Sunday, 9 January 2011

Exchange 2007/2010 Get Out Of Jail Quick Card - No Disk Space

Scenario:

Your Exchange 2007/2010 has run out of disk space on the partition holding the mailbox database and the database has dismounted, there is no quick way to increase the size of the partition, and it looks like the only solution is to move the database to another drive, which will mean downtime whilst the database is dismounted during the move.

Solution:

(A temporary fix to get the database up and running.)

In the folder where the EDB file for the affected Mailbox Database resides, there is a folder with name beginning catalogdata which can be quite large (for example - 15GB for a 250GB database):


If the Microsft Exchange Search Service is stopped by running the command

net stop MsExchangeSearch

or stopping the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer from services.msc


then the entire catalogdata folder can be shift deleted


After this is done, DO NOT restart the Microsoft Exchange Search Service for two reasons:

1: Restarting MsExchangeSearch will cause the Full-Text Index Catalog to get rebuilt which may fill to the same size as before
2: Rebuilding the Full-Text Index Catalog can cause high CPU utilization, and is best rebuilt out of business hours

Remember this is only a temporary fix to give some breathing space whilst downtime for the mailbox database to be moved to a larger drive - or whatever - can be arranged. Free space on server disk partitions should always be monitored.

Cheers!


Further reading - How to Rebuild the Full-Text Index Catalog http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa995966(EXCHG.80).aspx


Tag for Google - Q: Can I delete catalogdata Exchange 2007 / 2010 ? A: Yes you can ! 

21 comments:

  1. Hi Vidad,

    I am facing exactly this situation and also came to the conclusion that removing the catalogdata folders would be an option. I would hwever like to rebuid the search catalog on a different drive as I have the space (and the IO's) available on the log drive. I cannot however figure out how to specify where the catalog gets created ... I checked the quoted technet articaly but that does not answer the question either. Do you have any idea how you specify the location where the catalog should be created?

    Andre

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Andre

    Alas, I do not believe your can put the search catalog on a different drive as it is automatically created in the same place as the database file. Please let me know if you find a way.

    Vidad

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  3. One thins one can do is to stop the before mentioned services, move the content of the catalogdata folder somewhere else and mount a ntfs volume in that empty folder. then, move the data back and start the services.
    this isn´t a very beautifull way of doing stuff, but it saved my butt several times. in an environment with shared storage you may mount a lun or ad a new vmdk....

    cheers
    Johannes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Johannes, you just made my week! Now I can go to the strip club and not have to think...is my exchange server gonna crash on me today???

      Delete
  4. Thank you for the comment Johannes.

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  5. Hello Vidad,

    This is great info. I was able to mount my mailstore and migrate it to another drive successfully...all done during business hours of course. I just held off the Index rebuild until after hours, thanks so much.

    IT Ninja

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  6. Thank you for the comment IT Ninja.

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  7. Thank you, I had no idea what to do today with our Network Administrator off and everyone looking at me to fix our email (I'm the programmer). This worked as a temporary measure and I'll be able to let him take over on Monday when he gets in.

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  8. Hi Rachel, thank you for the comment. I am pleased this worked for you. Cheers!

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  9. Awesome, you just got me out of jail.

    You are Amazing Vidad.. thanks for your time and help.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Anonymous, thank you for the comment. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pingback: http://t.co/NViLRVx9

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  12. Thank you SO much!!! I did as you directed and everything moved. So so so glad I found this article!

    One question...if I choose not to rebuild the index file from old catalogdata folder...do I just start the Search Indexer service back up and it will rebuild from scratch?...or in the article from Microsoft...talking about doing this from scratch?

    I guess my question is...can I just start the Search Indexer service back up and it will do everything for me?

    Thanks again!!!
    Scott

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Scott,
      Yes that's right, when you start Search Indexer it will recreate the catalogdata folder from scratch, just need to ensure there is more free space available than before, otherwise it might rebuild to be as big as it was and cause the drive to run low on space again.
      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. Awesome! Thank you so much for all the awesome help!!

      Scott

      Delete
  13. hello - any reason why the catalog just grows exponentially? for the longest time our catalog hovered around 30GB and then all of a sudden doubled and almost dismounted the database because it was very close to running out of space. We did reset the catalog but like stated above it will regrow. We are on Exchange 2010 SP2 rollup 4.
    If I disable the search indexer that will effect mobile devices and owa correct?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adam,

      Not sure why it would have grown all of a sudden.

      Borrowed words from Netflo on Experts Exchange:
      "All search is doing is keep a log of everything in your database including attachments (typically MS products), to assist when searching for emails."

      Having search indexer disabled will slow down searches especially from OWA and mobile devices.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  14. thanks for the response Vidad.

    so if 100 people receive a powerpoint presentation, it becomes a log. is it a single log or a log for each user? Thanks again.

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    Replies
    1. Don't rightly know, but I'd guess that since Exchange 2010 doesn't use single instance storage, a log will be recorded for each user.

      Delete
  15. How to move the catalog data...

    http://markswinkels.nl/2012/07/how-to-move-catalog-data-in-exchange-2010/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awesome thanks man.... saved a ton of people a days productivity and us a stressful day. Winning.

    ReplyDelete