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Any free way to compact a WHS 2011 partition?


Sorta Oldguy
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As I've said in other threads, I'm looking at trying to virtualize my WHS under Hyper-v in Server 2012. My latest problem was that when I installed WHS, I didn't know how big the partition should be and I gave it 150GB. Of course, it's only using maybe 30GB. Since it's already set up and running well, I would like to migrate it to hyper V as is so it would recognize the machines it has been backing up. I bought a 256GB SSD for the new Server OS and a few VM's and this partition is clearly too big.

 

I tried shrinking the partition using the shrink command in Disk Management in the control panel. That only got it down to 125GB. I then defragged and tried again, without luck. Figuring that maybe the pagefile was immovable, I told it to put the pagefile on another partition, defragged and tried again. That only got it down to 124 GB.

 

When dealing with non-server partitions, I use the free Mini Tools Partition Wizard that I've found to be excellent, but they want $129 for the server version.

 

Anyone have any ideas how to shrink the partition further, or failing that, a lead on a free partition manager for servers?

 

 

Assuming I can shrink it enough to make it worthwhile virtualizing instead of doing a clean install in a VHD:

I haven't created a vhd out of a running OS yet although several people have pointed me to method for doing this. It also occurred to me that I might be easier to create a VHD and then do a bare metal recover to it just as if I was having to install it on hew hardware after a failure. I haven't done either of these before. Is the second one a realistic idea?

 

Thanks.

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There are several threads about editing the config.ini file for installation onto a 60 gig SSD. I'd start there.

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defrag /x

Thanks for the suggestion. Just tried it but did no good. I suppose there's some unmovable files somewhere out towards the end. I remember you used to be able to see them in the defrag display back when.

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Progress!

 

After leaving the last message about unmovable files, I binged "unmovable file" and got lucky. It sent me to this page:

 

http://technet.micro...y/cc731894.aspx

 

The page said to run the shrink command and then dig through the Event Log for Event 259 which will identify which immovable file is preventing you from shrinking the partition in disk manager. It's in the Event Log under Windows Log/Application.

In my case it said:

 

______________________________________________

A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.

 

Diagnostic details:

- The last unmovable file appears to be: \System Volume Information\{9b937b66-2a99-11e2-9e66-005056c00008}{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752}::$DATA

- The last cluster of the file is: 0x155c887

- Shrink potential target (LCN address): 0x798b73

- The NTFS file flags are: ---AD

- Shrink phase: <analysis>

 

To find more details about this file please use the "fsutil volume querycluster \\?\Volume{49304eb3-c81d-11e0-94f6-806e6f6e6963} 0x155c887" command.

_______________________________________

 

I wound up finding that the culprit was the search index which was almost a gig in size. Wound up looking into search from the start menu and in one of the settings, it allowed specifying the location of the bad file. I moved it to a different partition and stopped and restarted the search service. After that, I ran the shrink function again and it knocked off another 40GB leaving me at 80GB for the WHS C: partition.

 

 

This is probably good enough, but a good hacker is never satisfied. I guess I will do a bare metal backup and do another iteration of the process, although I suppose there is a point of diminishing returns. Just have to remember to move the swap file and the seach index files back to the C: partition.

Edited by Sorta Oldguy
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Well, I suppose that's as much as I can shrink, or as much as I'm willing to try. I ran the above process again, but the file identified in the event log is in the System Properties folder. Don't know if I could get in, but would rather not chance a mistake.

 

Personally, I use EaseUS Partition master for that sort of stuff. But I think Acronis, similar will work too.

The problem is that the server verstions of those things are expensive. I think the Mini Tool is one of the cheaper ones at $129.

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-snip-

Assuming I can shrink it enough to make it worthwhile virtualizing instead of doing a clean install in a VHD:

I haven't created a vhd out of a running OS yet although several people have pointed me to method for doing this. It also occurred to me that I might be easier to create a VHD and then do a bare metal recover to it just as if I was having to install it on hew hardware after a failure. I haven't done either of these before. Is the second one a realistic idea?

 

Thanks.

 

I haven't done it with WHS but I have done it with a client PC that I had backed up but didn't have the hardware anymore so I restored it to a VHD. It worked for me.

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I haven't done it with WHS but I have done it with a client PC that I had backed up but didn't have the hardware anymore so I restored it to a VHD. It worked for me.

 

Thanks. I guess that's what weekends are for, esp. when the wife has to work the weekend :)

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