Disapearing hard drive space on server. Need help pretty quick

Posted on 2008-11-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We have a dell small business server that has a 25gb primary partition on it. The disk is repeatedly saying it is full  however when we go into the contents of the drive and select all>>properties it only shows 16gb of data on the drive. Basically we are missing 10Gb and the drive keeps filling up. Even when we erase things off of the drive it still just keeps filling up repeatedly. I suspected a virus but symantec endpoint protection was fully updated and i ran thorough scans and it picked up nothing. I also ran a rootkit scanner and it did not show anything either. I am quite dumbfounded and would appreciate the help.
Question by:mfrieder
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Do you have the page file on a different partition?
    Also I would be surprised if Symantec Endpoint is causing  the issues - seen it before on one of my servers.  Worst AV program around
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Hello mfrieder,

    There could be several things at work here - especially depending on which components of SBS you are using.  Could you shed some light on your usage of this machine?

    One of the tools which I rely on for space monitoring/reporting is WinDirStat:
    It will shed light pretty quickly on what's eating most of your disk space.

    I suppose the question needs to be asked: are you able/willing to enlarge the primary partition on this server? I find that the Dell default of 25GB for the primary partition is quite limiting, unless one decides to put data files on another partition/drive.


    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    One of the biggest offenders in the WSUS component of SBS-R2--I had so much trouble with it eating my drives space and generally not working right, I finally just removed it, and fixed the group policies to allow the workstations to do automatice updates from microsoft.

    that program an exopert posted earlier will tell you where all the space is being used, if it is the updates, I recommend removing WSUS.

    Author Comment

    I have removed symantec endpoint protection and we shal see if this works. Also, a little more background... this all started when we began to have users rdp into the server for remote operators. I suspect that while I cannot figure out where the disk space is going, it is legitimately used up.

    The configuration on the machine is a 25gb primary and 225 data partition with plenty of free space. I am fairly certain that there is no virus on the machine and even if there is a fully updated symantec isn't picking it up so it is not doing any good anyway. I have installed a free antivirus program that takes up much less space temporarily to see if indeed symantec is the issue but that is just grabbing at straws.

    Our next move is going to be to resize the primary partition: basically take 30gb from the data drive and move it to the primary drive making a 55gb primary and a 195 data. Can I please get a recommendation on a program and procedure for doing this safely? We have excellent backups and I am not worried about data loss but would like to not incur an evening of heart attack where we must rebuild the server from the backups.

    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Another offender, given the info you just provided, is that RDP users will often surf the Internet with Internet Explorer, using significant HDD space for temporary internet files. I run a script on my client terminal server every night to clear them out, and ran a registry hack to decrease the temp folder size for users.  If that program indicates this is the issue, let me know, and I can provide more detail on the procedure to get that under control. Another program, if you cannot use that one suggested, is SC diskinfo. You need to find where the space is going, and not shoot in the dark.
    Here's the link:

    I would NOT expand the C drive--25GB really ought to be enought for a SBS assuming you moved the Exchange database and user shared folders (if you use them). (and kill WSUS)

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