you'll see a choice to Run Cleanup Agent.  If you see mailboxes for departed users that don't show up with a red "X", you'll want to run that.

If I recall correctly, there will be entries in the Application Log that indicate how much longer the mailbox will remain that are created by the daily maintenance.  If you still have mailboxes for users that left a year ago, you should look at your logs to see if the maintenance routine is having any problems.

If your Exiting User procedure has you disabling accounts instead of deleting them (as are mine), then if you want the mailbox removed you need to do it yourself.  In ADUC you need to go to the Exchange Tasks for the user and Delete the mailbox.

By default, the mailbox removal is set to 30 days.  This gives you 30 days to recover the mailbox intact if you need to.  Trust me, you'll be thankful if you need it.

I'm curious if you aren't hoping to reduce the size of the physical database files instead.  If so, look in the Application Log for event 1221 (created by the online defrag) which will tell you how much "white space" it has recovered.  That number indicates the amount of incoming messages that can be stored before the physical size of the files increases.

Finally, if you are running the Enterprise version of Exchange, there is no 75GB limit.  Your only limitation is the available disk space where your Information Store files are kept - and this is per Storage Group.  Since Enterprise also gives you the ability to have up to four SGs - each of which can be stored on a separate drive.  The 16 or 75GB limit only applies to the Exchange Standard version.



Dean T. Uemura
Microsoft MVP - Exchange (2007-2011)

(in reply to scottmc9)
Post #: 2

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