Running out of space on C:\ drive on our Domain Controller


Our primary application server (PE1850, RAID1) which is also a DC with FSMO roles is running out of space on the C:\ drive. It is my fault as when Dell Supply these with a 15Gb partition, which is just too small once you add the OS and other bits, I left it as it is. I should have dealt with this when we bought it, but it is too late now so I am seeking advice. Lesson learnt.

This server, and our other DC (also a PE1850) are both connected to an AX150i. Both are identical in hardware and OS. It is just the applications installed on them that is different.

What are my easiest options for creating some more space on C?

Should I use one of the tools recommended to expand the partition ie Acronis or would it be safer to use the nightly full system backup I run (BUE 11d)  to rebuild the partitions and then restore that back on top?

If I did this, what is the best procedure to stop me from getting an USN rollback and all the assorted issues that come with that?

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Hedley PhillipsOwnerAsked:
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gurutcConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Short term, one thing you can do is move the swap file/space off the C: drive to another partition on the server.

The best way I know to expand a boot partition is to a. Backup everything, b. Use an imaging program such as Ghost to image all partitions on the physical disk/array, then image them back and change the partition sizes when putting them back.

Good Luck, and get a backup first!
- gurutc
Hedley PhillipsOwnerAuthor Commented:
I have already moved the pagefile over to D:\

Good job on that.

- gurutc
funnymanmikeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Treesize Free:
will help you track down were files are located

clean out log files, move event logs over to D drive (

Take any non-essential software, and re-install it on the D drive

Also perform a search on any files created in the last 24 hours, this will help you determin if any new log files are being created. then just google to files to see what belongs to them, login and change the location.

if your running IIS, double check where those log files are going.
sorry, also right click on your recycle bin, and set a size limit. set the size limit on your C drive really low, and let your other drives handle the deleted files

You could schedule a maintenance night, ghost the servers (or clonedisk), blow away the HD, and restore with different sizes.

or a partition management tool, backup everything off of D, blow D away, and add part of D onto C

you have a few options. my first post was the immediate work you should do.
Hedley PhillipsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your ideas guys.

I have already done everything suggested including event logs, IIS logs etc etc.

Trouble is that D:\ also has a stack of applications on it. All those that I install to try and keep C:\ clean.

I'm thinking that running a backup, reconfiguring the partitions and then restoring from tape is maybe the best option.
ryansotoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Great article used my many top experts
kjanickeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Look at the installer folder underneath Windows.  If you don't plan on modifing the installed applications, or removing, you can try removing some of these files.
Path is C:\WINDOWS\Installer

You can also get rid of the ServicePack" files folder in Windows.
Path C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles

Delete old user profiles also (under documents and settings).
You  may also want to look for logs (.log extension) or temp files (.tmp extension or files that start with ~).

I have a few servers with issues and I've deleted the installer files from 2007 and before with very very few problems.  Our partition is set to 10 GB, but I am very careful to install binaries to a secondary drive as well as redirect the logs.

For example, if you do an unattended install of IIS, you can actually put the program files on a secondary drive.  If anybody turns on message logging on my exchange server, those logs will not go on my C drive.  They go to the F drive where I installed IIS>
Hedley PhillipsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, while I have tried most of the ideas suggested and more and had already been through Lee W's web site, I appreciate your input and am glad that I haven't missed anything blindingly obvious.

While I have managed to regain 3.2Gb of C:\ I still think we will need to shift the partitions about so I will wait until I have finished migrating our Exchange server to new hardware, then moved a stack of applications (preflighting & AV) off our DC1 and onto the old Exchange server so that DC1 is then 99% identical to DC2.

Then I can happily look at rebuilding DC1 from tape after resizing, knowing that if it did go badly wrong, I can fail over to DC2.
If your going to migrate from one server to another with identical hardware you should image your machine with something like Acronis true Image.
When you put the image on the new server it will ask if you want to make the C drive bigger.
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