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Tricks to help Windows administrators manage user storage requirements

Windows administrators are always trying to keep their users from running out of storage. This compilation of tips and workarounds will help administrators do that. .

Windows administrators are constantly dealing with issues related to preventing their users from running out of storage. This guide is a compilation of shortcuts and workarounds that will help administrators stop users from abusing storage capacity limits.

   File storage requirements
   Boosting storage capacity
   Avoiding file disasters
   Recovery Console

  File storage requirements  Return to Table of Contents

Any systems administrator will tell you that it's nearly impossible to get their users to keep their file storage down to a minimum. Most corporate users are like packrats; they hold onto files for years on end. But here's a trick, courtesy of Tim Fenner, that may get your users to stop abusing storage capacity limits. The trick involves putting "disposable" files on the disk.

Another tool for enforcing storage restrictions on your users is the File Server Resource Manager utility in Windows Server 2003 R2. This tip tells administrators how they can use FSRM to create file screens. A file screen is a form of storage limit that looks at the file type being stored and allows or disallows a user from saving certain file types. For example, an organization might want to allow the storage of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but deny the storage of .mp3 audio files to a given storage area.

  Boosting storage capacity  Return to Table of Contents

Every so often, you're going to need an emergency storage capacity boost on a Windows XP system, especially with single-drive DAS systems, such as those found on desktop and laptop computers. These systems are often "managed" not by storage administrators but by individual users, who often ignore warning signs until they're flat out of space. Here's how you can gain hard drive capacity by reducing disk space for Windows XP's System Restore. .

There is no way to extend the system volume with the operating system booted. However, in this tip, a Microsoft senior engineer explains how to expand the system volume on a server that is booted from an NTFS boot disk using the Diskpart utility.

How do I free up space on my hard drive? is a question commonly asked by systems administrators. Here's desktop management expert Serdar Yegulalp comes up with some suggestions.

  Avoiding file disasters  Return to Table of Contents

Every Windows administrator needs a thorough understanding of the backup and restore functions built into Windows. Here's a quick overview of NTBACKUP, Automated System Recovery, System Restore and Device Driver Rollback.

The "Redirect the My Documents folder" option via Group Policy in the Windows domain can help administrators combat most of the file and folder disasters that befall users, whether it's an an incorrectly saved change, a corrupted file or a file that's flat-out deleted.

   Recovery Console  Return to Table of Contents

Recovery Console in Windows XP has saved the bacon of many an administrator. At the very least, it can give an admin a perspective on a problem that they couldn't have solved without the tedium of an entire separate installation of Windows. Here's why installing the XP Recovery Console makes sense.

However, the flip side is this tip, which explains why you should be leery of installing the XP Recovery Console from the OEM restore disc.

You'll find other tricks for managing your Windows storage environments in WinStorage. WinStorage is an e-zine published in conjunction with Its goal is to help Windows administrators tackle the problems related to their growing storage networks as well as how to optimize them for working within a Windows infrastructure.

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