How to Move Exchange 2016 Mailbox Database to a New Partition or Drive?

Aftab Alam    Aftab Alam     Updated On - 17 May 2019

When Exchange administrators install a new version of Exchange Server, it also creates a new database by default. The location of the Exchange database is at the default C drive partition and in a separate folder. When the size of the database grows, and it becomes tricky to manage it, then the user should move the database to new partition drive, which has more space.

But you cannot just copy and paste the database to a new drive. You will need first to dismount the database, move to a different location or drive, and mount it back to Exchange.

What is the default location of the database?

When you have decided to move the database, then comes the first challenge to get the location of the database file. An Exchange administrator does not need to interact with the database file directly because all the operations can be performed at the Exchange Admin Center itself. But to move the database, you need to get its location. Here is the location of the default Exchange database file.

For Exchange Server 2016

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\Mailbox Database Name.edb

For Exchange Server 2013.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\Mailbox database Name\Mailbox database Name.edb

For Exchange Server 2010.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox Database\Mailbox Database.edb

If the Administrator has changed the location of the database, then you should run the following cmdlet at Exchange Management Shell to get an actual location.

Get-MailboxDatabase | fl Name,EdbFilePath,LogFolderPath

After running the cmdlet, you will get the details of the name of the database, the entire location of the EDB file, and the transaction log file. The transaction log file records all the activities performed in the database.

Name : DB4321
EdbFilePath : C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\DB4321\DB4321.edb
LogFolderPath : C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox\DB4321

Before starting the database move procedure, you should rename the database because the default name of the different database is quite similar to that of other databases and it will be easier to recognize the database if it has a different name.

Go to Exchange Management Shell and run the cmdlet.

Set-MailboxDatabase ‘DB4321’ -Name ‘DatabaseHR’

The original name of the database will change from DB4321 to DatabaseHR. Now, you can go ahead and run the move command.

Move-DatabasePath ‘DatabaseHR’ -EdbFilePath ‘D:\ DatabaseHR \ DatabaseHR.edb’ -‘LogFolderPath E:\ DatabaseHR’

The above cmdlet will change the location of the database ‘DatabaseHR’ to a different drive and subsequent folders. Now, mount the database back to Exchange Server and start working on it.

As mentioned in the method, the database should remain in the dismounted (offline) state and the user cannot work on it and the time required to complete the task will depend on the size of the database. Till the time the database is not moved entirely to the new location, the user will have to sit idle, and the productive hour will go waste.

If you do not want to disrupt the performance of Exchange Server, then you should create a new database at a different location and copy the mailbox data from the older database to the new database. Here is the cmdlet –

New-MailboxDatabase -Name “DatabaseHR” -EdbFilePath D:\DatabaseHR\DatabaseHR\DatabaseHR.edb

After creating the new database, go to Exchange Admin Center and create a local move request between two databases.

  1. In the Recipients tab, go to Migration and click the Add (+) button. Then select the ‘Move to a different database.’
  2. On the ‘Select users’ page of the migration wizard, select the users which you want to migrate. Then select all the mailboxes which you need to migrate. Click Next after selecting the mailboxes.
  3. On the ‘Move configuration’ page of the wizard, provide a new name to the migration batch and select among primary mailbox and archive mailbox, select the required options, and provide the details like target database, bad item limit, etc. and click Next.
  4. On the ‘Start the batch’ page of the migration wizard, configure the settings as required and click New. Start the batch migration.

The move request will start and move the chosen mailboxes to the specified target database. The benefit of this procedure is that the user does not face any downtime.

Both the methods to move the Exchange 2016 database to a different drive or location are simple, but they take time and are not suitable for for large migrations. There are chances of data loss. Additionally, the user has to manually restore the database to the Exchange Server 2016. That is why you should use a professional tool which can conduct a safe transfer of data and maintain the data integrity.

Kernel for Exchange Server

Kernel for Exchange Server recovery software can access the Exchange database file, retrieve its information, and migrate to another Exchange database. The process is quite smooth, and the tool provides a full migration report after the migration. So, you can easily migrate mailboxes to a different database using this tool.