server full of hidden files- can't delete or see them

350ztn
350ztn used Ask the Experts™
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We have a server that in one of the volumes has about 800GB of data used out of 1TB. Changing the view to show hidden files/show operating system files still does not reveal any folders/files on the volume taking up that capacity. We installed a program winstatdir and it showed us nearly 800gb of .trc files in a directory called unknown. See attached.
any ideas how to get this massive amount of data recovered from a directory we can't see?
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yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Commented:
You can use the command prompt and use the command

Change your directory to the vol. If it is not mapped you need to map the vol.

Net use x: \\unc path
X:
del *.trc /A:H /S /q
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
To upload an attachment to EE, you need to press the Upload Button after choosing the file, else your file is just ignored.

.trc files are either network captures or other trace files, like for MS SQL Server Profiler. Them being located in a folder called "unknown" is very strange. WinDirStat should allow you to switch into the corresponding folder via context menu on a file, so you can locate the real location in Explorer. I would definitely look into that folder for the most recent file date - if there are files currently written to, you need to find out which process uses those. You can delete old ones then, but not the current one most probably.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
A good way to get a handle on server files is to run Tree Size (Jam Software). Run it in Administrative mode and it will neatly lay everything out for you. This is what I do.

Once you see the files, you can decide what to delete.
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Author

Commented:
screenshothopefully this screenshot works. what is this file? it says it is system files, this is being generated on our F:\ volume which is not a system directory.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
What root folder and tree do these files belong to?

It seems some process has run wild.

I suggest you run a complete virus scan with your own antivirus application followed with a scan by Malwarebytes.

Author

Commented:
ran malwarebytes- it didnt find anything in that directory
capture
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks. Those files are in System Volume Information.

Run Disk Cleanup. When it starts. select Clean Up System Files, when that calculates. select all items for cleanup and OK. It may take a while.

Author

Commented:
it doesn't allow disk clean up- it doesnt even show them. with windows file browser it doesn't see the directory at all, I have ti use a third party tool to even find them.
disk cleanup
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You have to add Desktop Experience to the Server

Author

Commented:
yup I did that. thats the only way Disk Cleanup would show up
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
So the Disk Cleanup should now run. That is the Microsoft supported way to remove old files

Author

Commented:
in the screenshot above on the volume that is full of the "system information files" all it shows is the recycle bin.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Disk Cleanup can Cleanup the recycle bin. That is an option.

If not look in System, Profiles . Have you built excessive profiles?

Author

Commented:
all that it shows on the volume available to clean up is Recycle bin, I'm looking to find out how to delete that almost 800gb of data. disk cleanup doesn't seem to see it, file explorer doesnt seem to see them- only the 3rd party app you suggest.
Under c:\users there are 6 user folders showing, but in control panel, user accounts I only have one user account.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Look in Advance System Settings, Advanced, User Profiles, Settings. You will likely see unused profiles in here. Delete these, close out and then when you can, restart the server.
"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
Looks like shadow copies, created by backup programs or file revision history. FIrst of all, check
   vssadmin list shadowstorage
to see for configured limits (should be 10%) and actual allocation. In particular after restoring from a Restore Point limits might get to 100% instead of the 10% set up by default, consuming all free space. However, as soon as you need space, that area will be cleaned out by some amount to allow for sufficient free space.
You can see more details about managing System Volume Information at e.g, http://woshub.com/how-to-clean-up-system-volume-information-folder/
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
system volume information contains potentially important information.  Stop trying to delete these files and START figuring out why they are there.  Your backup program?  Quite possibly it's your Volume Shadow Copy settings.

Author

Commented:
AWESOME! This worked!

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