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Expanding C: drive on Windows 2008R2 server

Posted on 2014-01-03
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Have a Windows 2008R2 (SBS2011) server.  HP P410i array controller, 4 600GB SAS drives.  The original configuration was 146GB C: drive and 971GB F Drive.  C: Drive is running out of space but F drive has 2/3 unused space.  Had an online spare for the RAID5 configuration

Tried to shrink F drive but amount available was minimal.  Thought it would be easiest to use the online spare (removing as a spare) and adding to the existing logical drive to allow expansion and replace the spare then.

Original configuration was a single 1.2TB logical disk with the C: and F: drives partitioned on it.  However, when the additional 600GB drive was added to the logical disk, it placed the unused portion after the F: drive partition.  In netware/oes, you could use that space by any volume.  But in windows, while you can extend the F: drive, you cannot extend the C: drive.

In the past I had used a tool called Partition Command 10-Server edition to resize and move over a partition so the C: drive could be expanded.  The tool, purchased in 2010 from Avanquest, appears to not be a currently supported tool and do not know if it would work reliably on the 2008R2 server.  Worked with a 2003 server, non-raid, duplexed system after breaking the duplex.

What is the best way to accomplish this at a reasonable cost.  I see a tool from EaseUS, a Chinese company, called Partition Master Server, cost $159, that would appear to perform the resize/move.

Another tool from PartitionMagicserver.com, called MiniTool Partition Wizard Server 8.1.1 is available for roughly the same price.  Cannot determine where they are located.  

I know Acronis has a tool, but significantly more expensive.

What are my choices and what is the recommended tool to use.  If I would have know before, when I added the former spare to the array, I could have made it a new logical drive and then I think I could have used that space to expand each area.  If the original installer had made the C: drive and F: drive each on its own logical drive, then I could also have allocated the new space from the former spare to each drive.

Again, what is the best way to resize/move/expand the c: and f: drives reliably and what tool, if needed, is a good tool.
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Question by:cwsoft05
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by:WORKS2011
ID: 39755074
you may want to see about clearing up space using this free utility, click here for windirstat.
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by:WORKS2011
ID: 39755079
I would NOT use Acronis it embeds itself in the registry and often causes problem later on.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 125 total points
ID: 39755089
System partitions (C:) are always "special." I never recommend messing with them once created, *ESPECIALLY* in a RAID array. If you absolutely must, I'd do a full image backup, flatten, and create new logical drives, then restore the backups. Since they are image-based, the partitions will still be restored as their old sizes, but since the logical drives were defined as larger, the unallocated space will be where it needs to be to easily extend C:.

There are linux based tools to do this while the drive is offline, but I've seen data corruption, which leads to restoring a backup *anyways*  ....so you go through the above while risking running the system and not discovering corrupt data immediately. Not worth it.

----

Now, with that said, 150GB (or 146) should be fine for a system partition, even for a heavy partition like SBS 2011. I have many SBS clients, and my build size was 150GB from SBS 2011's RTM date. They are all still fine.

What you *should* consider doing (for backup purposes, performance purposes, and a few other smaller benefits) is move your data files. WSUS content does not need to live on C:. Move that to F: if you have the space, or a new logical drive. Does *that* need to be RAID? Probably not. If that really crashed, it'd still be a one-time sync to redownload the missing updates.

Move Exchange data files to a new partition.

Move user data to a new partition.

The SBS console has wizards to move all of these. You do that and 150GB is quite spacious, even after all of the patching that has been released since RTM.

-Cliff
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39755446
I will have to look at the SBS console.  I am not familiar with this feature.  Specifically what is the wizard in the console that could move these.  I have the following major items on the c:

inetpub 2GB
Program Files 8.73GB
Program Files (x86) 10 GB, which includes Arcserve data files
ProgramData 6.28GB
User 11.8GB
Windows, 52.8GB
WSUS 11.7GB

I also found out yesterday that the person who installed the system set up the shadow file copy for the C: drive on the C: volume and it uses 14GB.  About 130GB of data is used.

Symantec Endpoint is on F: drive.  Exchange Data File are likely on the C: drive also.

I now have 1.6TB of space available to the F: drive,, 900GB currently allocated, plus 600 GB not allocated which is for the user data, and only about 300GB is being used.

Things that grow are would be the users file for the those that log into the server, the email and the arcserve file.  I did not think about the arcserve location when I installed this and should have not put it on the C: drive, but can move it.

Since I have the additional space on the F: drive already and 600GB of unallocated, should I just allocate some space to F: and then greate a new drive partition for some of the other things to be moved off the c: drive.

The issue looking at the future, is if I leave c: at the 146GB, expand F: to 1.2 or 1.3TB, leaving 300-400GB for a new drive (all are on a single logical raid volume), the new drive would come after the F: drive and would then lock the size of the F: drive for future growth.  I don't think they will really have that much growth before the system needs to be replaced.

What are your thoughts and recommendations.  I had no problems using a tool to move the data before, but that was on a single SCSI mirrored drive, not RAID involved.

What do you mean by flatten.  And for logical drives on the RAID, say you were having 3 main drives, C:, G: for programs and other data on server and g: for the user shares, would you  create these as separate logical volumes on the RAID5.  I have one server setup that way and when an additional drive was added, I could easily allocate space from the new drive to each of the logical drives, which could then be expanded within disk management.

My exposure to this is somewhat limited so recommendations are most welcome.  The person who originally setup this server supposedly had alot of experience with both large and small customers but I question that as I am constantly called to fix what he originally setup.

Cliff.
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WORKS2011 earned 125 total points
ID: 39755452
inetpub 2GB: log files that can be deleted, truncated.

Program Files 8.73GB: if exchange is located here can move to another partition.

Program Files (x86) 10 GB, which includes Arcserve data files

ProgramData 6.28GB: possible log files can be cleaned up

User 11.8GB: no user should have this amount of data on a server

Windows, 52.8GB: clean temp folder.

WSUS 11.7GB: this is definitely an area you can clean up
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39755474
Inetpub - what log files can be deleted and can it be controlled so that it does not need to be done manually.

How do you move exchange to another partition?

Arcserve can be reinstalled to another partition I think

Users.  A system administrator call xxxxxadmin was created to replace the administrator account.  This user is using 11.1GB.  Don't know what is in there yet,  It appears that about 2GB are in documents, many related to the ACT program.  Downloads are 666MB, a program download file and 8GB are on the desktop, which would be alot of program installation file that could be move.

Windows Temp is 21 GB.  What is the best way to clear that.  Disk cleanup task did not clean this up.

Exchange is on the F: drive program files already, 8.2GB

WSUS - how do you clean up or move it to f: drive.  Can this be an automatic process.  If it has to be done manually, it is a ongoing problem.

Cliff
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39755483
Also, 14GB is allocated to shadow copies for the C: drive on the C: drive.

This is also a WSUS folder on the F: drive, so on both the c; and F: drives.

I think Exchange is already on the F: drive.
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by:WORKS2011
ID: 39755495
what's so large in the users profile(s).
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 39755498
You cannot move the existing Shadow Copies from the C: drive to the F: drive but you CAN disable them.  THEN re-enable them and put them on the F: drive (you can only assign a destination for the copies when there are no copies in existence.

The wizards to move things are in the Backup and Server Storage section under the Server Storage tab (look at the tasks pane on the right)

HOWEVER, these tasks don't move EVERYTHING.  There can be large databases, such as the WSUS database (not the actual updates, but the database) and the SBS Monitoring Database that cannot be moved with these wizards.  There are methods for moving them and I would recommend doing so.

To clean up the Windows Temp folder, you can move the contents (not the folder itself, but everything in it) to the F: drive and reboot.  (There may be a few items that Windows says are in use - skip them).  NORMALLY, *I* would just delete the contents of temp, but working on someone else's system, I hesitate to tell you to start out with a "DELETE" and would instead advise a MOVE since that's much easier to recover from using a boot disk if necessary.

Check the Desktop, documents, and downloads folder of all users - you can move the contents (or at least the larger files) to the F: drive.  Odds are, someone wrongly (in my opinion) downloaded files - perhaps service packs, ISO images, etc - to their profile and didn't move them to another drive.

You can change the logging options (including location) in the IIS Manager for the various web sites.  WSUS uses IIS to distribute updates and there are likely many log files for that.

Lastly, the guy who managed your server before MAY NOT have worked with SBS much.  Or may not have understood the product.  When I started consulting for Small Business, I came from a larger environment and I WRONGLY treated SBS as just a bundling of Exchange and Windows Server.  In my first setup of it I screwed it up royally because I set it up as I would for a larger enterprise.  Then I learned the product and realized there were other things one needed to do.  Your previous guy might have done similarly.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39755504
Moving the SBS Monitoring Database - the process should be similar, though this is for 2008.
http://it.gamerz-bg.com/index.php/category/windows-server/windows-sbs/windows-sbs-2011/

How to Move WSUS Content and Database Files to a Different Volume
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/09/23/how-to-move-wsus-content-and-database-files-to-a-different-partition.aspx
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39755513
In the windows temp, the adminstrator user xxxxxadmin had 8.GB of install files in a folder on the desktop.  Easy to move them.

Also, in windows\temp, was a 23GB file sqla0000.tmp.  This is related to SEPM Symantec Endpoint Mgr.  It is a related problem.  It is supposed to be limited to 200mb with sep 12.1 RU1.  We are at 12.1.1101.404 RU1 MP1 but still has the 23GB file.  Restarted the embedded database and SEPM Manager compressed it but I don't know for how long.

Also, since I don't think I need to have moved the former spare to the logical drive, is there anyway to undo this an remove it from the logical drive short of of backing up and recreating the array.
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39755543
It appears the the Smart array advanced Pack v2.0 allows you to shrink the array, removing a drive, but that costs as much as the drive itself.
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by:donnk
donnk earned 125 total points
ID: 39755731
ok this is the easy way we use.

1. backup whatever data is on the 'D' drive or whatever you have named the partition next to the 'C' drive on the disk.

2. delete this partition in disk management.

3. Expand the C drive to use SOME of this space.

4. Create a new partition using whats left of the space.

5. Restore the data to it.

done, no third party tools needed.
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39756099
My concern with this method, that drive is the F: drive and it has the Symantec Endpoint solution and mail protection services loaded from the Program Files (x86) folder and Microsoft Exchange and MSSQL (data files for sharepoint) in the Program Files folder.

These applications are always running.  I would expect that these could be turned off, but I am not certain how to do that.  It they are on when this is done, I would likely cause major problems.  They would have to be burned off during likely the backup, partition deletion, partition expansion, partition creation and volume restore from backup.

That appears to be a little scary because of these two major programs.
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by:WORKS2011
ID: 39756183
Did you clear up enough space to not have to worry about endpoint security for the time being? Or create another post regarding it I'm not a fan of Symantec products I expect someone on EE can help with downsizing.
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39756398
At this point, I have 46GB free out of the 146 GB original

What is left:

c:\wsus - 11.5GB - contains susdb\updateservicedbfiles which has susdb which is a sql database file.  f:\wsus has the wsuscontent folder with 45.6 GB.  It appears that the sql database is still on c: drive.  I did not check the referenced blog posting above.  Is it also possible to move this file.

sqla0000.tmp.  That file is now reduced to 347MB though people are saying it is supposed to cap out at 200mb with version 12.1 RU1 MP1 of SEPM.  I will monitor this.

c:\windows is now 26.1GB with temp only 347GB, most in the SEPM sqla0000.tmp file

c:\users is now down to 3 GB, most if the xxxxadmin user related to the installation of Sage ACT's sample database.  I can likely put the sample database into a different location or delete it.

Related to Progdata and inetpub, log files, how do I determine what to delete, what is safe to delete and is there a way to easily configure the log files to not grow so large.

One other item, taking 14GB of space is the twice daily shadow copies, currently using 8.6GB of 14GB maximum allocation.  A previous comment touched on moving this to the F: drive, but I need to determine how to accomplish this.

Finally, since I converted the online spare to an actual array active drive and added to the single logical drive on the P420i array, is there a way to remove that extra not needed drive from the array.  I see the Smart Array Advance Pack has that capability, but it costs almost as much as the drive, so that is not cost effective.

In addition, if I want to add more storage to the array, how do I add it so I can add the storage to the C: drive or the F: drive.  Just extending the logical drive just puts it after the end.  On a similar server I setup, I had on the array, 3 logical drives, one for c:\, one for user data, E:\ and one for user personal files, Z:\.  Then if I added another drive to the array, I could add some to each of the drive(partitions), c:, e: or z:.


c
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39756608
> A previous comment touched on moving this to the F: drive, but I need to determine how to accomplish this.

I told you how to accomplish this:
You cannot move the existing Shadow Copies from the C: drive to the F: drive but you CAN disable them.  THEN re-enable them and put them on the F: drive (you can only assign a destination for the copies when there are no copies in existence.

> It appears that the sql database is still on c: drive.  I did not check the referenced blog posting above.  Is it also possible to move this file.

I told you how to do this in this comment

I also answered the question about reconfiguring logging for IIS...

Please re-read my comment.
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by:donnk
ID: 39757033
"That appears to be a little scary because of these two major programs."

remove them first and install them again after.

You have the solution now, its just a case of implementing it!
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by:donnk
ID: 39757037
oh to add you can do this is safe mode if you are worried about services as well but i would still remove/install the progs anyway as this is correct practice
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39757259
Thanks,  

I had look looked at the shadow copy process and was unsure.  I will look at it again.

I had scanned the WSUS stuff but not thoroughly enough.

I incorrectly did not associate the inetpub stuff with WSUS or the SBS monitoring.
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by:cwsoft05
ID: 39757261
I would not have a problem with uninstalling SPEM, but I would not want to touch exchange.  I just do not have enough experience with exchange to accomplish this, especially with emails databases.  I did not setup it up originally so I don't know what configuration choices they made.
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