Safely deleting millions of files in Windows Server 2003
Posted on 2011-10-17
I have one shot at this, so wanted some expert opinions.
We have a handful of Windows 2003 Server that we added PHP Fastcgi to a few months back.
The individual doing this forgot to set the php temp file to a known location with a cleanup utility that deletes session and other temp files, and left it in the default C:\windows\temp.
Because of our large traffic volume and many monitors hitting our servers, there were literally millions of files created and not cleaned up over the last couple of months. One of our upper execs got a little crazy and did a "del *.*" from within the directory. This churned for a while, and ultimately caused corruption. Upon reboot, machine was forced into a chkdsk, which, being given a month to run, never completed. Mainly, it was updating the allocation table index entrys.
Problem - I need a solution to safely delete these millions of files without corrupting the volume that will also update the allocation tables. We have successfully booted to a rescue CD and forced a deletion of the folder, but since the C was just a mounted non-system volume to the rescue environment, it doesn't update the allocation tables, still resulting in a very long chkdsk run.
Ideas are welcome, and another question I can't seem to find th answer to - we ultimately used an ubuntu rescue CD to not-so-sucessfully fix one server (ended up re-imaging, which was a pain). Does anyone know if we boot into the Windows 2003 rescue environment, and delete the directory, will that update the actual Windows 2003 install's allocation tables?? That may be the solution, but I'm unsure if it will update the allocation tables.