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Lost 7Gb after copying (and then deleting) a 3.6Gb file

Posted on 2004-04-09
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have something strange going on and it's most likely my own fault. I was testing with a 3.6 Gb file (an MS-backup-file that gets created from a Windows box onto the NW6SP3 file server every night. I copied the file from the NW6 to my local computer.
Before copying I had around 3.7 Gb available on my NSS volume (we're very low on diskspace right now, but we're a CPA firm and I don't want to make any changes to the server until after tax deadlines)
After copying,  I noticed the volume only had around 35Mb left. This number remained unchanged. I decided to delete the 3.7Gb file from the server, but it didn't free up any space (like it normally would...I've removed it before).

I have since then deleted a lot of old crap from our server and that has freed up around 2Gb, but I'm still missing those 2 times 3.7Gb (in Windows Explorer).
When I try to purge, it shows no purgeable files.
The volume has a capacity of 63Gb.

When I go into Remote Manager and do a Volume Inventory Report, I get this info :

Space In Use: 53,250 MB
Space Available: -17,592,183,945,262 MB
Available Space Changes:  
    Last Day: -17,592,183,948,680 MB
    Last Week: -17,592,183,949,720 MB
    Last Month: -17,592,183,949,991 MB
    Estimated Months Left: 1,048,575


The negative space available is a common cosmetic problem, I've heard.

But does anyone know a way to get my lost 7Gb back?

TIA
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Question by:w8in
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Assisted Solution

by:PsiCop
PsiCop earned 25 total points
ID: 10795366
Yes, there is a known bug where Space Available shows as a negative number. And this is cosmetic.

Have you Verified or Rebuilt the Volume? Type NSS MENU and select UTILITIES | VERIFY and UTILITIES | REBUILD, respectively.
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by:Beachdude67
ID: 10798555
w8in,

I'm pretty sure I know what happened; I've seen this before. And the fact that the accountants at your office are getting ready for audit season makes it all the more likely that it did happen.

It's quite likely that you are using disk compression on the netware volume that produces these results. First, you've deleted 3GB of files from the volume. But in the normal process of users doing what users do, they've opened files that were compressed and, in so doing, have uncompressed them. The uncompressed files then expanded and soaked up the disk space you had. As a result, it appears that you have essentially lost disk space.

My recommendation, seeing as how you are so low on disk space, is to change the setting for file compression from the default of 14 days to 1 day, and set compression to run at some time that won't affect your normal backup but won't cause the server to slow down, since compressing files will cause high utilization on the server. My experience has been that the performance hit of users opening compressed files is virtually nil - a few might notice something, but it's better than running that low on disk space.

You might also want to reconsider your backup strategy if you are using windows backup to backup the files on the netware box. Windows backup isn't a netware-aware backup tool, which means that it will go in and open every single file during a backup. That means that file compression is out the window unless you set the netware box to compress once a day. I personally prefer Arcserve, though a lot of people also speak highly of Veritas Backup Exec.
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Author Comment

by:w8in
ID: 10804779
PsiCop,

when I try NSS MENU it tells me these tools are now available in ConsoleOne. But when I go to ConsoleOne I find no place where I can rebuild or verify.

I assume I can do a verify without taking the pool down?
Will a rebuild result in data loss? Or is it more of a repair action?
Of course I'll make sure I have a good backup before I do anything.
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Author Comment

by:w8in
ID: 10804857
Beachdude67,

Compression is actually not enabled on this volume. I found this out last week when I checked (I didn't set up this server).
I don't think it could hurt anything to turn it on now, could it? I think I'll wait until after this week with doing anything, but any advice is welcome.

About the backup : this is only a temporary solution. It backs up a folder on a Windows box and saves the backup file on the Netware volume, that's all.
For Netware backup we actually use Arcserve on a Windows box with Netware agent running on NW6.

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by:
Beachdude67 earned 100 total points
ID: 10808040
w8in,

I seriously doubt it would hurt to turn compression on and in fact I recommend it given your current situation of being low on disk space. As a precaution, before enabling compression on your netware volumes, make sure you have a recent backup. Murphy's Law dictates that the one time something bad happens will be when you haven't backed it up first.

Please note that once compression is enabled on a volume, you can't disable compression without adding the don't compress attribute to the files on the volume.
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Author Comment

by:w8in
ID: 10809756
OK, thanks for the info, Psicop and Beachdude. I'll work with that this weekend.
Murphy's Law is exactly why I want to wait until after April 15. It's almost a 24hour show right now :)
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