How much hard drive space should be left open on a MS Windows server 2008 r2?

I have a client who has a DELL server running Windows Server 2008 R2 with 4 GB RAM. The Hard drive is 40 GB and has 1.41 GB available. How 'bad' is this? What is the 'minimum' space that should be kept and what are the problems that can and/or are occurring due to this small space left ?

Thanks in advance.
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Don S.Commented:
At 1.4gb free you will be having problems with updates and temp file accumulation at a minimum.  Generally 30% free space is the minimum you want to be at.  But, it depends a lot on what is installed on the server, what roles it is performing.  The more it is doing, the bigger the buffer of free space you will want.  I've usually put 2008 r2 servers in at about 100gb in the past and that seems to work fairly well.

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Chris HInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
It might not be supported in your environment, but I run CCleaner on our terminal server and I also crawl through the user profiles and erase all temporary data, daily.

I used the native disk cleanup from MS and it freed up 9%, but CCleaner actually freed up 22% on the same disk.

2008R2 can also easily grow a dynamic volume.  You can add space (especially if you're using virtualization) to an OS volume on the fly and extend it.  I've had to do this countless times.  Just remember, you can't go in the other direction quite so easily.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
NTFS v5 and higher needs 15% free space for internal optimizations and journaling without taking a significant performance hit. Always try to stay above that.
RSchiererAuthor Commented:
the server is also generating memory errors. Would this be attributed to the low hdd space?
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Disk space is cheap, 40GB is way out of line for total size.. for a DC only I'd estimate 100GB minimum 250GB preferred. A barebones DC clean install requires almost 20GB.. You start adding user profiles onto this system and the disk space requirements increase dramatically. 3% free is way, way under the guidelines of having 30% free. To get to 30% free you need 50GB so even an 60GB/80GB OS disk is a little more reasonable.

With only 4G of ram you will have a lot of swapping (unless only acting as a headless DC) and your pagefile is going to be extremely fragmented which will result in lower performance
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Windows Server 2008

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