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This message could not be sent. Error 0x80004005

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System: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2

If you are an Exchange admin then you might run across this error at some point.  It usually presents itself as a returned email message to one of your users:

This message could not be sent. Try sending the message again later, or contact your network administrator.  Error is [0x80004005-00000000-00000000].

OR

Errors in the Exchange Server’s Application log:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: General
Event ID: 1112
Description: The database “Mailbox Store (Server Name)” has reached the maximum allowed size. Attempting to unmount the database.

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: ESE
Event Category: Space Management
Event ID: 445
Description: Information Store (3160) The database D:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA\priv1.edb has reached its maximum size of 16383 MB. If the database cannot be restarted, an offline defragmentation may be performed to reduce its size.

In short this is caused by your Mailbox store exceeding its established physical size limit.  To verify, navigate to the store directory and look at the size of the stm and edb files.  Despite the error 445 saying that it’s the edb file that’s too large, you’re actually looking at a combined size of both store files.

The default for Exchange Server 2003 Standard: 16GB  (18GB if SP2 is installed already)
The default for Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise: No Max

The problem is easy to solve…First, make sure you have Service Pack 2 for your Exchange Server.  Only SP2 allows the max size to be adjusted via a registry key.  After you’ve verified that you have it, go here and follow the directions provided.

PS.  If you want to do some maintenance on your store files to shrink them, then go here.

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