On 1 of our main servers running Windows Server 2003 some bright spark decided to only partition c:\ with 20GB on a 250GB Harddrive. Problem I have is c:\windows\installer folers id taking up 13GB. Can I relocate this folder to another drive and set up windows to write to this folder from now on?

Any other suggestions welcom.

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You could use NTFS junction points and mount another NTFS partition into the NTFS folder C:\WINDOWS\installer.

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To be fair to your "bright spark", this is stupid design by MS not by your chap. It's good to keep the system partition lean because it's easy to take image backups of it. It was a truly stupid idea of Microsoft to put the Installer folder into C:\Windows with no way to relocate it.

Anyhow, given that mounting a partition into c:\windows\installer may not be feasible, you may be able to trim the size of the Installer folder using msizap. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa370523(VS.85).aspx for details.

The "g" option is safe to use. This removes files in the Installer folder that are no longer required. Use the other options only with great care.


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I had the same problem, but most of the space was due to temporary files (36GB worth) from C:\Windows\Installer. I just ran the Windows "Disk Cleanup" utility, then checked off the files I wanted to delete.

Win Dir Stat image:

enter image description here

Disk Cleanup image:

enter image description here

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There is one other idea I'd consider, but only if you have a complete backup handy as it may ruin your partition tables.

There is a Linux CD called Rescue-Is-Possible; you can boot it into X and from that run GParted on your (unmounted) drives to first shrink the second data partition then expand your system partition so it's larger.

Whenever you edit the partition tables you run the risk of corrupting data. I've not destroyed a partition (and I use it a LOT as a tool for prepping images), but I have had situation where I've needed to run (also on this CD) Testdisk to repair partition data; this was mostly due to differences between master images and imaged system's hard disks though (number of heads are different between the two, for example).

I'd practice on a "spare" system first so you get familiar with it as these aren't the most user-friendly tools, but they can solve your partition problems so you won't run into this issue again down the road.

But again...make sure you have a full recovery backup available first!

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  • It's generally a bad idea to modify the partition table on a server which is doing its job well; especially with parted, which has imho experimental NTFS support. – Manuel Faux Jul 26 '09 at 13:00
  • That's why I said he wanted a backup of everything first...personally, I think you're taking a risk with anything that involves playing with a server that is currently working; but reorganizing the partitions is the only way to really "fix" the problem without a kludgy workaround over the long term. But maybe that's just my experience. – Bart Silverstrim Jul 27 '09 at 3:03

I've dealt with this issue a few times, mostly with various Hyper-V VM's. I boot off a Parted Magic CD then use GParted. Definitely back up first, but I've done this with at least 5 systems with no issues. Do a Bare Metal Backup first anyway!

When you open GParted, you'll notice that it has three entries for every partition: 1. Space Before Partition 2. Space of Partition 3. Space After Partition

So what you need to do is first modify the "last" partition, so that the "Space Before Partition" is larger (either by reducing the size of the partition or by taking off unallocated space from the end).

At that point, I would reboot back into Windows to make sure everything is peachy. Run a chkdsk on this resized/changed partition just to be safe.

Then, boot back into GParted and you can now expand the 2nd to last partition the same way. If this is the c: drive, then this is your last step and you can just expand the c: drive, reboot into windows, chkdsk, and you're on your way.

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