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C: drive becoming full after Windows Update


I created a new server and ran the Windows Updates and it seems like there were about 110 updates and now my C: drive is full on a Windows 2008r2 server.  How can I regain some of my disk space back?  I'm assuming the first step would be to make sure it's Windows Updates is causing this challenge.
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*** Hopeleonie ***IT Manager
How much GB is your C?
I have 50GB on C: drive and 5GB available.  
I also have 85GB on D: drive and all is available.
Also, does MS provide a tool that will show me exactly what is causing this issue?
Hi Uppercut7141,

I have a few suggestions based on my experience with similar problems with a SBS2003 server.

First, it would help to know the size of your C drive (partition), how much free space you had prior to the updates and how much you have now.

Do you have any utilities that show you disk usage by directories and file types on your server?  I am a huge fan of TreeSize Professional.  It will quickly show you where the space is being used.  I have used it many times to locate bloated directories or unexpectedly large files.

Are you running WSUS on this server?  If you are, I would check that folder to see if it is the source of the problem.  If you are running WSUS, that database can quickly become huge if you are downloading all updates for a variety of other server/client operating systems.

If your WSUS file is huge, you can 1) try to compact it or 2) move the WSUS database to another drive.  I personally moved my WSUS database to another drive.  I'm not sure how to do it on 2008 R2, but I would bet a quick search on EE would give you the steps to follow.

Another potential culprit is Exchange if you are running that.  I know these are just general ideas.  Perhaps it will give you something to check while you wait for a real 2008 R2 expert to chime in.  Good luck!
I just saw your drive specs.  50GB seems a little on the small side, I have a 75GB partition on my SBS2003 server and a 100GB partition on my 2012R2.  Are you using your C drive as a file server for your network?  Since D is 100% free, I would look to see if there are any files you can move over to it.  TreeSize Professional would help you identify potential files to use.  There may be other utilities that would also work, but it sure beats running searches in Windows Explorer!
*** Hopeleonie ***IT Manager
As MrChip2 told 50 GB is not much, Use WinDirStat or TreeSize to find what is filling the space. Use also the Disk Cleanup tool from the Windows Server 2008 R2 to clean.

How to:
FYI, Foldersize is free and does a similar job as TreeSize Pro,

50gb definitely sounds small.    If moving files off to free up space isn't an option, then get a bigger drive and clone with Paragon (or similar utility).    Paragon has an option to clone the drive and expand the drive into available space.
Systems Administrator
Microsoft recently added the ability in 2008R2  to clean up left over files from service packs and windows updates.   To do this, you'll need to install the "Desktop experience" feature on the server.  That feature includes the disk cleanup utility.  If you run this as administrator, it will include "Windows Update Cleanup" and "Service Pack Backup files".

See this blog post for details:
I agree with Tailor.  What type of drives do you have in your server?  Are they SATA, SAS,...?  What about RAID?  Are the drives hotswappable?  Depending on your answers, a HDD upgrade could cost you just $200 or so (including cloning software).

If you are running basic SATA drives, you can buy a single 1TB Western Digital Black SATA drive for under $100.  I think a 2 TB drive is not much more.  You can then create a 150GB OS partition and a 850GB file partition on the single disk.  This should give you plenty of room for growth.  Your server will also run better if the boot drive has adequate free space.  If your server supports RAID, I would mirror two drives and then create partitions like above.  WD has other drives designed for specific uses (I have WD Red drives in my networked attached storage device for instance).  If we knew more about your server configuration and future needs, I'm sure someone could make more specific suggestions.

I would start with Steve's suggestion on the Windows Update Cleanup tool and see how much space that frees up for you.


Very good answers.