Troubleshooting Disk Usage in Windows

At times, your server’s disk(s) may begin to fill up with various files and folders. Rather than continue to scale the server up to make room, it may be best to take a look at what’s using up so much space in your filesystem. This quick guide will help walk you through some of the steps and commands you can use to troubleshoot and reclaim some of your storage space. This article deals with Windows servers specifically.

Prerequisites:
• Server running Windows OS.
• Access to the server.


Step-by-step

1) Log in to the device via RDP.

2) Determine the amount of disk space available.

To determine disk space, run the following steps:

• Open the Windows File Explorer and click This PC.
• Under Devices and drives, make note of the amount of free space.

3) Clean up the drive.

You can either use the Windows File Explorer interface to delete files and folders, or utilize the Windows command prompt.

• Change directory to C:temp. If the directory exists, delete all files and folders that are older than 7 days.
• Change directory to C:DRV. If the directory exists, delete all files and folders.
• Change directory to C:WINDOWSInstaller$PatchCache$UnManaged. If the directory exists, delete all files and folders that are older than 60 days.
• Change directory to C:WINDOWSInstaller$PatchCache$Managed. If the directory exists, delete all files and folders that are older than 60 days.
• Change directory to C:WindowsMinidump. If the directory exists, delete all *.dmp files that are older than 60 days.
• Change directory to C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsWERReportQueue. If the directory exists, delete all files and folders.
• Empty the Recycle Bin by right clicking on the desktop icon and clicking on Empty.

4) Verify disk space after the cleanup by opening the Windows File Explorer and click This PC.

There are other third party tools that will analyze your server’s filesystem and provide easy to read breakdowns of what’s utilizing your server’s disk space. Some examples are:

• WizTree
• WinDirStat
• SpaceSniffer

For support in using these products, it’s best to check documentation on their respective sites and forums.

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