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The mysterious shrinking NSS volume

I noticed recently that one of my Netware 6sp3 NSS volumes was shrinking. It had started out at 58 GB two years ago and was now only 36.3GB in size. I'm not talking about free space, which had shrunk to less than 4GB, which is what brought this to my attention. I checked the error log and found nothing unususal. Having done an inventory in Remote Manager, I noticed a large drop in free space about 5 months ago that coincided with a problem I was having with CIFS. I ultimately had to unload CIFS and prevent it from loading in the future. It was causing my server to abend and restart evry ten minutes.After my last reboot, is when the chunk of volume space vanished. however it has steadily decreased in size since then as I noticed a drop in volume size of 1.7 GB in the last two weeks. The correct volume size was still indicated in Console One, but the shrunken size appeared in Windows Explorer and the NetWare Console Monitor. I rebooted the server and the full volume size came back. So what I am looking for is some input as to what may have caused this in the first place. It was suggested in the NetWare forums that I perform a pool rebuild, but that seems unnecessary at this point. Any ideas?
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jgcne
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jgcne
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1 Solution
 
ShineOnCommented:
Is this volume in a shared pool, or does it have its own pool?
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magpiperCommented:
Go to the server console and load monitor.nlm then go to volumes and check the Freeable Block in Salvage System. You can also do this in Remote Manager.

When a file is deleted it is stored in the salvage area and must be purged to be completly removed. Netware will automatically purge these files upon downing the server (with NSS volumes) or when free disk space reaches a certain limit based on FIFO. You can also run  a purge command from Windows, Remote Manager or System Console (with toolbox.nlm) to purge all deleted files.

Alas you can flag directories or files Purge Immediate to prevent the file system from saving deleted files. I recommend that you set any GroupWise directories to Purge Immediate as well as the sys:\system\TSA directories the root of the filesystem sys:\ and any QUEUES directories.. You can do this via command line with FLAG command and the /DO switch. Do a FLAG /? DO for more info.

Lastly the Purge Immediate atrtribute must be set on each and every directory that you want to prevent deleted files from being saved as the attribute is not linked from parent to children directories. Also you can turn the Salvage atrribute off on an entire file system or volume if you prefer.
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ShineOnCommented:
That should take care of shrinking free space, but it shouldn't affect the reported size of the volume, should it?  I haven't noticed any of my NSS volumes changing reported size.

I'd be more concerned about the volume being overallocated in a shared pool.  I think in such an instance the salvage system might have some effect on reported size vs set size, but activity on other volumes in the shared pool would have more impact, IMO.
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jgcneAuthor Commented:
This volume is not in a shared pool.

There were no purgeable files on the volume. that's how I noticed the decreased free space and ultimately the decreased volume size. I tried to salvage some files a user had deleted moments earlier. the first time i figured they had accidentally moved them and just restored from  tape. the second time i started looking closer. the free space was shrinking both because of added files, but mostly because the volume size was shrinking.
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ShineOnCommented:
Do you by chance have compression turned on?  If so, the sudden jump in "real" usage vs "virtual" size could easily have been caused by Windows Explorer hitting a bunch of files, as it tends to do on Windows servers, when you had CIFS running.  The heavy-handed touching of the files to examine what they are and what they have in them that Windows Explorer will do if you don't turn off certain features, could have uncompressed a bunch of files just by virtue of browsing the volume.

Is that a possibility?
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jgcneAuthor Commented:
No compression.

This isn't really the same thing since the big decrease in volume size appeared to have occurred months ago, but in the last month we have been scanning in and combining and indexing thousands of pages of text. this involved about 3GB of space. I then moved the end results to DVD, but my space loss appeared to have accelerated during that period.
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magpiperCommented:
You can try to do a NSS /visibilityrebuild on the volume. This will delete trustees and ACL and rebuild them.

I recommend you run trustee.nlm on the server first so you can backup the trustee assignments and ACL to a text file in case something goes wrong. During the rebuild you will experience permission issues, so you may want to do it after hours.

After all this is said and done, it does not sound like anything related to Netware per say. Sound's like some administrative work on determining where the disk space is being consumed. The visibility rebuild may help in that respect if you maybe have some type of orphaned files or IRF's that are blocking your visibility.

The remote manger interface https://<server ip>:8009 will provide you the best tool for finding large files and such.
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ShineOnCommented:
But it comes back with a reboot?

I think the advice you got on the NetWare forums may be quite valid.

Have you considered applying NW6SP5?  That'll get you as current as possible on NW6 for your NSS version.   I don't know if it'd be wise to put the pool rebuild on hold until after SP5 or not.  Do a couple of good backups before your rebuild, "just for kicks."

Do the pool rebuild with the /purge option, as per this TID: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/10092542.htm
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jgcneAuthor Commented:
Yes, all the space returned when i rebooted three days ago and has not decreased since then.

I will do a pool rebuild and apply SP5.
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