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Mailbox Full? but its empty!!! pls Help


OSNN Junior Addict
Hi Guys,

Been hit with this problem on this nice sunny monday morning, hope sombody here has more knowlege then me...

I am running a Windows Small Business Server 2003 with Exchange 2003.

I have around 70 - 80 users... I have one user complaining that he keeps getting "Mailbox Full" warning via email, however when I have checked his mailbox it is empty.

Looking at system manager it says he has 276 items and is over 177Mb...

Any help you can give will be fantastic...

Thanks in advance..



Moozically Con~foozed
empty mailbox, empty deleted items and recoverable deleted items ... log off and force an AD synch at the server ... leave five mins log back on .... alll done !!!


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
what is he using for a mail client?

Assuming some flavor out outlook.. right-click on the mailbox in outlook, select properties, and (assuming a fairly recent version of outlook) select the folder size button.

Should bring up a break down of the size and items in all the folders (calendar, contacts, journal, deleted items, etc)


Bow Down to the King
Political User
SBS 2003 with 80 users? WOW! WOW!

What is the total size of your Exchange Store? What service pack level?

Did you check the Exchange settings in Active Directory for this user to see if the box is ticked for sending warnings, etc.?


OSNN Junior Addict
Not sure of the Service pack level at the mo... I will have a look when i get in tomorrow morning.
And as for the Exchange store..

Its like 10 GIG....
Its bloody massive...

Im trying to Defrag it but cant find out how :|


Bow Down to the King
Political User
ACK! You can't nor should you try to defragment the Exchange Store. That could cause data loss/corruption. The Exchange Store will keep itself cleaned up and is configured to run nightly by default.

SBS 2003 has a 16GB store limit (R2 increases the limit to 75GB). However, you are well below that 16GB limit which makes me think you have strcter limites imposed on the per mailbox level.


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
10GB isn't massive..

I'm sitting on a 120GB store right now (soon to be split between multiple servers)


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User

what defrag? Did you not read madmatt's response?
"ACK! You can't nor should you try to defragment the Exchange Store. That could cause data loss/corruption"
You never should use a file level defrag utility (windows defrag, Disk Keeper, etc) on your exchange store file. Never.. Ever.. EVER!

You should never use the eseutil to do an offline defrag unless you have a very good reason to do so (ie: unless told to do so by microsoft PSS - http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2004/07/08/177574.aspx)

As mentioned by MaddMatt, an online defrag should already be running automagically by Exchange (unless you changed the defaults or SBS uses different defaults). Look for event ID 1221 in your event logs. It should display the results of the online defrag.
Last edited:


OSNN One Post Wonder
Had the same issue and found this thread through a Google search. I came up with a different solution so figured I would post it in case someone else finds the same thing.

I had a users mailbox that had about 20 messages no big attachments...when I look at the Exchange System Manager it was showing 600 messages at 161882KB.

I mounted the user’s mailbox in Outlook and browsed his folders checking size found them to be and 10000kb max. Then ran the mailbox cleanup from the tools menu. It showed that the local data was 72996KB while the server data was 161896KB. I noticed that the Deleted Items folder was showing a 151000KB on the server side and 50000KB on the local side. I checked the deleted Items folder and it was empty. I then ran use the empty deleted items from within the Mailbox Cleanup tool. Had to do this twice. It then showed an empty deleted Items folder and the mailbox size reverted to 10875KB which is about where it should have been.

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