Is your search database bloated?

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Are you searching lots of content? Does your database running out of space constantly? The problem may be with the crawl database (the one with CrawlDB in the name. The actual name will depend on the SharePoint implementation). This database will grow huge if you are crawling a lot of data (such as a file share) and it doesn’t do a great job of cleaning up after itself. It can end up with hundreds of gigs of empty space inside the database file. The first thing you want to do is make sure the restore method is set to Simple. If you right click the database in SQL Server Management Studio you will see where this is. This will truncate the log file when it is backed up. The crawl database can always be rebuilt if it can’t be restored and for 99% of applications it isn’t important to have it restored. It is just about as quick to rerun the crawls. In addition, you probably want to run a full crawl anyway if you have to restore you content databases. The next thing to do is set the Auto Shrink to true. This week keep your crawl database from being full of empty space. Left unchecked this can grow to fill up your hard drives. Hard drive space is cheap these days but letting databases that change so much go unchecked is still not a wise choice, especially if you are backing up the database. Backup is still expensive in terms of time and money.

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Pål Amundsen

It looks like Microsoft recommends not autoshrinking

See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262731.aspx#DBMaintenanceForSPS2010_ShrinkingDataFiles
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