We need to move our 2003 Exchange Server databases from C: to our D: partition because our Windows 2003 Server System C partition is running close to out of filespace.

To this end I found a Microsoft article ID 821915 titled "How to move Exchange databases and logs in Exchange server 2003"

I think that moving the exchange 2003 data in the following step order might be right. Anything I need to change/add?

  1. Make new MDBData folder on D partition, change permissions to match article.
  2. Change file paths for logs and databases to new MDBData folder location.
  3. Copy database files to new MDBData folder location.
  4. Change Registry entry for where working exchange database folder is from C to D location.
  5. reboot system, I have read a posting that this will restart services and mount Exchange databases and all should be fine, will I likely be right?
  6. After new database use is proven for a week delete old databases and logs to recover C space.

Being cautious I would like some questions answered.

Per the article to move log files ...

When I am in the Exchange System Manager program I find our storage group which for us is named "First Storage Group" I right click on it and then a dialog box which shows "Transaction log location: C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\mdbdata" with a Browse button. If I click the browse button I am then shown a popup dialog that offers that I can select a folder path and also press a button to create a newfolder.

Question #1 if I create a new folder will it be created with the right permissions already set or will I need to alter the permissions? The reason I ask is the article says "you must grant permisssion to the new Mdbdata folder" and gives the permissions.

Per the article to move databases ...

There is a note in the article 821915 that says "with the databases you can decide to move the exchange database .edb and/or the exchange streaming database .stm files"

Question #2 Given the note above, I assume one must manually move the old databases so as to be able to still access that information. I assume doing a copy paste to the new folder location using windows explorer and then waiting some many minutes for the GBs to be copied would be the way, am I correct?


For the logs and system path, just go to Servers>Server Name>First Storage Group>Properties. Just click "Browse" and pick the new location, and hit OK. It will automatically remount the database.

For the Mailbox Store database (and/or streaming database), just go to Servers>Server Name>First Storage Group>Mailbox Store>Properties>Database. Just click "Browse" and pick the new location, and hit OK. It will automatically remount the database. For the public folders, do the same, except instead of the mailbox store, click on the Public Folder Store.

I would not worry at all about the permissions if your domain administrator account is the account you used to install Exchange. They will automatically have the rights necessary. If you made and Exchange-specific administrator account, give that account the permissions in the article.

There are no registry entries to change UNLESS YOU DELETE THE FOLDER (just leave the empty folder there instead), and you do not need to reboot. You do not need to cut and paste anything: It moves it for you (does not leave a copy behind).

It is actually incredibly simple to do, and reasonably quick depending on how large your database is.

  • The article says the performance optimizer program (perfwiz.exe) that was included with prior versions of Exchange is not included the Exchange 2003. It doesn't say why that should be a meaningful piece of information. A question that I am STILL wondering about is if I point the database at a new folder if the current-old database/email store will be copied automatically? – Rwhites Jun 16 '11 at 16:01
  • @Rwhites Yes, it copies it then deletes the old one, which is the process for a move. I thought I made that clear when I wrote "It moves it for you (does not leave a copy behind)." Once you do this, I would appreciate it if you come back and mark this as answered if it works for you. I am a consultant, who has done a ton of e-mail for 17 years, so I can tell you it should work fine. – KCotreau Jun 16 '11 at 16:21
  • One more time you know from explictly using Exchange 2003 WITHOUT perfwiz.exe that browsing and pointing at a empty new folder location will then result in the exchange manager software automatically moving the existing database info? – Rwhites Jun 16 '11 at 16:52
  • @Rwhites Yes, I have done it many times, and I specifically booted up the Exchange 2003 VM I keep for purposes like this, added a second disk just for a test for you, and moved it. I tested ONLY because I have not done Exchange 2003 as much recently, since most of what I do now is 2007/2010...2003 is almost foreign, so I DOUBLE CHECKED expressly for you, and I wanted to be sure. I was 99% sure when I started, but I am very literal and cautious. – KCotreau Jun 16 '11 at 19:05

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