Disk management is a crucial step for any MSP business and it if is managed properly prevents many issues from occurring. Sometimes there comes a situation when a computer user finds to work on computer it is very slow. User cannot download any programs and not able to store any files and folders. This situation might have come because free disk space on the user computer probably has exhausted. This is a case of emergency and there is the urgent requirement of cleanup of computer disk drive. Cleanup includes removal of files and folders that is not required by users and folders that are consuming space like junk files and old files. It includes inbuilt feature that will help you to clean up the space like Windows disk cleanup. Other than this inbuilt feature, some Companies have launched software like Ccleaner, WiseDiskCleaner etc. that have same function of clearing the space but they tend to clear more space than the inbuilt features.
Defragmenting a fragmented drive:- Defragmenting hard drive is an important part of desktop maintenance, it can defrag your PC when it start to slow down or when you have trouble in loading large files. Defragment tool is inbuilt feature of Windows that helps in improving the performance of computer. It will rearrange your files on a disk to form a continuous pattern. Let me explain this to you by giving an example. Assume that you saved 10Mb file when you bought new PC. Now after few months you delete this file, although you have now 10Mb space free on your drive but it is not possible that another file with exact same size will be put in that place. In fact the system saves smaller files less than 10Mb leaving certain amount of space free. Such small free hard disk space on different areas of your drive will increase over the course of deleting old files and adding new files. Defragmentation process recovers all the free space on hard drive that will not only help you to restore the space but also speeds up the computer. There is some 3rd Party defragment tools also available (Defraggler by Piriform) that works more efficiently than inbuilt feature. One thing is to be noted that Defraggler works only when you have more than 10% free space on particular drive(C:,D: or E:) on which you run it.
Now these features help normal user to cleanup the space and improve the speed of computer. For MSP's like our Company that provide services and support to clients, they should be proactive as they are doing 24*7 monitoring of their Client's Machines (Servers and Workstations). One of the most important issues that come while you are monitoring is to manage disk space on each drive. It comes under Desktop Maintenance and is the first and foremost task that can't be ignored. If we do monitoring of our client's machines then it's our responsibility to cleanup the space for them so that they can easily save their files and folders, download the programs and work efficiently on their systems. There should not situation arrives that clients needs to tell us that remaining space is 0% rather we should act in smart and proactive manner.
If you are monitoring 100's of machines simultaneously then it's also difficult to logon to each machine and check whether there is space issue in it or not. So the first task in maintenance is to generate some kind of alerts about low disk space on particular drive. In case issue comes then immediately alert will be generated and issue can be rectified on that machine. As IT administrator what our company doing is that we make Monitor Sets that further helps us in monitoring 24*7. Each monitor set is used to define different situations of low disk space. These are Normal(free space less than 50%), Critical(free space less than 15%) and Very Critical(free space less than 2%). For each drive on every machine these monitor sets are defined so that according to situation it will generate particular kind of alert. So we can also act accordingly and thus can do 24*7 monitoring of our client's machines. If it generates Normal alert, no action is required just to notify that in coming days there may be space issue on that machine. Our work start when we receive Critical alert that means remaining space is less than 15%. You can also make use of Scripts so that it should not wait for your action when critical situation comes and itself will do the cleanup. These scripts include -Ccleaner (paid one so that will give the amount of space cleanup), Defragment (when remaining space is more than 10%) and Diskcleanup. This will help you to cleanup the space and overcome the critical situations. Serious issue arises when Very Critical alert is generated. At this time some serious action is to be taken otherwise a stage will reach when there is no free space in drive and user cannot save any file or download any program on it, even computer starts operating slowly. Thus as soon as we receive this Very Critical alert via email or any other method we should perform the following tasks:-
- Run Ccleaner, Diskcleanup or any other method manually to clear some space on it.
- Check in Control Panel, Add/Remove features to see if there is any software or program that is downloaded and is not being used for many days.
- Disable the Hibernate entirely which removes the files.
- Try to compress the size of old files by using Winrar software that will compress them into Rar files and reduce the space.
You can also run some script to see space utilized by each folder on particular drive, so that you can send detailed instruction to the client as sometimes you cannot delete these files without their permission. Also if you continuous disk space issue on some particular machine then you can advice them to use any other external hard drive or USB of some Terabytes where they can save their essential documents.
These all are the methods by which our Company to proactively manage disk utilization on our Client's machines. Hope this will be beneficial to readers also.