Windows Small Business Server 2011 installation and configuration – Part 6 configuring “Move server storage (data) to other partition(s)”

Go directly to SBS 2011 index file. With links to all articles from this serie.

When you finished part 5 “Add a trusted certificate” and returned to the SBS Console you now choose for the “Backup and Server Storage” part. You find this option in the header options of the SBS Console. Then you choose for the “Server Storage” tab.

In the upper left panel you see your disk partitions. In the bottom left panel you see witch storage data options are on that specific partition. In the right panel you see the different tasks you can perform. In this case we can move the different storage data options: Exchange Server, SharePoint Foundation, Users’ Shared, Users’ Redirected Documents and Windows Update Repository Data. Because the procedure and wizard is the same for all options I will only show the Exchange Server option.
So we choose for “Move Exchange Server Data”

The wizard starts with some information what we are going to do.

When you do not have configured Windows server backup you get this warning.

Here we choose the partition where we would like to move the data to.

Depending on the size of the storage and disk / server performance this could take a while.

Moving data is successful finished. You see a warning that if you use a third party backup application you must ensure to include the new location in your backup job.

Please note that this wizard only moves the Exchange database files. So corresponding log files are not moved to the other partition. If you would like to move these files as well and then open Exchange Management Console.

Go to Organization Configuration, Mailbox and on the tab Database Management right click the Mailbox Database you would like to change and choose Move Database Path…

Change the Log folder path to the other partition and or other location then choose Move

Warning because the database will be temporarily dismounted so connected user will lose their connection for a little time.

The log folder path had been changed successful.
Please note that you have to repeat this action for all mailbox (public folder) databases.

Go back to Part 5 configuring “Add a trusted certificate”
Continue with Part 7 configuring “Configure Server Backup”

Posted in Blog, Howto, SBS 2011 by ronnypot at January 18th, 2011.
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26 Responses to “Windows Small Business Server 2011 installation and configuration – Part 6 configuring “Move server storage (data) to other partition(s)””

  1. Mark says:

    When is moving the exchange files necessary? If the C-Partition is smaller, then the other partitions? I currently have a C-Partition of 119GB and D-Partition of 109GB. Would recommend just keeping the exchange on the C-Partition and using the wizards for the other 4? Please let me know your thoughts. Regards

    • ronnypot says:


      One reason why I do it is because at our company we try to keep the OS / system separated from the data so all data files including databases we move to another partition. Maybe even another raid set but to keep all configuration equal we do this also for single raid configuration. Another reason is we keep the system partition smooth is when we need to recover a crashed server we can recover first the system partition which goes realy fast and have the server already running so customers can do some things while data is still restoring.

      But ofcourse there are pros and cons for all options.

  2. Mr. Horse says:

    We recently installed SBS 2011 -everything is working but I noticed the person that did the install has the Exchange data and User shared data on C and I prefer to have it on E – can I move this data to E without changing anything else on the server or the client machines- the server has been running for a week – thank you.

    • ronnypot says:

      Yes you can do that without any problem. Please only note that when you move the exchange database it only moves the database and not the log files and during the move the database will be dismounted so no one can access there mailbox.

      • Mr. Horse says:

        Than you very much. Two quick follow-ups…

        1. Will the Exchange database automatically remount itself so-to-speak after the move? The move is transparent to users?

        2. After moving the User directories will the move be transparent to the users i.e. the users will be able access these directories without remapping any drives and will the user directory permissions be the same – these user directories are private directories that only allow access to each user.

        Again thank you – your tutorials are vary helpful.

        • ronnypot says:

          1. Yes the store mounts automatically after the move is completed successful.

          2. Because users connect to \\servername\sharename, they won’t notice becuase the share is also moved. Make sure no one has a connection to the shared folders because otherwise the move will fail.

          • Erwin van de Glind says:

            Keep in mind that if you move the database to a drive with compression enabled, then it fails mounting. Took hours to figure that one out

  3. Ross Goodwin says:

    Bedankt voor de blog/Thanks for the blog

    Excellent detail and the screen shots really help when following your suggestions.

    What the benefits are of having swap in a separate partition from OS? I understand why you’d want to keep data separate from OS using the wizards.


    • Ross Goodwin says:

      Sorry forgot to mention that this is for SMB are running ESXi 4.1 over a single RAID array.

      • ronnypot says:


        If you have just one array it does not make any difference performance wise.

        Why the separate swap partition this is because I configure all servers with the same partitioning. Some times with just one array some times with separate arrays. We keep the system partition as small as possible for recovery so we can recover the system as fast as possible and restore data later.

        Another reason is if you wan’t to use shadow copy this is only usefull for data so a separate partition for system, swap, databases and data (files).

  4. Colin says:

    The exchange calculator spreadsheet will tell you exactly what to do with your luns. Also, format drives 64k block size best practice

    • ronnypot says:

      Don’t think most SBS customers will have to use the exchange calculator, because the sizes of an exchange server with a maximum user limit of 75 don’t use luns or worry about block sizes.
      But thanks for the comment.

  5. Curtis K says:

    Thank you so much for this detailed SBS Setup. The only problem I have had is with Exchange – and one minor problem when I changed an OU name in AD because it made more sense… Leave the defaults.

    None the less, when I move my Exchange Database to my Larger Data Volume, the databases (Mailbox and public Folder) do not mount.

    I searched and searched but could not find a resolution. Finally, I put the Database back on C:\ and it mounted again. THis leads me to believe it is permission related.

    Is there a location or what should the permissions be on the Data Folder (Program Files – specifically) to get this to work. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

    • ronnypot says:

      I have never had any problem moving the Exchange databases to another partition. It could be that the database is nor mounted automaticly, have you tried to mount it manual? and what error do you get also check the event log for errors?

      Normally you do not have to set any rights this is done automatic, but just checked on the Mailbox directory your need, System, Organization Management and Administrators with Full Controll and View-Only Organization Management with read & execute rights.

    • Erwin van de Glind says:

      You can’t move a database to a drive (partition) with compression enabled.

      • ronnypot says:

        Beside if it is a good idea to use compression on a disk because this could give you performance issues and also warnings for disk is out of disk space, etc.

        For Microsoft Jet databases it could give you database corruptions, this is beside Exchange a lot of other windows databases, like AD, DHCP, and many more, see this kb article for a complete list.

  6. ope says:

    Hello Ronny
    My Microsoft Exchange does not open on the Exchange managment console, the error reads “Connecting to remote server failed. The WinRM client received an error on HTTP server status (500)…….”

    Could it be because I have not directed the A and MX records on my external DNS.

    • ronnypot says:

      no this has nothing to do with the A and MX records this is an issue with your server. It could be something hang, you might try a restart if this does not help check your event logs for more information.

  7. David says:

    my exchange server data is over 700 GB.
    how do clean it out?it keeps growing everyday.
    we only have 20 users.

  8. david says:

    i see it is the mailbox folder.is it safe to delete?
    is there a disk cleanup utiity.or should i use shorter retention policy?

    • ronnypot says:

      Retention is set on the Mailbox Database properties, by default this is 30 days.

      But you say it is in the mailbox folder? Can you see what it is, is it the Mailbox Database.edb or are there a lot of log files?

      • david says:

        mailbox.edb is 9,052,224 kb
        a lot of text documents 1024kb example:E0000099998
        i have mailbox set 2.0 gb limit

        • ronnypot says:

          These E0000 files are transaction log files. These files are purged when there is made a backup with an exchange supporting backup program. If you do not use an exchange supporting the transaction log files are not purged and will grow and grow until your server is full. You can enable circular logging and let Exchange purge these log files directly, BUT keep in mind you will loose data when you have to restore or have a damaged database.

          Please read this article to understand these transaction log files and what circular logging does: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb331958(v=exchg.141).aspx

  9. David says:

    is the backup builtin to sbs 2011 a exchange supported backup program?
    i had a problem with the backup drive did not know it was not running.replacement should arrive today.
    when i run backup it should purge the files?

  10. david says:

    replaced backup drive everything back to normal.
    after backup removed close to 700gb
    thanks for your help

    • ronnypot says:

      thanks for commenting back, it is indeed so if you run a exchange aware backup program (which SBS backup is) it will automatic purge the logfiles when the backup has ran.

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