Summary: While running the ESEUtil command to clear the white space, you may encounter the error - Usage Error Invalid argument 'Storage'. Options must be preceded by '-' or '/'. In this post, we have mentioned the possible solutions to resolve this error. In case the database gets corrupted, you can use an Exchange repair software that can help you fix the issue in a few clicks.
One of the jobs of an Exchange Server administrator is to monitor the storage. If the Exchange Server went out of disk space, the business may come to a halt as the users may not be able to send and receive emails or save their data. Also, you may end up with dismounted Exchange databases or corrupt transaction logs. You can delete the data to reduce the database size. But when any data is deleted, the used space is not reclaimed as Exchange Server makes this space available for new data instead of reducing the database size. This space is known as white space.
You can clear off the white space by using the native tool – ESEUtil. This tool can go through all the databases and reclaim the unused space being cluttered by white space.
eseutil /ms <EDB File path>
Depending on the size of the database, this process may take a considerable amount of time to complete. It could be the reason that the operation may fail with an error (see the below image).
Most of the time, the error occurs if the database is mounted. It will not allow you to execute the command. In such a case, you can dismount the database. Follow these steps:
Alternatively, you can use the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) to dismount the database. Execute the following PowerShell command.
Dismount-Database "<database name>" -Confirm:$False
When the maintenance process is complete, run the below command to mount it again.
Mount-Database "<database name>" -Confirm:$False
However, when running the ESEUtil command to clear the white space, you may end up with a strange issue and the process may halt with the error Usage Error: Invalid argument ‘Storage’. Options must be preceded by ‘-‘ or ‘/’.
Here are some solutions you can try to fix this error.
If the issue is not resolved, there could be corruption in your Exchange Server database, especially if you ended up with no disk space. In such cases, the database will not mount and you end up with a database marked as Dirty Shutdown. You can use the ESEUtil with soft recovery to recover the database. If the problem persists, you need to run the hard recovery. However, it is strongly suggested not to perform hard recovery as it purges any data which is deemed corrupted, resulting in data loss.
The best solution, in this case, is to create a new database and export all the mailboxes to the new database. But since the Exchange database would not mount, this is not possible natively. If the database is mounted, you could use the move request command but you will not be able to move any mailbox if the database or items are corrupt. Also, you will not be able to move public folders easily.
In such cases, applications such as Stellar Repair for Exchange can come in handy. Stellar Repair for Exchange can open corrupt EDB files from any Exchange Server version. You can simply select all the mailboxes and export them directly to a live Exchange Server database. You can also granularly export recovered user mailboxes, shared mailboxes, disabled mailboxes, and public folders to PST and other formats, such as MSG, PDF, EML, and HTML. You can also use the application as a migration tool as it can export the recovered databases directly to an Office 365 tenant.
Ravi Singh is a Senior Writer at Stellar®. He is an expert Tech Explainer, IoT enthusiast, and a passionate nerd with over 7 years of experience in technical writing. He writes about Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft 365, Email Migration, Linux, Windows, Mac, DIY Tech, and Smart Home. Ravi spends most of his weekends working with IoT (DIY Smart Home) devices and playing Overwatch. He is also a solo traveler who loves hiking and exploring new trails.
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