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Identifying stale data

Posted on 2011-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Our management asked us to identify “stale data” on our servers – most of which running either server 2003, server 2008 and some still win2k. By stale they refer to data that is no longer necessary for business purposes/and/or is no longer being accessed (with stats to back this up).

My initial reaction to this was number 1 would probably be ex employees home drives still resident that weren’t manually deleted as part of the leaver process. I have also identified many people disabled in AD who should have been deleted – and subsequently their mailbox stays in exchange servers (but again per person its only 40mb each).

I am really after a full comprehensive list of what kinds of data / types of files/devices could still be out there taking up valuable space – and best ways to identify this problem. As windows admins any input welcome.
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Question by:pma111
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Assisted Solution

by:pwust
pwust earned 150 total points
ID: 36484405
Provided that the files are located on NTFS file systems, you will be able to take advantage of the file attribute "last file access time". Tools like Microsoft's Robocopy can move files that have not been accessed since (e.g.) 90 days are moved to a different location, or even deleted.
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by:pma111
ID: 36484430
Can it identify them for you in some form of report as well?

I was more after typical stale data that people perhaps forget about, above and beyond ex employee home drives and exchange mailboxes

There must be tons
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Mike Kline earned 350 total points
ID: 36484615
Are you running 2003 or 2003 R2,  in 2003 R2 file server resource manager does provide you with reports that can help

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755603(WS.10).aspx

There are also third party tools you can search for.

In terms of AD you can use tools like old computer by Joe Richards and adtidy.  Those are both free tools but are not targeted at files but AD objects.

Thanks

Mike
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by:pma111
ID: 36484620
Hi mike - in your opinion What risk do old comps really pose on corporate storage?
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 36484666
low  risk in terms of storage, that is more for AD maintenance.
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by:pma111
ID: 36494716
mike is there is similar tool to resource manager in 2008 - sorry not an admin myself
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by:pma111
ID: 36494721
I assume you were talking about "storage reports"? Can you provide an example?
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 36496068
Yes, not sure if I'll be able to take screenshots from mylab today though, there is good info on the Microsoft site   http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731206(WS.10).aspx

http://computingtech.blogspot.com/2011/03/windows-server-2008-generating-storage.html

Thanks

Mike
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by:pma111
ID: 36496110
If you get chance for screenshots that would help no end
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