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Running out of Space SBS 2008 Drive C:

Hello.. - First.. I'm not very versed in SBS 2008.. my issue is that I have a client that is running SBS 2008 and is out of space in their boot drive C:  I have read MANY :) articles concerning this issue and followed MANY suggestions.. but none have aleviated the problem.. we're still out of space..

Question: The boot volume is in a RAID 1 configuration (hardware RAID - Intel ICH8R) and is only occupying approx 50% of the total drive space.  This drive space is UN-Seen in Windows beacause it has not been allocated in the RAID Controller.. it's just sitting there..  Is it possible to reclaim this drive space in the RAID Controller configuration?  If so.. will I be able to extend drive C: to use this extra space?  Also.. the drives are "Basic Disks" in Windows Storage Management.. not Basic volumes.   Thanks for any assistance.

Final thought.. I may not be persuing the correct path in my question above.. my only goal is to get more space for their boot drive.  Thanks Again..
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William Larkin
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William Larkin
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1 Solution
 
rindiCommented:
First of all, Intel ICH8r isn't hardware RAID, that is a mere fake-raid controller. With such controllers it is much better not to use it's RAID, but rather the built-in RAID of your OS.

I'm not completely sure I understood the rest of your Question properly. Is there only one RAID array set-up and that volume partitioned and the partition not using the full array? If that is so, all you need to do is to go into diskmanagement of Windows, right click your OS partition, and then select "Extend". That way you can assign your drive C: the rest of your RAID volume (or more than you already have). If you see unallocated space in diskmanagement behind C: on the same volume that should work without issue (leave about 10 mb unused space on the volume).

If the above doesn't apply, delete your RAID array(s) and then create a new RAID 1 using the full capacity available. Then restore your OS from the backup image. You could also not setup an array, then restore your backup to one drive and, then extend use software RAID and extend your partition.
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andyalderCommented:
Has RAID 1 and only sees half the space. Sounds pretty normal if you mean that you only see one disk's worth of space since they're mirrored. If you only see 1/4 of the total capacity of the two disks then something's wrong but would need more info to tell what.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. Thanks for your prompt repsonses... to further clarify.. I do have 2 RAID volumes that I setup in the Intel ICH8R configuration menu (Not in Windows) which consists of: (1) Raid1 Boot Volume - that's needing space, and (1) Raid1 Data Volume.  The Raid1 Boot Volume as setup in the ICH8R Configuration Menu.. is set @ 160GB..  the actual hard drives are 500Gb in capactiy.. My question is: Can I just Allocate this space in the ICH8R menu as another storage area and then in Windows "See" this area and possibly add it to the current Drive C: boot drive?... REMEMBER.. that the drives (In windows) are Basic Disks.. NOT Simple Volumes.  I have installed EASUS Partition Manager.. but it does not currently see the extra space.. I am guessing that it will not see it until I allocate it somehow in the ICH8R Configuration Menu.. - Thanks Again.
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rindiCommented:
Is the data volume being used or is it empty?
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
The data volume is being used.. Thanks.
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rindiCommented:
I suggest you make another image type backup of both volumes if you haven't already. SBS 2008 has something you can use for that built-in, but I haven't used it and don't know how well and how it works. I suggest using a backup utility from Paragon (it won't be free for servers, but it is less expensive than other similar tools) if you don't have your own utility:

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html

Then as I mentioned earlier delete both of your RAID arrays and setup your drives as single drives (not as RAID). Then restore your OS partition to the first of those drives, making the resulting partition larger than what it was before, and then restore the data partition to the rest of the space on that same drive. After that when you are back inside Windows setup Windows software RAID with the other disk. I wouldn't use the Fake-raid controller's RAID functions, as that isn't reliable. If you are using a RAID controller, use a real hardware RAID controller.
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andyalderCommented:
Think you need to post some screen shots since you say the data volume has data on it but also that Windows can't see it and both can't be right.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thanks again.. to clarify.. the data volume is a seperate Raid Volume.. I did not say the data volume couldn't be seen.. I said that the unused area of the Boot Volume cannot be seen as it has not been allocated in the ICH8R Configuration Menu (the menu that comes up when the server is just booted prior to going into Windows) - The data volume is fine and has plenty of room - client does not want to use this space for anything but data.  Again, the hard drives in the boot array are 500gb drives.. only 160gb have been allocated.. (they are mirrored in Raid1) - I'm just trying to find out if I can use this remaining space and if so.. what would be the proper way to do it.  I do not particularly want to have to delete the RAID volumes as suggested above.. but if that is the only way to expand the boot volume.. then I will do it. - Thanks.
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rindiCommented:
As I mentioned, software RAID on this controller is much more reliable than using the RAID controller's functions. But if you want something unreliable, you can just delete the array with your OS, then create a new array with all the drive's available space, and then restore the backup to the new array. Even if the matrix RAID utility of the intel controller has an option to expand an array, I wouldn't trust it or even try that. Restore the backup is much safer and probably also faster.
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andyalderCommented:
Still need screenshot from Windows disk manager.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the responses.. here is a screenshot of the Disk Manager..
Snap-2012-09-17-at-14.55.58.png
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andyalderCommented:
You could make a second volume with the remaining space but to extend C: you would have to backup/restore an image since making a new volume on the Intel menu wouldn't appear as contiguous space. Presumably there are 4 x 500GB physical disks in it, two making up C: and another two for D:.

Can't you just move a load of stuff from C: to elsewhere? There must be some huge database or similar on it for it to be taking that much room up. Forgotten snapshots in sysvol, uncleared transaction logs or just undeleted servicepack undo files come to mind.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Strangely enough... there isn't any "known" huge databases.. I have been reading tons of articles related to this issue - Windows 2008 SBS running out of room.. and you are correct.. log files etc.. I have used wsusutil commands to move the wsus content to another drive, but the content still remains on Drive C?? when I read further about this.. it seems that you have to go into moving databases etc.. and I'm not real comfortable doing this.. I did look at shadow copies using the shadow copy utility (command line) and when it listed all the shadow copies it says there are 65 of them?? which seems like it could be taking up space.. but I'm not sure how to safely remove these copies (if their not needed) and to prevent this huge pile up later..  Everything else on Drive C is pretty much System Files Program files.. nothing that takes up this much room..  Thanks again for your reponse.
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pgm554Commented:
>Configuration Menu.. is set @ 160GB..  the actual hard drives are 500Gb in capacity.


Looking at the screen shot,i see the C drive @149 gigs,and the D drive @465 gigs which pretty much is all of the 500 gig RAID 1 array when combined.

The other two are a backup RDX drive and what looks like a Western Digital Elements USB drive.

What drive are you trying to extend,because as far as I can tell, there are none available that you can use?
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments.. The C drive is actually 500gb, but only 160gb allocated via Intel Raid configuration menu at boot up. I have 4 drives total 2 for Raid Volume1 and 2 for Raid Volume2 both volumes are mirrored Raid level 1. There is 300gb+ not being used in the boot volume and not available in Window disk management because it was never allocated in the Intel Raid configuration menu. I am trying to find the easiest way to utilize this space (if possible) without reformatting. Thanks again for any help
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rindiCommented:
The easiest, fastest and safest way is to make an image, clear the array, restore image, build software RAID as I mentioned earlier. I'd additionally do the same thing with the data drive to get rid of the intel matrix array which as I mentioned is very unreliable and should never be used with servers (or even workstations).
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Hi.. as far as making an image of the hard drives.. which uitility works the best? Have you used any with great success?? - thanks for your time.. I will be following this path most likely.
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rindiCommented:
Paragon's backup utility works fine. Just make sure you get a server version. It might also be possible that you can get a fully working trial, at least that used to be possible.

SBS 2008 also has a utility for backing up on board and it is also image based, but as I don't have personal experience with SBS 2008 I don't know how it is properly used, or how you restore from it.
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pgm554Commented:
The ugly part about the built in backup,is it's lack of support for 4k drives and ,because I see that there is a Dell utility partition,it would need to be converted to NTFS,otherwise it won't back up the disk.
The entire disk must be NTFS.
That RDX box will have issues too unless its server 2008r2.

The MS backup is just a mess.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your expertise.. I was trying to avoid this route, but I believe it's the best way to proceed.
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