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Monday, April 04, 2016

Space "Magically" missing on Win 2012 drives

An apparently (almost) empty drive might show low space but looking at the files found that only a few GB was being consumed. Upon checking on the drive turned on show hidden on the server in a folder called System Volume Information.

The System Volume Information folder is a hidden system folder that the System Restore tool (XP, Vista/7/8) uses to store its information and restore points, it is also used by shadow copies for  backups and other purposes on Windows 2003/2008 and 2012. There is a System Volume Information folder on every partition on your computer.

So how do you reclaim the space? Well there are two ways either through the GUI or the command line to recover space that system restore is not using. Special Note: if you do this on SQL servers it will stop the MSSQL service.

CLI Method

Open a command prompt with the “Run as Administrator” option. Type in vssadmin list shadowstorage

As you can see the output shows used Space, Allocated Space and Maximum Space.

We can also see what available restore information is available by running vssadmin list shadows

So now let’s get to reclaiming the space on one of the drives. In the issue I had with disappearing space was with the F:\ drive. So to reclaim it I want to resize the maximum allocated space setting to 1 GB. The syntax is:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[here add the drive letter]: /For=[here add the drive letter]: /Maxsize=[here add the maximum size]

For Example:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=F: /For=F: /Maxsize=1GB

To validate the changes took run vssadmin list shadowstorage.

Repeat the steps to make the changes to other drives and the space will be recovered.

GUI Method

Double click on Computer to see your drives. Right click on the drive in question and select Properties. Click on the shadow copies tab.

Select the drive in the list and click on the settings button. Check the Use Limit box and type in the amount in MB to which you want to set (1024 for 1GB) and click OK. Repeat for other drives until completed.

You are all done and now have more space.

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