we innadvertantly had versioning enabled on a heavily used list and the database table "alldocsversions" has grown to 225 Gb. Can anyone suggest a way in which we can rid ourselves of the previous versions and thus shrink the size of the database
Darko Milevski has a post on this exact issue:
He uses the following script to remove the versions.
Just as Darko has done, you should test your scripts out before running in production (and I would recommend after a backup)
Due note that to "reclaim" that space you will have to shrink your database, and probably will want to defrag it afterwards. you can review the DB Maintenance white paper from MS here covering both:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262731(v=office.12).aspx
This should not cause you any issues with specific SBS integrated tools.