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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, How would YOU handle THIS situation? (PDC Very Low C: Drive Space) in Technical; ...
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    How would YOU handle THIS situation? (PDC Very Low C: Drive Space)

    Yep, itís another one of these threads. I had one like this last week, and from the input of it, my issue was resolved. So here's another (and itís the last "real" issue I have with my LAN at work)

    Since out PDC was built a number of years ago (well before my employment in the school), the c: partition with Windows Server 2003 on it has been 4.73GB (!!!!!!!!!). At present, the amount of free space on it stands at around the 800MB mark. This server handles our internal DNS, DHCP, and holds all the FSMO roles. These are its only roles though, all shared folders and home folders were moved to a different server last summer.

    The server in question is STILL running SP1, and I havenít been able to do Windows Updates on it for well over 2 years now...quite simply because I know it'll saturate the space on the drive.

    I've already followed loads of guides on how to remove un-needed files which has managed to free up some space...and if it wasnít for this, the drive would be totally full right now (so Iím lucky to have the 800MB free)

    I'm after ideas as to how you guys would handle this situation...as the summer holidays are approaching, this giving me time to do some serious work on the problem. Like my issue the other day with the replication issue, I have my own ideas, but Iím keen to find out what you all think.

    Many thanks to everyone who contributes

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    Abaddon's Avatar
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    Assuming this is part of a bigger disk - Partition Magic Server Alternative - Resize & Move Server Partitions without Data Loss.

    This is what I use.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Get another machine or virtual machine up and running as a temp server, transfer the roles onto that, wipe and reinstall the original server and transfer the roles back onto it. Or buy a new server if the current one is old.

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Agree with Teejay. If server is only running the services you mention, it's quite an easy job to do migrate to a new server. It's been a while since I've done this, but in essence;

    1 - Build a new server (VM if you like) and add it to the domain
    2 - Promote it to DC status and make sure the AD is replicating correctly (use REPADMIN, REPLMON and event logs)
    3 - Assuming DNS is AD integrated then it's a simple job to get this running on the new server
    4 - Migrating DHCP is a bit trickier IIRC, but still not a big job. It's possible to copy the database.
    5 - Shift the FSMOs and GC role.
    6 - Check the AD replication again.
    7 - un-DCpromo the old server - check the server disappears fully from AD. Use REPLMON, event logs.
    8 - remove old server from domain
    9 - rebuild old server and use this same process to migrate everything back.

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    Excellent, the ideas given so far are pretty much what I was thinking.

    The plan in my head was to transfer the roles (a procedure I’ve never performed before) over to a different server (an existing one, as we currently have 3 AD servers), demote the server with limited space....and then, when it’s just a member server, I’d run some form of partition editing software to expand the partition.

    I should have mentioned that the server in question is in total a 100GB hard drive...which was a lot when it was built lol (its near enough 7 years old). Saying that, due to the spec of the server, and also how it’s performed over the years, I’m more then happy to return the roles to it once this procedure is completed.

    Thanks for the input, and keep the ideas coming

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    Although 800Mb isn't much (and probably will prevent you installing SP2) it's not the end of the world - as a rough guide you should never drop below 10% free space on any drive so you're well above that but, as others have said, the simplest thing to do is to temporarily transfer the roles to another DC and then fix this server.

    I wouldn't actually bother resizing the partitions - if it's really only running DC roles then just wipe and reinstall - you get a nice clean install of Windows using the full drive as C: and it won't take much longer than the resize process.

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    Yeah fair point. I think my plan will be to perform this procedure in the first week of the summer holidays. Out of interest, is this sort or procedure anything you guys have performed yourselves?
    Last edited by Ambient; 14th June 2010 at 08:52 AM.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronjwilkinson View Post
    Yeah fair point. I think my plan will be to perform this procedure in the first week of the summer holidays. Out of interest, is this sort or procedure anything you guys have performed yourselves?
    Yes, moved onto new DC's over half term. AD is as has already been said, DNS you just add as a role and let it replicate and DHCP you either copy the db over or just recreate from scratch, which is a 5 minute job tbh unless you have loads of scopes.

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    Congrats for keeping this running for so long, I've encountered many servers that were setup with 10gb system partitions and needed careful monitoring to ensure enough space remained at all times, 5gb is insane though!

    I'm guessing it started life as a 2k server and got upgraded. I've pretty much always gone with the migrate, wipe, migrate method if the server isn't being decomissioned, you've got nothing to lose by re-sizing the partitions although it might make more sense just to wipe it and start again if its so behind on patches and the OS has been slimmed so much etc, I'd guess its taken a lot of "tinkering" to keep it running.

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    Amazingly enough, it started life as a 2003 server when the OS was very very new. The problem here is that it was built by someone who was used to working with NT Server. I know the guy who built it very well, and i think he just didnt think about the future when he selected the partition size.

    Thinking about it, i think a full re-build is the best way forward for this issue. As i've already said, i've had to remove loads of "un-needed" files from the Windows folder in order to clear some space, and i'd like them back...so that its a "normal" server.

    Again, thanks for the input everyone

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    It's not a PDC. It's a DC with roles. PDC's went out with NT4.0. Sorry, I have to point this out as increasingly recently there have been many posts talking about PDC's and BDC's. Let's not regress eh?

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    Ah...wait, just to throw something into the mixer here which could make the process of re-building the server from scratch a little harder.

    We use Msi's here to distribute every piece of software apart from Sims.net...and guess what, they've all distributed from a share on the server with low space.

    Every Msi is of course bound to this shared folder, and i arent sure of how i'd go about moving it elsewhere. Would i need to go into Active directory and remap the installation packages to a new source...which would take ages...as we have LOADS.

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    clone the drive onto a bigger one, resize the partition and get those updates done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    It's not a PDC. It's a DC with roles. PDC's went out with NT4.0.
    Yes, but one of the roles is "PDC emulator" - as far as "old" clients are concerned it is a PDC and it's also a role which matters!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    clone the drive onto a bigger one, resize the partition and get those updates done!
    I'd demote that domain controller, promote other domain controllers, change or repartition the servers hard drive and then restore that domain controller from backup to the new drive locations. I have ghosted a domain controller to a bigger hard drive before now and it worked!



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