How to recover space from system on Windows Home Server

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Follow the process recommended by Nem1234 in this thread and reproduced below and then

  • run checkdisk on the C:
    • You will have to reboot and it will take many hours to complete

__

 

How to find the space….. :)

My piece of the pie chart showing SYSTEM space used
( seen on the WHS ‘Server Storage’ pie chart) was 913GB
after a reinstall (which had a couple crashes happen in the
middle due to driver issues). I couldn’t find a definitive answer
to why this happened, or how to fix it.  So I researched as much
as I could, and came up with the following things to check.

From my research, it can consist of one or more of these 4 things:
1) Duplicated Backups
2) “Previous Versions” of files in the shared folders
3) Orphan files
4) Files manipulated by copying directly to the volumes
   using ‘my computer’ or ‘explorer’ INSTEAD of using the \\server\share\
   folders like we’re supposed to.

==============================================================

1) Space from Duplicated BACKUPS (these are only enabled if the
registry hack described here
( http://www.hanselman.com/blog/WindowsHomeServerUnsupportedFeatureBackupDuplication.aspx )
is enabled:

As stated in the above link:

Totally unsupported and may well go away in the future no warranty
express or implied you’re on your own don’t ask for support from
anyone it’s your butt not mine Registry key from Regedit:
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Folders
 
From a list of GUIDs, find the one that has the FriendlyName
of “Windows Home Server Computer Backup.” Under that key there
is an “Attributes” sub-key. Create a DWORD value “Reliable” = 1.
 
(If these instructions are too technical or don’t make sense,
you might want to reconsider heading down this path, or you can
find a nerd to do this. I don’t want to make this too easy because
if you do this unsupported thing, I’d hate to have your house burst
into flames because if it.)
 
Setting this value does one simple thing,
it turns on duplication of the backups database.

==============================================================

2) Space from ‘Previous Versions’ of files in the \\server\
   shares directories.  This was enabled in the original install
   of WHS from the very first OEM CD.  The Microsoft Whitepaper
   on Drive Extender (“Windows Home Server Technical Brief for
   Drive Extender” currently found at
   http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23876)
   explains the issue:

   “Disabling Volume ShadowCopy Services
The initial release of Windows Home Server used Volume ShadowCopy Services to support Previous Versions functionality for files stored in Shared Folders on the home server. Windows Home Server triggered a snapshot every 12 hours, enabling users to access previous versions of files stored in Shared Folders on a home server, through the Previous Versions functionality available in some Windows client operating system editions.
The new media editions of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 ship with Volume ShadowCopy Services for home server Shared Folders turned off.  If you purchased the initial version of Windows Home Server and upgraded to Power Pack 1, then this feature is still turned on and may take up considerable storage space on your home server.  The amount of space taken up by ‘System’ in the Server Storage pie chart includes the space used by volume shadow copies, which in some cases can be significant.

  Disabling Volume ShadowCopy Services and reclaiming the disk space

1. Run mstsc.exe to start a Remote Desktop Connection session to your home server.
 Caution
Be careful when using a Remote Desktop Connection to your home server. You can damage Windows Home Server functionality if you use it incorrectly.

2. Open a Command Prompt, Click Start, Run and type CMD
3. To delete all of the existing volume shadow copy snapshots and reclaim the disk space used by the snapshots, type vssadmin delete shadows /all
4. To disable the Windows Home Server storage manager service from taking future snapshots, type regedit
5. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Storage Manager\Volumes.
6. Find a sub key which has a MountPoint value equal to D:
7. Under that key set the value of SnapPeriod to 0

==============================================================

3) Orphan Files occur when there has been a problem.  From the Whitepaper:
Viewing Orphan Shadow Files
Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1 proactively searches for orphan shadows on home server hard drives, and places them in an application folder on the primary data partition.  Orphan shadows could get created when hard drives appeared as ‘missing’ on home server systems running the initial release of Windows Home Server.  Orphan shadows are secondary copies of files stored in shared folders and in certain circumstances these shadow files may not have been properly cleaned up when hard drives went ‘missing’. 

During the installation of the Power Pack 1 update to a home server running the initial release of Windows Home Server, the hard drives are analyzed to look for any orphan shadow files.   If any orphan files are found they are stored in an application folder in the following location – D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\

The special location above will maintain the folder structure of the original file which allows the user to understand in which Shared Folder the original file was stored.

  To view any orphan shadow files

1. Run mstsc.exe to start a Remote Desktop Connection session to your home server.
 Caution
Be careful when using a Remote Desktop Connection to your home server. You can damage Windows Home Server functionality if you use it incorrectly.

2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\

These files can be deleted.

==============================================================

4) Copying files directly to disk.

See the Whitepaper for more info.  In a nutshell, if you copy anything to the disks using explorer or ‘my computer’ instead
of the shares, it becomes part of the ‘system’ space reported by the WHS Server Storage pie chart.

==============================================================

That’s it.  I’m posting this here in an attempt to help anyone out who in the future might have this annoying and mysterious ‘System’ piece of the pie chart to be much huger than the normal 20GB that we usually expect.

Regards,

Nem

  • Edited by Nem1234 Saturday, August 25, 2012 4:28 PM
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