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2008 Server C drive is almost full.  Have deleted everything possible

Posted on 2013-05-22
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
One of our 2008 servers was incorrectly used by the previous IT organization here.  It is an APP server and hosts the servers for MIP, Patient Tools, Therascribe, and Symantec Endpoint Security.  It has an available but un-partitioned 357 GB. On the volume there is 118 mb.  I have moved the swap file and removed everything else that is not critical.

MIP, Patient Tools,  and Therascribe still work, but Symantec will not connect to the db, hence it will not start.  

I have Acronis Disk Director Server, but there is not enough space to install it.  I have been thinking of moving Symantec, but can't find any method of doing it that doesn't involve  starting the app, which I can't do.  Does anyone know how hard it would be to just re-install it on another server and attach the clients that are already part of it's database? I also can't back up the DB because it has no place to  go.  But, I might be able to get a copy of it.
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Question by:jeb-sb
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 220 total points
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You don't say how much space was originally allotted or what is taking up the space with actual numbers.  A screen shot of disk management would also help.

The short answer without knowing details is either expand the disk using Disk Management or find the largest application folder, stop the service, rename the folder, then create the folder you renamed and mount the empty disk space there to that folder and move the entire contents of the renamed folder back to the mount point.  Then start the service again.

(STRONGLY recommend making a backup FIRST!!!!)
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by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 240 total points
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Sometimes this happens when someone rather naively directs backups to a production drive.  You could look for that and presumably make backups happen elsewhere - which you would surely want to do.  Then delete the old backups if that makes sense in the grander scheme of things.

If the drive isn't as big as one you could buy, you could easily enough clone it onto a bigger drive to get more space.  

Or, given the amount of space you have that's available, you might boot to a live CD and increase the size of the used partition - taking up all of the unused space in the unused partition.  You might clone first as a backup or make an image.

So, you could boot to an Acronis live CD, make an image (equivalent to a clone) on an external hard drive and then use something like partedmagic (another live cd).
Both steps shouldn't take too long in terms of down time.  Is down time acceptable?  If not, what is the plan for failures then?
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by:jeb-sb
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To Fmarshall:  Thanks. Have actually done this before with ACronis, but don't remember exactly what I did,  The instructions say that the server that holds the array must have a client installed.  Does the CD fulfill that requirement?.
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Accepted Solution

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jeb-sb earned 0 total points
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To Leew

The drive appears to be just full of applications.  It is 299 GB.   The applications are critical.  This seems like an awful lot of disk space to fill.  For each app I have found some backup space, and have cleared it, but the space is still being used and I can't determine just what else is occupying it.  But, I have had it up to 6 or 7 GB, but in a few hours it is back down to around 100 megabytes.  Backups for the instances of SQL Server are on another volume.  I've found lots of log files, but as I say, the space get eaten again.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 220 total points
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Move the SQL database and log files to another partition.  (A single LARGE partition is generally bad in my opinion... problems like these tend to happen.  Move services to their own dedicated drives and then you can more easily control these issues).

You could create another partition with the remaining space and then a series of fixed VHDs to dedicated to each app and mounted to a path rather than a drive letter (If you don't understand what I'm talking about, let me know).  This would allow you to move more things off the C: drive than a single partition.  You probably would take a minimal performance hit writing to VHDs, but again, that should be minimal.

Honestly, I would be looking at re-architecting how the server is setup... migrate it virtually and move services off to other drives.
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Author Comment

by:jeb-sb
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I think you have a very good idea.  In fact, that's how I proposed the design to begin with, but it was rejected by management.  There was a few months where they had switched to another consultant and it was done this way.  Since they brought me back, I find lots of problems that they left.  

I  must have been unclear before, but the sql servers are on a separate partition
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by:arnold
arnold earned 20 total points
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Make sure if you have WSUS feature/role installed, that the contents are not consuming c:\wsus
Wsusutil can be used to relocate the content to another drive.

Looking what applications are installed and where they store their data
Look for LogFiles on c:\ drive.
Inetpub
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by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 240 total points
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Re: Acronis.
All you should need is the live CD.  
You didn't say if there's a RAID array but it would be handled like a single disk.
Then, when you restore it, you create the array first and then restore onto it.
I just did this with a RAID 1 server because one HD died and the other was flaky.
So, we imaged the flaky drive onto an external USB HD.   (The source was the only drive at the time).  We did this at some risk that the source was still going to be "good enough" of course. Then we installed new HDs, created the new RAID array and then restored the image from an external HD.
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by:jeb-sb
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Yes.  The array is RAID 5
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Author Closing Comment

by:jeb-sb
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The responses that I indicated as accepted were each part of what led me to the action I took to resolve the issue.  I actually temporarily moved the whole Symantec installation to another server.  There had been vendors working on our equipment that had stashed things on the C drive for their own use.  And, the logs were all getting dumped to the C drive.  So, when I moved the Symantec off, the files were about one half of the files on the drive and gave me the space I needed to allow things to run.  Both answers led me in that direction, so I shared the points.  Thanks
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