Reader to Reader - Exchange Server and Outlook Solutions - 01 Jan 1999

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Like most companies, we've struggled with getting our clients to properly manage their mailboxes. Soon, we'll implement size limitations on each mailbox. A common question users ask is, How do I know how big my mailbox is, and how do I remove the largest messages?

To display the size of the mailbox,

  1. Click View, Folder List.
  2. Highlight Mailbox - Username, then right-click and select Properties.
  3. Click Folder Size.

To allow users to remove the largest message, we added an extra Size column to the Inbox and Sent Items folders (and a few others). When users click the column header, they can see which messages are the largest. Our recommendation is to delete any message over 500KB.

The Hazards of Evaluation Copies

I tested Exchange Server 5.5, Enterprise Edition (Exchange 5.5/E) for its 120-day evaluation period. Toward the end of the evaluation period, I decided we didn't need the full functionality of an unlimited Information Store (IS) and the miscellaneous connectors it comes with. Every time the Exchange services started or I started the Exchange Administrator program, I received a message that read, "Thank you for using this promotional copy of Exchange Server. This copy expires 6/29/98." After I decided against the Enterprise Edition, I purchased the Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition (Exchange 5.5/S) upgrade, because I had a licensed copy of Exchange 4.0/E that I could legally upgrade. I backed everything up, inserted the upgrade CD, and ran Setup. Exchange Server told me it couldn't upgrade Exchange 5.5/E. Crumbs.

I warned all my users about the possible impending doom of our mail server. I did a Directory Export for the various containers, backed everything up, and uninstalled Exchange Server 5.5/E. I then installed Exchange 4.0/E, restarted, and got a blue screen. Not to be eaten up, I restarted successfully and installed the Exchange 5.5/S upgrade. I did an offline backup of all the files it created, then restored the Directory and IS. I restarted the services just fine, but when I went into Exchange Administrator, I got the same message, thanking me for using the promotional copy of Exchange Server. Aargh.

I called Microsoft Tech Support, and the representative told me to take the dir.edb file from the Exchange 5.5/S upgrade install and overwrite the original dir.edb file that I had just restored. Then, run the ISINTEG utility, and start the services. That process worked, and the expiration message was gone, but so was my directory information. I performed a Directory Import from the Exchange Administrator utility and got most of the data back. (The utility didn't restore multiple email addresses for people or multiple users for mailbox accounts.)

My advice: When you're dealing with the dir.edb and evaluation copies of Exchange Server, install the server elsewhere and use Directory Export to copy the dir.edb file over. Save yourself 11 hours of backing up and reinstalling.

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