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recovering space on c drive

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2014-04-27
Hi,
just recently one of our server's c drives went from over 2g down to around 800mb of available space and when i checked each folder and added up the space i seem to be missing a lot of what is taking up the space so aside from temp folders and running disk compression, what other folders should i be looking at to gain back the space?  Also why would you think i cant account for the total space when i add up all the folder sizes?  thanks
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Question by:dankyle67
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Tony Giangreco earned 150 total points
ID: 40019873
I would try using TreeSize on the server to quickly view the files on all drives, see what the largest files and folders are to quickly and effectively identify files that you can delete like old logs, downloads and other files that are taking space that you could reuse.

I run it on a Windows 2008 R2 server and it really helps.

www.treesize.com
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 75 total points
ID: 40019877
If all your windows updates are finished, you can clean this folder:

C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

If you REALLY can't get any more out of it, move the $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ folders in the Windows folder away to another disk.

You're probably missing space from Volume Snapshots.
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by:pjam
pjam earned 42 total points
ID: 40019886
Are you displaying hidden system files.
Try either TreeSize Pro or Windirstat to see what you are missing.
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by:gurutc
gurutc earned 42 total points
ID: 40019891
Also a good 3rd party tool is WinDirStat.  

Windirstat download link

If you need more space you can also try relocating part of your paging file to another drive.

- gurutc
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40019892
ok will try these, also someone suggested using  partition magic server to resize the drive but i always thought these programs cant be run when windows is running.  I would like to resize the drive since i could back a lot of space but worried about the risk.
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by:Kimputer
ID: 40019897
Indeed, resizing has to be done with a CD boot (not when Windows is running)
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40019906
Yes, you are probably referring to Paragon Partition Manager Server edition. it's a great app to extend your partitions of you have free space available on your hard drives. I've used it multiple times for backups, copying partitions to new drives and extending partitions.

And they have US based tech support.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 108 total points
ID: 40019917
There are system folders, like the System Volume Information Folder, whose contents don't show up in the actual folder sizes. That's where Volume Shadow Copies, Active Directory data, etc is stored.

Look for a 3rd party tool, I think it is called "treesize", it is supposed to give you a better idea of where your space has gone.

You could delete the contents of \Windows\Software Distribution\Downloads, and also the directories that start with $NT in your Windows directory (at least the older ones).

Also, depending on what the server does, there are further things you could do. For example if it is an exchange server, transaction logs are created. By default those are stored somewhere on C:\, and if your full backups fail, they don't get purged. So if that is the case make sure your full backups are OK. If you don't do full backups, then use circular logging so the logs are purged when they get old.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40019997
I took a look at the partition manager server edition website and it looks too good to be true.  It says you can extend partition without rebooting.  So have you actually used it to perform this function on a running windows server?
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40020046
Yes, it works very well, but I suggest running when you don't have users logged into email or other applications that are on that partition. It may freeze them out and cause other problems.
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by:rindi
ID: 40020053
It should never be necessary to resize partitions on servers. Just manage them properly. Check out leew's guidelines, one of EE's top experts:

http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp

But otherwise partition utilities like those sold by paragon work. But they aren't free, and those versions sold for servers are rather expensive. Also, never do any manipulation before you know you have a good and tested backup. Things can always go wrong, particularly when your backups are bad (murphy's law).
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40020067
I agree with murphy's  law as it always seems to have good timing when you didnt  plan properly.  I also agree that managing the c drive is best way to maintain free space but unfortunately once its filled up, sometimes there's no choice.
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by:tmoore1962
tmoore1962 earned 42 total points
ID: 40020920
You can run wise disk cleaner to scan the drive to try and clean up space on the drive.  Determine what applications are running on the server backup exec for example has a DB that can be pruned to regain free space.  Moving your pagefile to another drive is another way to gain free space at the cost of being able to get dumpfiles in the event of a operational problem.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40021567
Have you recovered the space you needed?
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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 41 total points
ID: 40024274
If your free space has "suddenly" shrunk and you havent changed anything, then look for log files that are growing in size.

NB when you run something like Windirstat, make sure you are running it with full elevated privs otherwise it might not list some hidden system files.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40025680
Finally found that the c drive had a dell folder under programs folder that was from the dell open  manage program we run on it to monitor drive and hardware health and after uninstalling the program and reinstalling on other drive was able to recover 1.5g so that part was ok but i noticed that the folder for dell was still around 10g so i tried opening it but everytime i do this it takes a long time and then server freezes and cant even access shares on it or remote desktop to it until i terminate the process.  Its an old server and we have decided to already replace it soon but still curious why it would freeze when attempting to open that large dell folder which i am pretty sure contains a lot of log files.  Thanks for all the good advice along the way.
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by:rindi
ID: 40025689
Folders with a large number of small files can take a long time to load, making it look as if it is freezing, but it shouldn't actually be freezing. If the AV utility scans the files when you try to open the folder, it can further slow things down, as does indexing.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40025690
That folder probably contains a ton of logs, drivers and Dell's OSMA app. Windows may be running another function like indexing, anti virus scan on that folder or or some other routine that is taking up all it's resources at that time which basically freezes the server at that time. If the server is that old, the drives are probably SCSI, IDE or a very slow 5900 rpm grade that will slow you down and was never designed to handle the load of today's software. Replacing it is probably the best plan.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40025700
Sounds good thanks again
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