Domain Controller Running Out of Space

Posted on 2008-11-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a Dell PowerEdge 2850 server running MS Server 2003 and functions as a Domain Controller, DNS, and DHCP server. The issue that I am facing is the partition that was created for the OS was VERY small (12 GB) and will the installation of all the security updated over time we are now practically out of room.

We have three locations, each location has its own DC, DHCP, and DNS server. Each location is connected via VNP Tunnels using Cisco PIX boxes. The tunnels are created using the IP addresses of each of the DCs. The server that is having the OS partition space issue is in location number 2.

The machine has three Hard Drives each set to RAID 5.

Is there a way of increasing the OS partition or do I have to replace the machine?

What are my options?
Question by:patrickgillespie
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    There are two methods that I recommend to increase the C drive.
    1) Make a full backup of the server and reinstall the OS with the partition sizes that you want to have. Restore the backup onto the server.

    2) Use a utility like GParted to repartition the drives on the fly. You will want to use the 0.3.4-11 version of the utility though. I think that older versions than that may corrupt ntfs partitions on Dell PERC controllers. You should complete a backup prior to this as well just incase. If gparted doesnt work, if you have a backup you would just complete step 1
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    There are many tools out there that can adjust the size of your partitions on a 2k3 server. I believe acronis and partition magic both have one

    Here is a link to a previous post that might point you in the right direction
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Here is the article many experts including myself refer to when this situation arises
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    As the link posted by ryansoto states, remove some of those old patch uninstallers.  It's pointless to keep them beyond a year or so.  And besides, I've seen systems that have been repeatedly patched and they rarely have more than a gig of uninstall files... MAYBE 2 GB.  So what else is on the C: drive?  Pagefile?  because I have several up-to-date servers - including SBS servers that have more of a need for space on C: that don't have C: drives larger than 12 GB.  Frankly, that should be more than enough if you modify your management slightly... Certainly less dangerous than repartitioning and less time consuming than reinstalling.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    We have run into this countless times coming into new networks. The link from ryansoto and the suggestions from leew are spot-right on.

    BUT, if you want to try something quickly with immediate effects - download a trial version (free for 30 days and fully functional) of PerfectDisk 2008 Server by Raxco Software.

    After you move everything you can off of the C partition and move your Page File to another partition ( ) , run PerfectDisk on the server. It runs an off-line defrag on your system files & page files as well as your MFT. On a log of servers we have seen from 1 to 4GB freed up after the unused and scattered sectors have been reclaimed.

    It's a great tool. Here's a link:

    But definitly move the PageFille, delete the patch uninstallers and dump your useless temp files first. Then run PerfectDisk.

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Be very careful and run a full backup if you plan to run a re-partitioning app on a RAID-5 server. I've seen Acronis (though it is my personal favorite) destroy the MFT of a RAID-5 server during the re-partitioning.

    It works great on a mirror (RAID-1) and stand alone PCs. But every RAID-5 that I have had to resize, I have gone all the way and created an image of the partitions (with Acronis) and then rebuild the server from scratch with larger partitions. Then restored the images.

    If you damage the MFT while re-partitioning a production server you will loose data - irretrievably.

    Just a work of caution.

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