Troubleshooting Low Disk Space


Something we encounter in IT frequently (more-so with older servers than newer builds) is the challenge of an ever dwindling amount of disk space on our servers. This blog will explain a few reasons as to the disk space shrinkage, and what we can do to combat that.

Of course a few of the solutions in this blog post are NOT the only solutions to the issue. There are MANY different things you can do to clear up disk space, this blog is just designed to give you a few ideas of what is safe and not-safe to delete.

The first step into determining low disk space is to get a good tool for reviewing the space on the server. There are many tools out there to give you a good overview of the disk space. A few of the tools are:




















Space Monger:









With any of these applications, you are able to view the space in a better fashion, and determine where the biggest offenders lie. In some cases, you will need to move data files/folders, however there are a few things that can be done to clean up the OS files, which will continue to grow as new updates are released, logging is enabled, and sites are visited. One of the best tools to clean up a server quickly with unneeded files is through the use of disk cleanup. This is a tool that can be found in accessories/system tools, and simply running it, and choosing the files you would like to cleanup, will instantly remove unneeded junk.

However disk cleanup does not get as detailed as other free applications you can find online will get you. One such application is Piriform’s C-Cleaner, which can be downloaded at this location:










This will do a deeper level clean than what disk cleanup can offer.

If you have cleaned everything you can with this tool, but still need to go a little further, here are a few ideas:

IIS logs can usually be removed. These logs can be found here:

  1. Windows\system32\LogFiles\W3SVC folders (the numbers apply to sites) FOR IIS 6
  2. Inetpub\logfiles\W3SVC folders (the numbers apply to sites) for IIS 7

If the server has Trend Micro antivirus, they make a great cleanup tool that purges old updates and cleans the junk that can accompany many antiviruses. This tool can be found here:

If the server is 2008 or higher, and does not report errors, it might have a large reporting queue at C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportingQueue, these can be removed either manually, or by going into the Problems and Solutions GUI, viewing the history and deleting the events.

If shadow copies are causing the low disk space, you can do this:

  1. In CMD
  2. type: diskshadow
  3. list shadows all (this will list the shadow copies with a unique ID)
  4. delete shadows id 36350cd8-5ae2-4ccc-a9e3-e0db64116883 => The ID of the shadow you want to delete if you have multiple and want to remove one
  5. OR delete shadows all

If you have a Windows Small Business Server 2008 or 2011, This technet blog was designed just for you, and it covers many areas of SBS that you can clean up as well:

As I mentioned earlier, there are MUCH more areas you can clean up, but hopefully this blog gives you a few ideas to as to what you can safely delete.

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