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Printer spool dir has over 62,000 tmp files (21Gb)!

Posted on 2004-03-31
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
We have a W2K SP2 server acting as a terminal server for Win9x terminal clients. We have another W2K SP4 server acting as a file & print server. We've noticed that disk space is very low on the WTS server. We did a disk space analysis and found that the c:\winnt\system32\spool\printers dir has over 62,000 files, dating back several years and taking up over 21Gb of space!

I just don't understand why? The file & print server has no files in it's c:\winnt\system32\spool\printers dir - however, this is our printer server with the available print shares for the network are hanging off it. All terminal clients print via these shares?

1. To free up disk space, is it OK for me to delete all the tmp files in this dir?
2. Why is the WTS server receiving all of these tmp files? How can we stop this?

Thanks for your support.
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Question by:omb
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Expert Comment

by:jthow
ID: 10722852
1) The files should have been deleted after printing so, yes, you can delete them.

2) You say some of the files date back years.  I suspect that the files are left-overs from failed prints that, for some reason or other, didn't clear down.  After you delete the current lot, I'd keep an eye on the folder for a bit and see if it starts to fill up again.  If many files start to appear, there may be some other cause.

JohnT
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by:omb
ID: 11213340
Thanks for coming back to me jthow. I've deleted the necessary temp files.

I've checked and every time a user prints, a temp file is created... any ideas why?
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jthow earned 50 total points
ID: 11258381
omb,

All print jobs sent to a print server will be temporarily spooled to a folder on the server.  They are supposed to be deleted when the print completes successfully.  Since the 'real' print server has no files in c:\winnt\system32\spool\printers, that bit seems to be working correctly.  I have to say that it makes no sense to me that these files are (apparently) either going to the terminal server before going to the print server or are being duplicated to the terminal server and the print server.  Either of those conditions would cause what you are seeing, since the terminal server isn't running the prints and won't 'know' to delete the files when the prints are completed.  

I suppose it's worth you looking at how the shares are set up and mapped in case there are any anomalies.  Other than that,  a scheduled task to clear out the terminal server's spool folder on a regular basis would seem a sensible workaround.

JohnT
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Author Comment

by:omb
ID: 11445604
thanks for your feedback jthow. Eventhough I could not find out why these .tmp files were being created, I liked your idea about scheduling a task to del them on a regular basis.
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