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What on Earth is taking up all the space in "System"? RRS feed

  • Question

  • [I originally posted this on We Got Served but got little response.]

    Hi all,

    After having my month-old H340 work perfectly I have had this issue come up this weekend and I am baffled.

    I thought I was having a problem with the Digital Media Server that was causing this but uninstalled it and the problem persists.

    Up until yesterday my System "usage" was stable at 20GB. But then suddenly it started increasing until it filled up all available space. I had a spare bay and a 250GB drive so I threw that in and turned off duplication on a non-essential share creating well over 300GB of total additional free space. Overnight all of this free space has been taken and System is now up to 1TB with less than 50MB available out of total 3TB capacity!

    I'm pretty confident with PCs but the way WHS approaches file storage I am not that comfortable with digging around too much. What I have found out from the documentation linked to in the wiki is that anything that is stored outside of the "folders" and "shares" directories on D:\ is considered in "System". I have purposefully not put anything on the D:\ drive myself with everything going into Shares set up through the Console.

    Anyway ... under D:\DE I have two directories ... "folders" and "shares" containing 641GB and 251GB respectively. The culprit in "folders" is in D:\DE\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} which I understand is the GUID for the main backup directory and the files in there certainly support this. Every file that is in this directory is also in D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} (without the DE) ... but *not* vice versa (there are more in D:\folders).

    Strictly speaking D:\DE is not included in D:\folders or D:\shares ... but it is hidden and seems like it wouldn't be a good idea to delete it!

    I've been through the logs and the only thing I can see is repeated instances along the lines of the following in some DEUtil.*.log files:

    [06/09/2009 14:39:35 102c] Info for D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.105.dat
    [06/09/2009 14:39:35 102c]  State = Migrated  NumberOfShadows = 1
    [06/09/2009 14:39:35 102c]  Shadow(0)  Volume(59670a3c-3e60-4e97-8340-2689c08b0d42) State(Healthy)
    [06/09/2009 14:41:54 102c] Migrate D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.107.dat 138499.8599ms
    [06/09/2009 14:43:21 102c] AddShadow D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.107.dat 87636.8686ms
    [06/09/2009 14:45:20 102c] Migrate D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.110.dat 118537.2615ms
    [06/09/2009 14:46:39 102c] AddShadow D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.110.dat 79047.7621ms
    [06/09/2009 14:49:47 102c] Migrate D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.112.dat 187292.4954ms
    [06/09/2009 14:49:47 102c] ERROR: Unable to fully process file D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.112.dat due to a fatal error - err=112
    [06/09/2009 14:49:47 102c] ERROR WITH: D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.112.dat because of too few shadows (1) instead of 2
    [06/09/2009 14:49:47 102c] ErrorNeedsReporting is reporting fatal error 112 on file D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\Data.4096.112.dat as an error
    [06/09/2009 14:49:47 102c] Suppressing QSM error in backup folder

    I've also tried to repair and clean up the database from the Console but to no avail. I've restarted the server several times too.

    I am not sure what to do beyond a full Restore of the server ... although I would like to avoid this. Especially if this is a situation that can happen again. Anyone have any ideas?

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 4:49 PM

Answers

  • Oops!

    Last night in a rage I moved everything from all of my essential shares to a USB HDD in preparation for hitting the H340 with a very large hammer. This morning System had indeed grown again ... but with sufficient space cleared it was now *exactly* the same size as my backups, which brought to mind Ken's previous comment about duplication of backups.

    Quick Google led to here . I checked out the registry key mentioned ... and indeed there was already an entry for Reliable set to 1. Doh!

    To my occasional detriment I like to play with every setting available to me. A while ago I installed the WHS BDBB add-in and must have selected the Backup Duplication options (they were activated when I checked). My confusion came from the fact that I *knew* I had not hacked the registry, but this add-in (quite rightly) did it for me.

    Thanks to all for the help. Your reactions times are fantastic as is the information that you give. I certainly would have bounced the thing down the stairs without your suggestions.
    • Marked as answer by kjmacphee Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:02 AM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:02 AM

All replies

  • "System" is a catch-all. It's every byte of storage used that's not part of another wedge in the pie chart. As such, it's sometimes hard to pin down. 

    Some of the things that are included in "system":
    • shadow copies
    • your entire system partition (all 20 GB)
    • files stored on disks in your storage pool (including D: outside of DE, Folders, and Shares) but outside of the standard Windows Home Server folder structures
    • Windows Home Server add-ins may consume space (possibly a lot) in "system", as their applicaiton folders are counted in that wedge
    • Some say that turning on duplication for the backup database will result in that duplicated database showing up in system. I haven't applied that registry hack...
    Regarding your backup database; Windows Home Server appears to have stored some components on your system drive (in D:\DE\Folders\etc...) but not all components. That's normal operation for the product.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 5:26 PM
    Moderator
  • "System" is a catch-all. It's every byte of storage used that's not part of another wedge in the pie chart. As such, it's sometimes hard to pin down. 

    Some of the things that are included in "system":
    • shadow copies
    The Disk Management add-in reports no Shadows on any of my four drives. I *think* I checked in the registry (following some MS documentation) and shadows were turned off.
    • your entire system partition (all 20 GB)
    Prior to this weekend I had never seen System go beyond 20GB
    • files stored on disks in your storage pool (including D: outside of DE, Folders, and Shares) but outside of the standard Windows Home Server folder structures
    My D:\ contains the following directories (with size):

    c43b6995251141041363bcb484 (6.12MB)
    DE (901GB)
    folders (1.31TB)
    Recycler (8KB)
    shares (354GB)
    System Volume Information (0 but actually 2 files totalling 20KB in there)
    QSM_VolumeID (a 4KB file in the root)

    and that's the lot totalling 2.54TB. I have not (knowingly) put anything on the machine outside of established shares or by installing programs
    • Windows Home Server add-ins may consume space (possibly a lot) in "system", as their applicaiton folders are counted in that wedge
    I can't think of what would occupy circa 900GB of space unless I have a very badly behaved application/add-in that is, say, constantly writing to a log file.
    • Some say that turning on duplication for the backup database will result in that duplicated database showing up in system. I haven't applied that registry hack...
    I have not gone anywhere near that and wouldn't know how to do it in any case.
    Regarding your backup database; Windows Home Server appears to have stored some components on your system drive (in D:\DE\Folders\etc...) but not all components. That's normal operation for the product.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thanks for the quick response, Ken. Some extra information above in italics . If there is any other info I can provide that could shed some light on this then do please ask.
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 8:31 PM
  • You haven't said how much space your backup database is consuming, but probably "folders (1.31 TB)" is your answer overall. Some application on your server (an add-in, whether installed by you or Acer) is consuming a lot of space in the application folder space. Can you drill down one additional level in D:\Folders and see which of the GUID-named folders within are consuming a lot of space?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 9:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Where can I find the size of the backup database, Ken?

    Under D:\folders all of the files (apart from KB scraps) are in {00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} (1.31TB worth) which I understand to be the backup database (??). There is nothing in {1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9} which I believe is where orphaned files go to live.
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 9:22 PM
  • Where can I find the size of the backup database, Ken?

    Under D:\folders all of the files (apart from KB scraps) are in {00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4} (1.31TB worth) which I understand to be the backup database (??). There is nothing in {1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9} which I believe is where orphaned files go to live.
    You can find the size of the backup database in the pie chart in the Console (Server Storage tab).  (And yes, you have correctly identified both of those GUIDs.)
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 1:18 AM
    Moderator
  • Oops!

    Last night in a rage I moved everything from all of my essential shares to a USB HDD in preparation for hitting the H340 with a very large hammer. This morning System had indeed grown again ... but with sufficient space cleared it was now *exactly* the same size as my backups, which brought to mind Ken's previous comment about duplication of backups.

    Quick Google led to here . I checked out the registry key mentioned ... and indeed there was already an entry for Reliable set to 1. Doh!

    To my occasional detriment I like to play with every setting available to me. A while ago I installed the WHS BDBB add-in and must have selected the Backup Duplication options (they were activated when I checked). My confusion came from the fact that I *knew* I had not hacked the registry, but this add-in (quite rightly) did it for me.

    Thanks to all for the help. Your reactions times are fantastic as is the information that you give. I certainly would have bounced the thing down the stairs without your suggestions.
    • Marked as answer by kjmacphee Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:02 AM
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:02 AM
  • Heh. So turn that setting back off. (It's off by design.)

    Probably most of the other users who complain about a huge "System" wedge in the pie chart have similar issues...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 2:27 PM
    Moderator