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Dealing With Exchange's 16-GB Limit
Remember to include the domain name when troubleshooting common login problems.
by Ben Schorr and Jim McBee

Posted March 24, 2004


Q: Our Exchange 2000 server recently hit the maximum database size. This surprised us because the PRIV1.EDB file was only 10 GB; we thought the maximum was 16 GB. Through some screw-ups of our own, we lost the database entirely and started over with an empty database. What should we have done?

-Mark, Boston

Ben: Ouch! That had to hurt! Actually, this is not the first time I have heard of this happening. First, if this happens, you should see Knowledge Base article 813051: "How to Temporarily Increase the Exchange 2000 16-Gigabyte Database Size Limit" for a temporary fix that will allow you to remount your stores.

Jim: There is a lot of confusion regarding the 16-GB limit on Exchange's standard edition. For Exchange 2000 and 2003, it is the total database size, including the EDB and the STM file, not just the EDB file.

Ben: Once you get the database remounted, you have two options. The first option is to set your Deleted Item Retention time to 0, then have your users go on a deleting frenzy. Don't forget that they should empty their Deleted Items folder. After online maintenance runs that night, you should have a lot more white space in your database file and you can run an ESEUTIL /D and compact the database.

Jim: The other option is to purchase Exchange Server 2000 Enterprise, run the setup program, choose Reinstall, and then reapply all service packs and fixes you had previously applied.

We just installed Service Pack 3 for Outlook 2000 for our clients, but now anytime our users use their sales application, they get a message saying that another application is trying to use the address book. What is that message?

-Peter, Portland, Ore.

Ben: Microsoft released the Outlook Security Update for Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000. Included in this update is the "feature" you are seeing, which is sometimes referred to by Outlook developers as the "Hell Prompt." This prevents an external application from using Outlook to send e-mail. This feature is included automatically with Outlook 2002 and later.

Jim: I had a client who experienced the same thing. To read more about this update, I recommend visiting the Slipstick Systems page at www.slipstick.com/outlook/esecup.htm. Unfortunately, there are no secret registry settings that allow you to undo these settings.

Ben: Instead, you need to install the Outlook Administrative Options from the Office Resource Kit. This will allow you to centrally configure which users have settings to allow this application to send e-mail automatically. Another option would be to upgrade to Outlook 2003. Microsoft has listened to the complaints of developers and done some good things to assist legitimate developers in not triggering the prompts while retaining much of the security that the prompts provide.

Jim: There's still no guarantee that your sales application has been properly written to conform to those new techniques, of course, but that's something you can talk to your sales application vendor about.

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