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Exchange 2007 shows different mailbox size than Outlook 2003

Discussion in 'Software' started by RyeGuy, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. RyeGuy

    RyeGuy Bit Poster

    I have a few users today who's mailboxes are on a new Exchange 2007 server. We just changed the "storage quota" for all mailbox's. One user, for example, hit his mailbox limit of (50MB) and as the system is supposed to, it restricted his ability to send giving him the Mailbox Cleanup window. He cleaned his mailbox up reducing the size to 6 MB (according to Outlook). He is still unable to send. I looked at the properties of his mailbox in Exchange and it shows that its still at 50 MB. His mailbox retention is set to 14 days which to my knowledge doesn't affect his storage limits, but to be sure I purged all items in retention. Size still shows as 50 MB. Any ideas? I've confirmed that most users are showing a different size in Outlook than Exchange. Today is the first day this has been looked at. I've heard that database maintenance that runs at night will clean that up, but that would mean that whenever a user cleans up their mailbox they won't see the benefit until the next day. I can't imagine that is the case. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCSA, MCTS, MCSE
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi Ryan,

    Have you looked at the "white space" in event viewer that holds the mailboxes? Event ID 1221

    If so, what is it?

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

    One thing to try is create a new outlook profile and make sure exchange cache is not enabled, then once outlook is open, then see how big Outlook is reporting his folder sizes are, could be a corrupt OST if your using cache.

    Certifications: 70-270, 70-290, PRINCE2 Foundation, VCA-DCV & VCA-DT
    WIP: MCSA 2008, VCP5-DCV, ITIL V3
  4. Triton.Deep

    Triton.Deep Bit Poster

    Well, a couple things to clear up a common misconception. The size shown by looking at the mailbox size in Outlook versus the mailbox size in the actual mail store are not the same numbers because they are calculated using different formulas. Here is a quick illustration:

    1) Employee A sends 5 Meg email to 20 employees in Mailbox Store A
    2) According to Outlook, all 20 users now have a 5 meg email in their mailbox.
    3) Because all 20 users are in the same mailbox store, Exchange uses Single Instance Storage to store the mail and inserts pointers only into the actual database user mailboxes.

    At that point, outlook thinks it has a five meg message in it's inbox, when in truth..it only has a small shortcut to a single email that was stored and pointed to 20 times. The point I'm making is that the numbers will not match up between Outlook and the Exchange Management Tools. To know which number to use, you have to look at the context of the use.

    In this instance, you are talking about quota's. Quota status and enforcement is determined based off the get-mailboxstatistics cmdlet on the exchange system itself. So in the context of this situation, the only number that matters is the one you see using the Exchange Management Tools.

    Simon is on the right track. Quota management runs every morning usually between 1 and 5 am unless you've changed it. Online database maintenance (defrag, indices revamped, etc) all happen during that timeline.

    If I had to take a shot in the dark, I'd say your backups might be part of the problem. Are your backups finishing before online maintenance starts? If they aren't they would keep online maintenance from happening which eventually messes up your databases ability to correct storage problems relating to deleted items, retention, whitespace, indices etc.

    In addition to the Event ID 1221 that Simon is talking about, you should also look for Event ID 700 and 701. If you’re running Service Pack 1, Event ID 703 is a real blessing too.

    I hope this helps a little bit and doesn't muddy the waters. If you keep feeding us info, we'll keep trying to help.

    OH..one last thing, did you wait two hours after deleting all that info out of the mailbox in outlook and purging stuff? By default, mailbox cache info is refreshed every two hours in Exchange. Of course, everything is customizable in Exchange so maybe you’ve modified that.

    Let me know how it goes, talk soon.

    Certifications: MCITP EMA, MCTS, MCSE (x3), CCNA, A+,etc
    WIP: MCM for Exchange probably. Not Sure

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