Tag Archives: symbolic link

Clear space on Windows Server 2003 with Symbolic Link

I kept getting “out of space” warnings on a  server 2003 at work , backups were failing and updates were reporting error.

From my online research I see that  many systems Admins are now having the same problem with a Windows server 2003 installation in a 25GB partition, which was the default guidance from Microsoft.

I  looked into some partitioning software to make use of my large D: partition, but was wisely warned away from doing it as it may cause future problems if you need for some reason to restore your server.

As a Linux Admin I am very familiar with the concept of Symbolic Links, which has been around for a long time. On Linux the command LN is all you  need.

Well, to my heart’s content Microsoft does have a very useful, and yet not well publicised, command line tool called LINKD.exe, which is part of the Windows server 2003 Resource Kit.

Please note that a symbolic link is not the same as a Windows shortcut file, which is a regular file. The windows shortcut may be created on any file system (such as the earlier FAT32), and is not transparent to applications. SymLink is transparent to applications making it great for clearing space on your drive, without compromising file structure.

My example scenario.

  • Drive C:\ free space 2Mb
  • Drive D:\ free space 200GB
  • Identified a large folder to move to D:\ –  (Drive C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\AMSP\BackupAmsp –  size 6.5GB)
  • Moved the large folder to D:\  (I created a folder called “moved from C” and saved the large folder inside it)
  • Installed Windows server 2003 Resource Kit  (also to Drive D:\Program Files\RKTOOLS)
  • Opened Command Line (START\RUN\CMD), navigated to D:\Program Files\RKTOOLS
  • Run command: linkd “C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\AMSP\BackupAmsp”  “D:\moved from C\BackupAmsp”
  • Done.

Disclaimer: I used Symbolic Link on a non system critical folder. If you plan to use this on a system critical folder, do at your own risk.

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