Move Exchange Stores to a Different Disk

by Daniel Petri - January 8, 2009

How can I move Exchange Databases and Logs from one disk to another in Exchange 2000/2003?

When you install Exchange 2000/2003 on your server the setup program installs and configures Exchange in a default directory under the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr folder. Although this is the default setup, in order to facilitate better hard disk performance and redundancy it is best that the Exchange stores and log files are NOT placed on the System partition (i.e. C:).

If you want to move log files or database files to another drive, use the following procedures:

To Move Log Files

  1. Start Exchange System Manager.

  2. Locate the Administrative Group.

  3. Open the properties on the Storage Group for which you want to change log file paths.

  1. On the General tab, change the Transaction Log Location by clicking Browse, and then specifying a new drive or directory location for the log files.

To Move Databases

  1. Start Exchange System Manager.

  2. Locate the Administrative Group. Under the Storage Group, click the Mailbox or Public Folder Store that you want to change.

  3. Open the properties on that store, and click the Database tab.

  1. Choose a new location for the databases by clicking Browse, and specifying a new drive or directory location for the database files. With the databases, you can choose to move the Exchange Database (.edb file), Exchange Streaming Database (.stm file) or both. If the databases are still mounted, you receive the following message:

    You are about to perform the following operation(s): -change Exchange database location To perform the requested operation(s), the store must be temporarily dismounted which will make it inaccessible to any user. Do you want to continue?

  2. Click Yes to dismount the database automatically and move the location.

  3. When you finish moving the databases, remount the databases manually.

You can move the log files and database files to any directory that you want to create. When you move logs and database files, you may want to create the Exchsrvr'Mdbdata file structure for consistency reasons, but you are not required to do so.

You must grant the following default permissions to the new Mdbdata directory that contains the log files and database files:

Administrators: Full Control Authenticated Users: Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, Read Creator Owner: None Server Operators: Modify, Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, Write System: Full Control

You may also need to grant the following permissions to the root drive that contains the new Mdbdata directory:

System: Full Control

During the process of moving log files and database files, your store is temporarily dismounted, which makes it inaccessible to your users until the process is completed.

Important: Moving log files or database files invalidates all existing incremental and differential backups, so it is recommended that you make a full backup after these changes.

Point Registry to new database path

Another important note: Many seem to miss this part (including, in times of great rush, yours humbly), and although it seems that it's not always a MUST, please carefully read this bit. Please read Errors After Moving Exchange Stores to a Different Disk for more info.

Do not delete or rename the old MDBdata folder path after you move the Exchange database. Removing or deleting the old folder will, in some cases, cause attachment problems (see links section below). If you want to delete the old MDBdata folder, make sure that the following working directory parameter in the registry points to the new location. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor.

  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\ParametersSystem 

  1. Create the following value (REG_SZ):

Working Directory

and give it a value that points to the new database folder.

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you're supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

  1. Close Registry Editor. You do NOT need to restart the MS Exchange Information Store for settings to take place.

Links

How to Move Exchange Databases and Logs in Exchange 2000 Server - 257184

How to move Exchange databases and logs in Exchange Server 2003 - 821915

Messages that have attachments are not delivered as expected, and Event ID 12003 and 327 messages are logged in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003 - 298415



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