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SBS 2003 INCORRECT DISK SPACE

Posted on 2007-07-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I Have an SBS 2003 with 2 partitions (c: system- is 80 GB) (f: data is 160 GB) .  I am having an issue that my c: is reporting its out of space.  Even though I clean out files the free space keeps dropping by the second (literally) If i continue to hit F5 on the c: drive i see the free space continue to drop until it reaches 0.
When I count the folders (including hidden files) manually, I only have 40 GB used and should have another 40 free.  This is causing a huge issue as it is bringing down my exchange server constantly (due to lack of space)  I also noticed the volume is heavely fragmented and defragging becomes an issue due to its reported free space.  Any help is greatly appreciated!!...Thank you
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Question by:alexfl73
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Expert Comment

by:ezaton
ID: 19540714
Try following this procedure:
1. Reboot.
2. Stop all satellite services - Exchange, anti-virus, IIS, everything.
3. Clean the disk
4. Check what is the status of the disk. Does free space still disappears?
5. If not, start a service one after the other, carefully, and locate the offending service.
6. In many cases it is the Exchange server.
7. Troubleshoot this offending service.

Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:Malli Boppe
ID: 19540881
do a search for the last modified day setting it to 1 day and size of the file more then 10MB .This way you would know what are files that is filling up the disk space.
You can use this tool.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/Disk-Space-Detective.shtml
Other forums
http://forums.techguy.org/archive-windows-nt-2000-xp/39547-incorrect-free-disk-space-being.html
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Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 800 total points
ID: 19540956
Please enable viewing of SYSTEM files in addition to Hidden Files so you can see what's taking up the additional space.

Also, you can move the Paging File to your F: drive so that you can complete a proper defrag.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Zenith63 earned 1000 total points
ID: 19543415
For what it's worth, you can't rely on selecting a group of folders and selecting Properites to see the size in Windows, it seems to cache file sizes so won't always report the correct sizes.  I noticed this recently when using Total Commander to copy files between servers.  The only way to get Windows to add up correctly was to go into the individual folders and get the properties of the files, then selecting whole directories added up correctly.

Instead I'd suggest you follow mboppe's advice and use the Search utility.


Where are your Exchange transaction logs and information stores?  They're in C:\Program Files\exchserver\MDBDATA by default but should be moved to your data drive instead.  If you're getting hit with a lot of emails (inbound or outbound because of a virus say) the transation logs and databases will eat up storage fast.
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19552259
well... i noticed there was huge amounts of log files on the exchange folder.  About 4 gig's worth of it.  I moved the log files thru the system manager of exchange to my f: partition.  I feel im just buying some time though as I still try to figure out what is occupying all the space.
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by:alexfl73
ID: 19552275
actually when i went back and checked it wasnt 4 gigs of log files i was 16 gigs!..Is this normal?
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by:ezaton
ID: 19552401
I had such a problem once. One of the developers in my company thought that sending a 200MB file to about 20-30 of her friends. It was bounced, of course, and filled my disk as fast as you could say Jack Robinson.
It could be a similar case with you, if you have not put a cap on the maximal message size (as I have done after the event) allowed.
This can consume enormous amounts of space in a very short while.
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19552549
as you mention this I realize that the owner kept complaining about restrictions on his mailbox sizes.  So to keep him off my back i maxed his box to the limit of 2097151.  So maybe the log files came from his box.  All other users have default limits.  
Also, does exchange ever purge the log files??
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by:ezaton
ezaton earned 200 total points
ID: 19552578
Yes. During backup.
The quickest method is to run a full backup using ntbackup (or any other exchange-aware backup software) and it should clean up your log files. This assumes, of course, that your Exchange is up and running during the backup process.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19558119
The log files will always be deleted by the backup.  Have you run the SBS Backup Wizard?  Because the built-in SBS Backup works just fine, and is the easiest way to be sure that all the proper files and settings are backed up.  It will also delete the Exchange log files.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:ezaton
ID: 19558987
As long as you backup the information store.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19559122
Running the SBS Backup Wizard will automatically back up the information store.  You don't have the option to exclude it.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:ezaton
ID: 19559179
For that matter, it is a waste of time to backup the files on the system as well. alexfi73 should backup only the IS, to save time.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19559609
What on earth do you mean by that comment?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:ezaton
ID: 19559669
I mean that the goal of this backup is not to actually back up all files and folders on the system, but to clean up Exchange logs in a normal and correct manner. Backing up the IS (and only the IS) would clean the logs. This is the goal, these are the means to achieve it. No need, for that specific matter to backup the the entire system's files and folders.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19559711
Well, yeah... but that's only the solution of the minute.  It wouldn't solve the problem long term because the logs would start to build again.  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19559749
The logs since performing a complete backup have sine cleared.  I am toying with the idea of possibly moving the exchange store to a seperate drive all together.  My only reservation would be that the store would be outside the mirrored raid set.  Any thoughts??
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by:ezaton
ID: 19559769
Don't do it then. If it's outside the RAID, you have no protection in case of a disk failure, and you will have to recover from tape (bad!). The focus nowadays is on having a tape, but not having to use it.
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by:alexfl73
ID: 19559773
also what is the best procedure to move the paging file on sbs?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19559775
Are you saying that your RAID is configured for your C: drive and not your D:?  That's kinda backwards.  Generally if you have a RAID volume and a non-RAID volume you would put your SYSTEM on the non-RAID and the data on the RAID.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:ezaton
ID: 19559778
And about the logs building again - sure - regular scheduled backups are a good practice and should be part of the day-to-day administration of the server.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19559794
See http://sbsurl.com/movedata for most all moving how-to's.

As far as the paging file, it's no different than any Windows OS.  Just open system properties > Advanced > Performance Settings ... and put the paging file on D, removing the one from C.  It will error stating that you need at least a 200MB file on the system drive to allow for memory dumps, but I generaly feel that is not necessary.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

P. S.  Next time you have a separate question from your original, please post it separately.

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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19559936
to clarify the RAID scenario.  I have a mirrored set partioned for both C and in my case F.  However, my idea was to install a seprate hard drive just to house the information store.  At whihc point I would have a concern to have the information store outside the raid volume.

 
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by:ezaton
ID: 19559975
So don't do it. You can move some less-important data, but the IS is considered on most places important, and this would not sound like a good idea.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19560056
I agree.
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19560094
ok will do.  I noticed that after freeing up space I still cannot defrag the heavily fragmented c: partition.  It always says there are files that could not be moved.  I also tired defraging with the store unmounted and the is service stopped.  after it finishes defraging the bar graph almost seems identical with alot of fragmented files.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19560166
Have you ever defragmented the store itself with ESEUTIL?  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:ezaton
ID: 19560259
The fragmented files are used (unmovable) files. For best defrag results, try doing it in safe mode. However, this is not your original problem. The original problem was space usage. Was it fixed?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19560341
Darn... I went against my own advice and answered another OT question.  

I agree... wrap this up and post another question if you have it.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:alexfl73
ID: 19560346
doesnt ESEUTIL run automatically ?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19560365
Time to post a question about ESEUTIL, don't you think?  Either that or search for it on Google and after learning about it, post questions about what you don't understand.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:alexfl73
ID: 19560374
and to answer ezaton: my original problem included the defrag issue.  If you a refering to being pointed to excess log files, yes this was taken care of.
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by:ezaton
ID: 19560386
You might be required to perform an offline defrag, which will require a free space (you can specify the target directory and drive) of 50%-100% of the current storage size.
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by:ezaton
ID: 19560405
However, defragging the Exchange won't defrag your disk. You need to move the existing store somewhere else, defrag your disk, and the move it back.
Defraging the store is a good idea, unrelated to our current discussion.
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