Hard Drive Storage Viewer Utility

Posted on 2007-07-23
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I am looking for a free utility, that I can run on our Microsoft Small Business 2003 Server, that can categorize files and hard drive storage for convenient viewing via a graph.  I am trying to get an idea of why there is 15gb out of 17gb full on the C: drive of our server.

Also, Does anyone know what is a typical size for a configured Microsoft Small Business 2003 Server?

Question by:ITPro44
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    There may be such utilities that do it by file type - but your better off just locating the problem areas.

    Is your Exchange Database stored on C:?

    Do you have Volume Shadow Copy enabled for C:?  If so, how large?

    Are your user shared folders on C:?

    Is your pagefile on C:?

    Is the ClientApps folder on C:?

    Do you use Symantec Backup products?  I've seen them cause problems leaving large files behind in the System Volume Information folder.

    Has the server been installed a long time?  It's possible the backup catalogs are HUGE and need to be archived to a disk or simply deleted.

    Did you read the link I referred you to I posted in your other question?

    Now if you still need to do some detective work, then download DIRUSE from Microsoft (I believe it's included in the 2000 Server Support Tools or Resource kit but it runs just fine on 2003).

    Then run the command diruse /, /m /* c:\ and you'll get output that tells you what the largest folders are on the system.  If, for example, you find Documents and Settings is huge, then run DIRUSE /, /* /M "C:\Documents and Settings" and see what folder there is taking up space.  Repeat and narrow down and you'll find your culprit.

    Author Comment

    Again!  Man your good!  Thanks for the quick and thorough response.  I had not checked back on my last question but I appreciate the follow up on the question and the link.  I will have to look through that info when I have a bit more time.  Thanks!!

    Until then I will respond to your questions.

    Is your Exchange Database stored on C:?  No, its located on a seperate drive, but possibly the same hard drive... is that ok? (one reason for wanting the utility in my last post)

    Do you have Volume Shadow Copy enabled for C:?  If so, how large?  I do not know what this is but I see a folder name shadowcopy within the client apps folder.  It only has one msi file in the folder that is not even a meg, however.

    Are your user shared folders on C:?   No, they are located elsewhere.

    Is your pagefile on C:?  Yes,it is on C: and is set to 2046-4092

    Is the ClientApps folder on C:?  Yes, this is approx 1.72 gb

    Do you use Symantec Backup products?  I've seen them cause problems leaving large files behind in the System Volume Information folder.  No, we do not use symantec backup products.

    Has the server been installed a long time?  It's possible the backup catalogs are HUGE and need to be archived to a disk or simply deleted.  It has been a long time.  Where can I find these catalogs?

    Thanks a ton for your help on this!!
    LVL 66

    Expert Comment

    PC World - PC World Downloads - TreeSize Free,fid,23075,00.asp

    Might suggest that to help give you an insight into folder sizes...
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Read over the other links at your leisure, but check the one I specifically referred to.

    It's OK if the Exchange databases are on a different partition on the same disk.  *IF* exchange seems slow to you, it MAY be because of contention for disk time with other applications/resources on the same set of spindles. But if you have no performance concerns with Exchange, then forget it and move on, it's fine.

    You should read up on Volume Shadow Copy - it's a fantastic feature and one I often sited as a reason to upgrade from 2000 to 2003.  Basically, when enabled for a drive letter, it takes periodic snapshots of the changes to the disk, essentially doing a periodic backup.  This "backup" data is then stored where you tell it to be stored - BUT, by default, it's stored on the same drive you enable it for - so if you enable it for E then it also, by default, wants to store it on E.  I typically setup another partition dedicated to Software installs and Volume shadow copy data.  This data CAN take up GIGABYTES of storage - depending on your settings.  To check on whether or not it's set and where the data is stored, open my computer, right click on the C: drive and select the Shadow Copy tab.  I don't recall EXACTLY how it looks now, but there should be a list of all drives letters on the system and it should indicate if it's enabled for each drive.  I believe the default setting is to save 10-12% of the disk for shadow copies (1.7-2GB in your case).

    Move the Pagefile to another disk.  While it's true, you won't be able to do high-level debugging if your system crashes, in my 13 years of working professionally with Windows, I've NEVER done high level debugging or heard of more than a couple of instances where it was done.  And moving the file to another drive will free up 2-4 GB of space (12-23% of the disk space).

    Move the client apps folder to another drive.  instructions and/or reference to instructions should be found in the link I referred you to in your other question.  Moving the page file and the Client Apps folder will free up 3.5-5+ GB of space - 20-33% of the TOTAL disk space.

    The backup catalogs are stored in the Documents and Settings folder under a profile - I don't recall which, I always use DIRUSE to dig them out.

    But even if you don't have catalogs eating up disk space, you might still have other things in the profile eating the disk space - downloaded ISO images, drivers, and other such files.  Using DIRUSE to narrow things down (while a little on the tedious side) will help you figure out where your used space is.

    Another thing you can do, look in C:\Windows at the various $NTUInstall... folders - IN GENERAL, it's safe to remove these.  I usually leave at least the last 9 months worth.  These are the replaced files for patches and service packs that you have installed.  I like keeping several months worth in case something happens and I need to back out, loading an old driver or DLL.  So any from 2005 and earlier can definitely go and most from 2006 (though I'd keep those from November on).

    If you look over these things and make appropriate modifications, I'm sure you'll find you reduce your overall disk usage to 50% or even less.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    As for TreeSize - it's only partly effective.  It cannot provide information on files it doesn't have access to - that's why I recommend DIRUSE instead.  (For example, if you have a folder that has permissions set in such a way that your admin account doesn't have easy access to it, treesize will not count that folder.  IF you have two admin users, for example, and the permissions on their profiles only allow the specific user to access the profile, then Treesize won't include the other user's 4 GB DVD ISO file on his desktop - DIRUSE will - or at least will provide an error so you know you have to check further.

    Author Comment

    I went ahead and gave you the points, I appreciate the thought you've put into your answers leew!  I did several of these things and i picked up treesize.  Treesize is simple and does enough for me to pinpoint problem areas.  thanks for your responses!  I will post back here if I get some time to try out some of the other things and let you know how it goes.  

    LVL 66

    Expert Comment

    I would have at least thought a split was in order, since the app I suggested did what you needed to....

    Featured Post

    How to improve team productivity

    Quip adds documents, spreadsheets, and tasklists to your Slack experience
    - Elevate ideas to Quip docs
    - Share Quip docs in Slack
    - Get notified of changes to your docs
    - Available on iOS/Android/Desktop/Web
    - Online/Offline

    Join & Write a Comment

    AWS Glacier is Amazons cheapest storage option and is their answer to a ‘Cold’ storage service.  Customers primarily use this service for archival purposes and storage of infrastructure backups.  Its unlimited storage potential and low storage cost …
    Storage devices are generally used to save the data or sometime transfer the data from one computer system to another system. However, sometimes user accidentally erased their important data from the Storage devices. Users have to know how data reco…
    This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
    This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    14 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now