Cisco Unity

Moving Exchange Message Stores and Transaction Logs to an Alternate Drive

Document ID: 26520

Updated: Feb 02, 2006



This document describes how to relocate database and transaction log files to an alternate drive. This can be necessary if it is installed using the default drive locations.



There are no specific requirements for this document.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on all versions of Cisco Unity 3.x.

The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.


Refer to the Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document conventions.


Cisco Unity servers are shipped from Cisco with the C: drive pre-configured to 4 GBs with the intention of housing only the Operating System files. Even though the installation of Exchange on the C: drive is not recommended, the installation path for Exchange defaults to locations on the C: drive. An installer can accidentally install Exchange to the C: drive. Once running and left to their own devices, databases and transaction log files (which are 5 MB each) can expand to fill the hard drive. This brings the whole system to a halt.

caution Caution: Cisco does not recommend that you move these files to a separate partition on the same disk. Never attempt to move any of these files without the completion of the procedures in this document. Never move the Exchange binaries or folders to where they were originally installed.


Exchange 5.5 Database and Transaction Files

Complete these steps to move the database files and transaction logs in Exchange 5.5 using the Exchange Administrator. Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles Q234295 and Q257766 document this procedure.

  1. Open Exchange Administrator and navigate to the container of your specific server under <Org> > <Site> > Configuration > Servers > <Server Name>.

  2. Select the server, select File from the pull-down menu, and select Properties.

  3. Click Database Paths.

    This is where you find a list of all of the configuration database and transaction log files and their current locations. This is also where you can change the path of the database and transaction logs.


  4. Select the location you want to change and click Modify.

    You need to restart Exchange after you move any of the files to a new location.

  5. Once you change the locations and click OK, you are prompted to verify the changes. Click Yes. Exchange stops and restarts itself.


    The path you want to move the files to must exist before you move them. Do not permanently move any of the files to a networked drive.

Exchange 2000 Message Stores

Exchange 5.5 has only one mailstore database file. Exchange 2000 can have multiple mailstore database files on each server, partitioned according to the needs of the system. The ability to move all or some of them makes the Exchange 2000 disk needs more manageable. High volume mailstores can have their own dedicated disks, while lesser used mailstores can be grouped together in their default locations.

Complete these steps in order to move a mailstore database file.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q257184 documents this procedure.

  1. Open Exchange System Manager and navigate to the mailstore that you plan to move. It is found under either <Organization Name> > Servers > <Server Name> > <Storage Group Name> > <Mailstore Name> or it is found under <Organization Name> > Administrative Groups > <Admin Group Name> > Servers > <Server Name> > <Storage Group Name> > <Mailstore Name>.

  2. Right-click on the mailstore, select Properties, and click Database.

  3. Click Browse for the Exchange database and Exchange streaming database fields to select a new location to house the mailstores.

    Each mailstore has two databases that you can move independently of each other, although this is not recommended.


  4. Once you change the locations and click OK, you are prompted to verify the changes. Click Yes.

    Exchange dismounts the databases, moves them, and remounts them at their new location on a new disk. Unlike Exchange 5.5, you do not need to stop and restart Exchange 2000. The relocation of the mailstore only involves dismounting and remounting. Exchange does this automatically when you click Yes.


    You can move database files to any directory, and can create a new directory. Once you move the databases, the new directory that houses the files must have these default permissions:

    • The Administrator must have full control.

    • The system must have full control.

    • The Creator Owner must have none.

    • The Server Operators must have modify, read and execute, list folder contents, read, and write.

    These permissions also apply to the new location of the transaction logs if those are being moved as well.

Exchange 2000 Transaction Logs

The transaction logs in Exchange 2000 are the most prominent threat to fill up a hard drive. Each transaction log grows to 5 MB before a new one is created. If regular backups are not done on an Exchange server, these transaction logs continue to collect until the drive fills up.

Circular logging is one way to prevent this from happening, but it has its drawbacks. The official Cisco recommendation is to disable circular logging and enable regular backups that delete old transaction logs. Refer to the Turning Circular Logging Off section of Maintaining a Cisco Unity System (with Microsoft Exchange as the Message Store) for additional information.

If the log files do manage to consume the entire drive, they can be moved just as easily as the mailstore databases when you complete these steps.

  1. In the Exchange System Manager, right-click on the Storage Group whose transaction logs you need to move and select Properties.

  2. Click Browse to change the Transaction log location under the General tab.

    The transaction logs for a storage group are as easily moved as the individual mailstores.


  3. Once you change the locations and click OK, you are prompted to verify the changes. Click Yes.

    Exchange dismounts the mailstore, moves the transaction logs, and remounts the mailstore with the logs at their new location on a new disk. When you move the transaction logs for a storage group, it requires that you dismount and remount all mailstores and public folders in that storage group. This is unlike when you move a database file where you only need to remount the affected mailstore.


    Note: The permissions required of a new folder that houses a moved database file are also needed for a new folder that houses moved transaction logs.

Related Information

Updated: Feb 02, 2006
Document ID: 26520