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Free up drive space for my server's OS

Posted on 2010-01-12
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We are running Windows SBS 2003 on our server.  The main hard drive is a hardware configured mirror.  It is comprised of C:\ being 25 GB for the operating system and D:\ being 207 GB which originally had the data.  The data has now been moved off of D:\ onto a new physical drive.  C:\ is nearly full.  It would be nice if I could let C:\ extend into what is now D:\ but I understand that that is a major task.  So I have been moving various utilities, log files, etc. onto D:\ to try to relieve C:\.  Other people have had this issue and I've read some of what others are doing.  Here are some suggestions I've seen:
1. Redirect users profile folders elsewhere.   I think I can find out how to do that.
2. Move the pagefile......  I've already done that.
3. Move SQL log files and databases.   I have no idea how to do that.
4. Install large applications onto another drive.  This sounds tedious.
5. Move Program Files folder to another drive.  This sounds too easy and might cause issues.

Anyway, what would you suggest?
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Question by:Josh Christie
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43 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Brum07
ID: 26297664
You could resize the partition, you need to purchase the software but its not too expensive

http://www.partition-tool.com/resource/repartition-server.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Raheem05
ID: 26297715
Ok you can use EASEUS partition manager to extend the system volume you just resize another partition on this server by dragging and dropping from a GUI interface and then apply once its committed then drag and drop the free space to the volume partition please be AWARE that no solutions is going to give you assurances that it will complete successfully its important to take a BACKUP prior to doing this and it can take a few hours to commit so downtime needs to be planned. I have done a few so far this year and one last week using this method and it was fine but just take precautions so your covered.

http://www.partition-tool.com/#Title2

I would personally move the SQL database and logs to a different partition dependant on size you might save a lot of disk space:

Instructions:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/224071

Another article which you might find useful

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc750370.aspx

Hope this helps and have a good evening
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Xionath
ID: 26297802
Maybe not the solution you're searching for  but you could run CCleaner to free up some space.

http://www.ccleaner.com/
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 26298353
An easy way (if you do not have a third party utility) is to use a 2008 DVD - boot to the DVD and act like you are getting ready to install.  When it shows you your partitions and asks where you want to install, you can click on Drive Options, and choose Expand.  

If this is  Dell server, and you do not have a 2008 DVD or a third party utility, you can use Dell's ExtPart, available at the link below.

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R64398&formatcnt=2&fileid=83929

Instructions:
http://ftp.dell.com/app/ExtPart.txt

Must use as Administrator and disk must be Basic (not Dynamic).

**  In order to expand the size of C, you must first delete the second partition, leaving it as Unpartitioned Space.

Whatever you do follow the suggestions for protecting your system (SQL, moving page files, etc.), and always have a backup before messing with system partitions :)
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26301453
This task will be done easily by Partition Manager 10 Server Edition by Paragon: www.partition-manager.com
Install tool, make sure you deleted\copied out all from D: drive - delete D: drive - start Partition Manager 10 - right click on C: - select Move\Resize - in opened window catch the right border of partition with mouse left click and drag it to right so allocating space to C: then apply changes. In 2 minutes the resize will complete.
Even if you have dynamic drive Partition Manager 10 will handle the configuration.
No need to copy out anything from C:
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26301460
It would be nice if I could let C:\ extend into what is now D:\ but I understand that that is a major task.  So I have been moving various utilities, log files, etc. onto D:\ to try to relieve C:\.  - this is not right step you've taken. No need to remove anything from C: drive. Simply delete D: and extend C: drive.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26304291
Well, what wonderful information!!!  Third party utilities sound great.  The drive is dynamic, but noxcho, you're saying that Partition Manager 10 is able to reconfigure a dynamic drive.  But what I'm hearing from all of you is that what I have already moved to D:, that I will have to get that off of there first so that D: is empty before I do the resizing.  Maybe I'll have to install a temporary drive, say K: and put what's on D: now onto K: and get D: empty that way.  Obviously, the task would have been easier if I had asked this question before I started contaminating D:

As of now I am only using a small percentage of D:. Can I split D: into, say, D: and E: without cleaning out D:?  And then extend C: into the new empty E:?  

But I believe that whatever method I use... the space into which I extend C: must, prior to the operation, be unallocated.

Any additional comments on the above will be helpful.  Meanwhile, I'll digest your information
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Accepted Solution

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noxcho earned 2000 total points
ID: 26304722
hermhart, yes, your guess will work also. You can reduce the size of D: and allocate the space to C: without a problem.
Now you need to convert the drive to basic first. And Partition Manager 10 does this safely without deleting the volumes on dynamic drive. How it works:
1)Install Partition Manager
2)run it and right click on HDD (not mirrored)
3)Select convert to Basic. It will ask for reboot - agree. During restart the drive is changed to Basic type.
4)In Windows start PM - right click on D: - Move\Resize - catch the left border of partition and drag it to right. Free as much space as you need for C: and apply changes. If you have files running on D: this could request additional restart. Apply it.
5)Then when resize is done - right click on C: - drag and move the end of C: to right. Allocate space and apply changes. This will take few seconds. Done.
Another way to perform this without reboots is using WinPE Recovery CD for Partition Manager 10 that will do Conversion - resize.
And finally if you connect additional drive - move all from D: to it and delete D: - then convert dynamic to basic and increase C: - this would be also fast.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26308168
Noxcho...Maybe this is a show stopper.......  in your point #2 you say "(not mirrored)".  But my HDD IS mirrored.  It's a hardware mirror, not a software mirror, so Disk Management treats C: and D: as simple dynamic volumes.  So what do you mean by "not mirrored"?  Will PM not work if the HDD is mirrored?  Or will the procedure you describe break the mirror?  Or???
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26309156
Heh, that was description of the dynamic mirror configuration and your additional information makes the task  easier. So we do not need to brake anything here. Simply convert the HDD to basic (there is Backup feature in PM10 that images dynamic volumes easily, so take it advantage as insurance before you do anything). Conver the drive to basic and go on with resize.
Again, by Not Mirrored I meant software mirror made of two dynamic volumes on different HDDs.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26313623
This sounds exciting.  I'll start getting into it.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26313856
Noxcho......... A few messages back where you are giving me instructions you say...

  4)In Windows start PM - right click on D: - Move\Resize - catch the left border of partition and drag it to right. Free as much space as you need for C: and apply changes. If you have files running on D: this could request additional restart. Apply it.

So do I, or do I not, have to empty out D: and delete the partition so it's unallocated?

If I do have to do that, can I instead split D: into D: and E: and leave D: allocated as D: and then let C: extend into E:??
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26314628
Sorry if I was unclear. I thought that you were not willing to free up D: and delete it. Thus I suggested the shrink way of resize. But IMHO, if you free up D: and delete it you will save much time.
If not then go exactly with my step 4. You do not need to create E:, simply shrink D: and create free unallocated space block between C: and D: as I recommended in step 4. Then you will be able to allocate it to C: drive.
Again, I would go with delete and resize. But you could have different vision of its simplicity.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26316554
I don't mind if the procedure is a little more complex.  I really do NOT want to delete D:.  To get the stuff off of D: that I've put there would be a lot more complex operation, time, brain surgery.  Your procedure in step 4 sounds excellent.  The stuff I have now on D: is using up very little space so I have LOTS of space left on D: for C: to expand into.  So that's how I'd like to proceed.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26316669
Do not forget to take backup. This is MUST HAVE in any case. God know what could happen during resize as it considered to be potentially dangerous with any tool you use.
BTW, you can do this task in Recovery CD mode without restarts. That is much convenient. Once you boot from WinPE - perform resize and then restart to Windows with all steps done.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26316725
Does the WinPE Recovery CD come in the PM10 kit?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26316754
Yes, it does. And the installed version of PM10 also does create Linux&DOS based Recovery CD with GUI.
With WinPE check first if your RAID (if RAID is used) is detected the same way like in Windows Disk Management.
WinPE is called Advanced Recovery CD or something like that when you get links from them.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26340128
This looks promising.  I have purchased PM10 and I hope to fit it into my schedule in the next week or so to check it out when the server is not needed.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26340466
Don't forget to take backup prior to running resize. Though the program is rock solid there is still a chance of hardware failure or anything else.
And good luck.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26373309
Please let's keep this question active until I have a chance to try it... soon.  Thanks
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26374134
Sure. We do not let this be closed as you post updates.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26401332
I'm planning to work on this this evening
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26404535
Well, I guess I'm the one in a hundred.  It crashed.  in PM10 I right clicked on the drive and choose... Convert to Basic.  It promptly told me I would have to restart the computer and then the process would continue.  I restarted and the process continued.  Shortly it said it was time to reboot and it set about to reboot.  As it was coming up... well, it just didn't come up.  It couldn't find the drive.  Now of course I can boot up with the WinPE disk and I can launch the PM10 application.  I can then look at the map of the drives.  The HDD in question shows invalid, although it is labeled as Basic, and it knows it's storage space.  

So now what do I do?  
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26405739
Sorry for delay. Again boot to WinPE - select Add Drivers and load drivers for your RAID.
Then turn on PM10 and see if it is still Invalid. Right click on HDD - Update MBR.
BTW, did you take backup before conversion as instructed?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26410079
Hemhart, what is the status of the problem?
Try to boot from recovery CD (not WinPE but Linux and DOS based one) created via installed copy of Partition Manager. See if your drive is seen as basic but not invalid. The only reason this could happen is bad MBR of the drive.
Also, question about backup - did you take it?
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26411562
We've made some progress.  I ran Delete Partition.  That resulted in a healthy looking drive with the used and free space exactly as before, and also the directory structure looks good.  But so far we have not been able to get it to be bootable.  We got drivers from Dell's site and using them in running the original setup.

I did take backup of the main OS.  I had been letting a few things spill over into the D: drive.  I did not back that up.  But since the directory structure now looks good, I think the data is good and doesn't need redoing.

That's the latest.  
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26411653
Ok, when you try to boot from server, what error do you get?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26411674
Also, boot from standard Recovery CD that I mentioned before (Linux and DOS) and try to boot into it - Safe Mode - Partition Manager. Does it see the drive different way? It could work without need of drivers.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26411794
Well, maybe we've found it.  It looks as though when I did the Delete Partition, that it flagged the drives as Inactive.  Setting the OS drive as Active seemed to release the log jam.  We're not quite out of the woods yet, but I think we're getting there.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26411960
Do you mean delete\undelete by Delete Partition? If not why did you delete the partition?
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26412923
Now we've run into another snag.  In the process of discovering the Inactive issue, we did a Repair of the OS using the original OS disk.  Now it tries to boot into the OS and can't seem to complete it.  We thought it might be just taking a long time re-syncing the mirror.  But we have gone into the WinPE and set about to restore the backup I did.  That fails for some reason..............  we're investigating it further.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26414115
We got the restore to work by first deleting the OS partition.  And we successfully booted into Windows all the way.  But, we've run into trouble with the RAID.  In the process of trying to bring the second drive of the RAID mirror in, now something has happened to the first one as well and it hangs up just before starting to load Windows.  I tried re-doing the restore... same hang up.  So we're going to hit it again tomorrow morning.  
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26415707
Is this hardware RAID configuration? Could you give me configuration details? I'll try to build up same on my test server and see if I get similar issues.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26418179
I'll type for you the opening screens....I don't know how much of this is useful.
PowerEdge 840
One 2.13 GHz Quad-core Processor, Processor bus
1066 MHz, L2 cache: 2x4 MB

Remote Access  Controller detected

SiI 0680 ATA/133 Controller Bios version 3.4.1027
Drive Number:0 VirtualFloppy Drive Removable Media Drive
Drive Number:1 Virtual CD$OM Drive

Dell SAS 5 Host Bus Adapter BIOS
mpt bIOS - 6.12.02.00

Integrated RAID exception detected:
     Volume (00:000) is currently in state DEGRADED

HBA     ID     LUN     Vendor     Product     Revision     Capacity
0            0        0         Dell          Virtual Disk   1028         231 GB
0            8        0          DP           Backplane     1.05
0                                  LSI Logic  SAS 1068-IR   0.10.49.00  NV 25:0D
Dell Inc. MPT Boot ROM successfully installed

Broadcom NetXtreme Eternet..............I think not pertinent
Dell Remote Access Controllere 4/p.....I think not pertinent

IPMI Server Management Configuration Utility 1.5
**********
In SAS Configuration Utility
Adapter         PCIBus         PCIDev     PCIFNC     FW Revision        Status        Boot Order
SAS1068         02                  08              00            0.10.49.00-IR      Enabled          0
*******************
F2 Setup........................has the following:
system memory     4096 MB   ECC  DDR2
Video memory 16 MB
system memory testing   enabled
OS Install Mode     off
IDE Pri Drive 0 DCROM reader
IDE Pri Drive 1   off
SATA ports 0,1,2,3,,,,,,,,all off
boot sequence........... IDE CD-ROM drive, Hard Drive C:, etc.
Hard disk drive sequence     1. System BIOS boot devices, 2. hard-disk-emulated USB flash drive, 3. #0240 ID00 LUN0 Dell Virtual disk
USB Flash Drive EMulation Type    Auto
Integrated devices
  Diskette controller - auto
  IDE controller - auto
  SATA controller - ATA mode
  USB controller - on w/Bios support
  embedded GbNIC - enabled w/PXE
  MAC address - 0019B9FE248E
  Serial port - com1
PCI - IRQ assignment..........(various)
Console redirection
System security..........passwords disabled and unlocked

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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26418193
Yes, it's Hardware RAID
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26418587
Thanks, on my way of building similar configuration.
What is the status of your problem?
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26418794
It seems that possibly the controller has gotten confused.  Using the WinPE cd with Paragon, I redid the Delete Partition lf C: and Restore the backup which had worked fine before I tried resyncing the mirror.  Anyway, I redid that.  But that HDD still gets hung up just before it would start loading Windows.  that's where we're at.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26418912
Do you have a single and clean HDD to restore C: to and try to boot from? I am curious to know if non RAIDed drive is able to boot.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26419533
We do have another single clean HDD to use if we need to.  We were thinking of possibly letting the onboard controller control it instead of the RAID controller as a stop gap... if it comes to that.
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Author Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 26420770
Well, we got in.  The problem turned out to be simpler than we'd thought it might be.  We had a USB external HDD plugged in and that option was set too high in the boot sequence.  So now we have successfully loaded into Windows with one drive of the OS mirror and one drive of the data mirror.  Now we're trying to bring MSOutlook back to life.  It works with MS Exchange.  New problem actually
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26421028
My tests completed also. I was testing on IBM Blade server with dynamic mirror RAID configuration. Install Windows 2003 - configured mirror - installed PM - broke mirror (missing HDD appeared that was not actually the HDD) - converted the first one into basic. Restart took place twice. But server came up.

As for outlook, is the drive letter of the data partition the same it was before?
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Author Closing Comment

by:Josh Christie
ID: 31676361
There were a number of steps to take AFTER using PM10, but it's a good tool.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 26422701
Thanks for points!
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