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Disk drive volume usage conflicts SBS2003

Hi Guys,
I'm running a number of SBS2003 R2 premium servers with WSUS3, ISA2004 configured.
While checking out the capacity match between the backup media and the data to be backed up I'm noticing a significant difference between the used/free space obtained when clicking properties on, say, the D drive and the sum of all the individually reported top level folder sizes (I just use properties and look at the size of each folder in explorer).

On one server the drive properties report Capacity 111GB, Used 35.4GB and Free 75.8GB, all consistent so far. But if I select all top level folders (including system and hidden) and look at properties and size it shows 24.2GB used. Thats a big difference (at least in my little networks)

Can anyone tell me why this is, I think my backup hardware is under provisioned, but I thought a DAT72 drive should have been OK since we only recently upgraded from the DAT40 when we changed to SBS2003. I've got a cold sweet forming since my customer isn't known for shelling out very often !!!

Hope someone can help . . .
Regards
Trevor
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TrevorWhite
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TrevorWhite
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1 Solution
 
banks1850Commented:
Windows reports disk size, and size on disk differently (small distinction, but it adds up to a couple of gig in a 100 gig drive)  its the difference between 1024 bytes and 1000 bytes I think.  
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TrevorWhiteAuthor Commented:
Hi Banks1850,
I don't think that is it, I saw the size on disk and disk size differences but they were no where near the difference I'm seeing as described above. Any other ideas ???
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banks1850Commented:
I guess Windows could be misreporting the drive size, more likely there is some system files that aren't being reported.  Let me just make sure of what you are describing.  So you right click on the drive in my computer and choose properties and it tells you the size of the disk and the available space which is 111 Gb and 75.8 Gb respectively.  
then, what, you open that drive, click ctrl+A and right click and choose properties and the total size is only 24.2?  Is that correct?  One possibility is if compression is enabled for some of the folders or files.  

Also, I have never liked DAT 72 as they aren't that reliable and difficult to work with (IMHO).  I would probably go with some version of DLT or even the hybrid removable SATA drives (like the DELL drive that can hold 80-160).   I realize it is a little late for this, but maybe a return is still possible?  Also you could implement Differential backups, that would solve your space issue.
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TrevorWhiteAuthor Commented:
Hi Banks1850
I confirm that is how I'm viewing the descrepencies.
I turned on viewing System and Hidden files and folders.

If files/folders have ntfs compression (or any other type) surely the footprint on the disk is reported in all circumstances isn't it?? Other wise the information is misleading.

If I have WSUS on a drive (which is likely to have a compressed database) how would this be viewed.

Regards
Trevor
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Your method of looking at drive use and capacity is interesting but it's not a valid way to determine what type of backup media to use.  

But let's first look at your methodology... when you say the "drive properties report Capacity 111GB, Used 35.4GB and Free 75.8GB", are you referring to the Disk properties? or the Volume properties?  Because if there is more than one partition on a disk, selecting all top level folders isn't possible.

Many disks that are installed in OEM machines have a hidden recovery partition that you would not be able to see even if you enabled viewing hidden and system files.  This partition would not normally be included in a normal backup.

Personally, I never use tape drives for any of my SBS installations.  I think they are way too expensive and are generally overly complex for an SBS network.  Lately, since the price has come down so much, I use 160GB 2.5" USB Drives.  Usually a set of 3 used in rotation works just fine.  They're small enough to easily take off-site each night.

When you run the SBS's Backup Wizard you should excluded directories such as WSUS's downloads or other "archive" folders which don't need to be backed up.  After doing that, a 15 to 20 user network should generate about a 35GB nightly backup.  Using the 160GB drives, each one will hold about 4 before starting to overwrite the older ones.  This means you would have 12 or so valid backups.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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TrevorWhiteAuthor Commented:
Hi Jeff,
First thanks for that pointer to the SBS SP2 problem the other night really saved my bacon. I still have a VPN issue which I'll post seperately.

The scenarios that Im concerned with in this thread relate to a RAID 5 array of 3  drives (plus a hot spare) The resulting volume is partitioned into 30G for the system C drive and the balance (in the discussion) 111Gb for D drive. I have modified the backups to exclude certain directories but could not understand the descrepencies. I literaly selected the top level folders of the D drive in Win Explorer and looked at the properties, this figure differs from the figure displayed if you right click and go to properties of the root entry of the D drive in Win Explorer. For disk planning I feel I should understand whats going on here.

The raid controller, etc does not expose the underlying 3 drives just the resulting RAID volume.

All that aside, the USB drives look attractive. However I'm committed to the tape units for a while now.

Regards
Trev.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Well, now that I've reread everything in this question I believe that I now see what's happening.  You enabled viewing of both hidden and system files... but everything in the System Volume Information folder will not be counted because you don't have permissions to view the attributes of those files (by default only the SYSTEM account has those rights and it's the SYSTEM account that provides you the DISK Properties).  Since D is your data drive, you have volume shadow copies running on it which can be quite sizable.  Add that to the difference caused by compressed files and you've probably got your discrepancy.

I almost always exclude the System Volume Information directory on the data partition in my backups because I figure I have about 12 to 15 full backups which may not be as deep as the 40 to 60 VSS file versions that could exist, but it's generally good enough.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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TrevorWhiteAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jeff, that sounds plausible. I'll look and do the Arithmetic and see if the figures add up better. Then I'll close the question. Thanks again for your time . . . errr ahem . . . take a look at the SBS VPN Q in a seperate thread theres a good chap ;-)))))

Trev.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
FYI, the type of drives I'm recommending are now running under $80.00 each:
http://www.google.com/products?q=160GB+2.5%22+USB+Hard+Drive&oe=utf-8&scoring=p

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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