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system drives - remaining storage

Posted on 2014-01-08
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what kinds of thing consume a system drive on a windows server? From what i can see most our file servers have a system drive which holds the OS files and software files, then their is a pagefile drive, and then a data drive. I have noticed some of the system drives have a smallish allocation, and are often running at 80% of capacity. OS is not my area of responsibility, but what kinds of things consume further space on system drives? I assume patches take up some space, but I wondered what else? Or once you have all the OS and software installed does the storage used/remaining remain pretty static. For example we have 3GB free on one server, I wondered what kind of acitons on the server could consume that space in one go?
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Question by:pma111
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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the software you install can take up space and cause space to be taken up.  for example, antivirus definitions on a server that manages your network antivirus or backup catalogs on your backup server.  And then you have various windows services that could generate GBs of log files if configured to do so and depending on what they are used for.  I've seen event logs configured to save everything create GB of log files over a relatively short time.  And IIS logs could o so as well, depending on what kinds of Web Sites IIS is running.

 For a standard 2003 server 12 GB can be fine if the server is managed appropriately but on 2008 and later, I'd want at least 60 and with drives so cheap, I almost always setup system drives to be 120GB these days.
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by:pma111
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Can I ask why the difference in requirements for system drive storage on 2003 server system drives and 2008 server system drives?
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by:irweazelwallis
irweazelwallis earned 250 total points
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2008 and onwards has much more logging and diagnostics so space taken up by them is greater i.e. instead of Application, System and Security Log there are lots more windows specific logs each one taking up space

Also you'll from from 2008 onwards the way in which the operating system cached updates seems to have changed to take up more storage if you look in c:\windows\winsxs you'll find this takes up a lot of space and can't be cleared down.

If you have done any large amount of updates this can balloon - i.e. service pack whether for OS or applicaiton
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by:Lee W, MVP
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i dont think its specific to WinSXS and logging. XP/2003 both have those folders as well. the older systems made it easier to remove update backup files, but even then it wasn't like they took up GB of space.  

look at the installation media - xp/2003 install from CD, 2008 and later install from DVD - their source files are more than 6x greater in size than 2003.  consider the pagefiles, that in 2003, the installation source was not cached in the install (it is in 2008 and later) and all the other added features, capabilities, and changes and you need a LOT more space.
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by:irweazelwallis
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they do take up more space though with 2008 onwards - my current system which is 2012 R2 is over 6GB

this is related to the size of the operating system - as you rightly point out the install is simply that much bigger taking up an entire DVD now rather than the 600MB CD for server 2003
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