Recovering corrupt Exchange Server 2003 database when it crosses 16 GB

The Exchange database for MS Exchange Server has a stipulated size of 16 GB. Once this limit is reached, the Messaging Database (MDB) automatically shuts down and it does not restart as well. This is a design feature that is done to keep the size of the database in check. But sometimes the database gets corrupt due to this feature, thereby disabling you from accessing it. You should apply appropriate corrective measures to perform Exchange recovery. If these methods do not succeed, then an effective Exchange Server recovery software should be used to address the situation.


Let us assume a practical situation which is often observed when you try to mount on an MS Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition database. In such cases, you could notice either of the following event IDs in the Application event log:


Event Type: Error

Event Source: MSExchangeIS

Event Category: General

Event ID: 1112

Description: The database “Mailbox Store (Server Name)” has reached the maximum allowed size. Attempting to unmount the database.

Event Type: Warning

Event Source: ESE

Event Category: Space Management

Event ID: 445

Description: Information Store (3160) The database D:Program FilesExchsrvrMDBDATApriv1.edb has reached its maximum size of 16383 MB. If the database cannot be restarted, an offline defragmentation may be performed to reduce its size.




The root cause of this problem is that the Exchange mailbox store database of Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition has reached the permissible 16 GB size limit.




To overcome this problem, you should use the following methods:


You should try to upgrade to Exchange Server SP2 so that such issues do not appear in the future as Exchange Server SP2 allows to have up to 18 GB.

If you are an administrator, then you can perform the following steps:

Temporarily increase the database size by 1 GB.

Remove the database contents that is not important.

Defragment the database so that its size could be brought within the permissible limits of the database.

You should use the Recovery Storage Group feature in Exchange Server 2003 to extract the mailboxes from the database.


If you still are unable to mount on the Exchange Server 2003 database, then you should use a third-party Exchange Recovery software to repair the corrupt database. Such tools are read-only in nature that recover exchange emails for all the user accounts without inflicting any further damage on the existing EDB file.


Of the various Exchange data recovery utilities around, Stellar Phoenix Exchange Server Recovery is the most powerful software, which recovers EDB files created for MS Exchange Server 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000, and 5.5 versions. With the ability to extract distinct user mailboxes in the form of individual PST files, this Exchange Server recovery software is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.

Bury Shane is an active blogger, article writer and technical expert who explores all the latest and hot topics. EDB Recovery is one of the burning issues that people faces day by day and therefore this article has been written describing about the Stellar Phoenix Exchange Database Recovery Software.

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