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Missing Disk Space on Log Drive reappears after reboot Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:09 PM


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We have a SQL 2005 sp3 development server with transaction logs located on F drive. Over several weeks' time, the amount of free space on this drive gradually decreases until there is almost none left. However, I don't know what is using up this space. In Explorer when I highlight all of the files/folders on the drive and check Properties, the amount of space used is much less than that of the disk's capacity. For example, it's a 45 GB drive, and although the sum of all the files & folders is 20 GB, it shows only 1 GB free when it should have about 25 GBs available!

After I reboot, the missing 24 GB of space magically comes back. If I don't reboot and merely stop and start the SQL service, the space is not freed up.

TempDB is located on C drive, so that is not an issue here. This is happening consistently over the last few months, requiring a reboot every month or so.

The server has about 35 OLTP databases and 5 data warehouse databases.

I suspect this is SQL related, though I have no evidence to support that. The issue does not happen with the data drive or the system drive. Any suggestions about what to look for? Thanks
Post #1047577
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:01 PM
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what makes you think its SQL, especially as a restart of SQL has no effect, but a server reboot does, that points to the OS or some other app to me. Have the server admins looked at this?

When you view through explorer are you setting the options so hidden and system files are shown?

does the sizes shown for the log files in master.sys.master_files match to what you see on the file system?


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Post #1047646
Posted Friday, January 14, 2011 6:37 AM


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Thanks for your post George. See my answers below:

Have the server admins looked at this? --> Yes, they looked at it; I don't know for how long, but they didn't come up with anything.

When you view through explorer are you setting the options so hidden and system files are shown? --> Yes, I had thought of this and set the options to show hidden and system files.

does the sizes shown for the log files in master.sys.master_files match to what you see on the file system? --> Yes, but I had to reboot last night and did not run that query until today when I saw your post. Right now there's lots of free space but as time goes on and space decreases I will run that query again.
Post #1047858
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2011 9:02 AM
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You can use a tool like WinDirStat to identify what is using the space.

If you install the tool on your local workstation, you can then create a mapped drive to your server's F:\ drive and run the tool against the mapped drive.

Under Options - make sure you check the options to show free space and unknown.

If you find that you have a lot of unknown space being used, check to see if you have system restore enabled for that volume or shadow copies.


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Post #1048346
Posted Friday, June 3, 2011 2:55 PM


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OK, I have some more information about this. The problem of space being used up is caused by Backup Exec's Shadow Copy. Our network guys are looking at this - if I understood correctly we did not set up Backup Exec to use Shadow Copy, but it is causing space to get used up anyway. We are looking into how to fix this, as it may be a bug. FYI, we don't have the latest version of Backup Exec.
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