File server so slow it cannot be used. Server 2003 R2

This is my problem a file server at one of my stores is running slow to the point that it cannot be used. My question is could this be a simple problem of the hard drive being full and if so can I do a backup install a larger drive and then restore that backup onto the new hard drive. Also I would prefer not to have to reinstall server 2003 on the new hard drive and reset all of the permissions and have to deal with all of that so if there are suggestions on how to deal with this problem without installing a new drive it would be appreciated.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

What RAID setup are you using?
Take an image of the drive (Arcronis or the like).

Fit new bigger hard drive and restore image back onto new drive.
jarboe81Author Commented:
Im not sure about the RAID setup today is my first day on this job and I have been flooded with problems that have backed up over the last few months. I am waiting on my director to get in so I can gain access to all of the machines. When I spoke to him this morning he said he believes that alot of it has to do with a lack of maintenance he believes the drives are full.
Protecting & Securing Your Critical Data

Considering 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more, planning for the worst is just smart business. Learn how Acronis Backup integrates security at every stage

Can you describe your network a little?
1. How many users in the company?
2. How many workstations?
3. Do all users have open internet access?

Slowdowns can be caused by overloaded drives, but usually they are caused by gunked up systems. For examle, malware, viruses, etc.  Check for these first.  If you are running numerous servers identical to this one and only this one has an issue, it could be hardware related.  Be sure it is not dirty inside the machine. Heat slows systems down as well.  Check the drive to be sure it is reading/writing as fast as it should. Check memory to be sure it is functioning as it should.  

Also, check to see if any users are syncing files to that server. Each time large files are transferred, it can cause slowdowns for everyone.

Things to check:
1. Antivirus software on server is current / up to date, then run it.
2. Anti-malware software on server is current / up to date, then run it.
3. Check the space available on the server hard drive. It should never be less than 10% in any situation.

Possible things to do for backup:
1. Attach an external drive and run a full backup. Then schedule weekly full backups with daily incremental backups (or whatever works for your situation)
2. Install an internal drive and run a full backup. Then schedule weekly full backups with daily incremental backups (or whatever works for your situation)
3. Install an internal drive and move shared files to that drive, leaving the operating system on the primary drive.  (You will have to remap your users shared files shortcuts)
4. Depending on your budget, there are several good options for backup.  I recommend using an external backup which uses RAID to mirror the backup. This essentially backs up your server, and makes a second copy on a different drive in the event your server crashes and the backup crashes at the same time.
5. I also recommend setting  up your server as a RAID system, but do not rely on that for backup. If the server burns the drive, you can switch to the mirror drive, insert a new drive and be back in business in minutes. You would still need to run backups as stated above.

Hope that helps with the backup question at least!

jarboe81Author Commented:
Also could a simple defrag or possibly running a ccleaner to remove unused temporary files help at all?
If it is raid 5 then you can swap drives to bigger capacity 1 at a time and let the raid build each time, but you will need to check the config and see how many disks you have etc.
Please post the current consumption on the disk.
jarboe81Author Commented:
Ok so I am not even able to access this machine through remote desktop which is also a problem that the employee's at the store are having they are not able to access the server. The server is powered on and will function if you are physically in front of it but is still very slow. Im lost here. Is there anything that I can walk an employee through over the phone without having to fly across the country?
I would first run a defrag, then a disk cleanup. then run a virus scan utility (Microsoft security essentials is great) and malware (malwarebytes is awesome). start there

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Needs to go to the server directly.

Maybe start in safe mode to see if you can get it up and clear some space.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Server Apps

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.