Free working space on primary hard disc

15 pts.
Hard disks
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows XP
SQL Server
when large files (*.mdb, *.mdf) stored on server are opened on client PC - where do they open - client's memory or server memory? - I check properties of C: to check free space available - but after opening few large files, I do not see any change in property window of C: for free space available. Does OS provide any utility to find out such statistics? As an example I have a 80 GB HDD on my client PC. Now 20GB is still free. I know for defragmentation one need atleast 15% of free space. Other wise what is the ideal scenario to have what percentage of primary hard disc to be free?

Software/Hardware used:
Win 2003 server, winxp client , MS access, SQL server, VS 2005

Answer Wiki

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Disk and RAM (memory) are different things.

When you open a remote file, it is opened using client’s memory (not disk), so in normal situations your free disk space is not affected. You can use the Windows Task Manager (Performance and Processes tabs) to see statistics about resources usage.

The OS may use disk space to temporary store information as well (see: In Windows, what is a swap file?)



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  • Vinodmerch
    Thanks CarlosDL, But ... My PC RAM is 2GB Which has to store part of OS, applications I have opened, along with so many other processes. SQL server files are very large. E.G. aspnet.mdf it self is 1 gb or more , MS Access uncoldensed file is upto 2 GB. I do not see how 2 GB ram or even Swap files can accomodate all these. Take for exampl I am converting a MS Access databse to SQL database. And a part of my question as to best scenario what percentage of primary hard disc should be free still remains unanswered.
    15 pointsBadges:
  • carlosdl
    When you open or connect to the database, the OS does not keep the complete file in memory. It keeps portions of the files in memory as needed, and when it needs to show information to you that is not in memory it reads it from disk (in this case, from the server's disk). As for your second question, I don't have a well-founded answer, but I don't think it should be measured as a 'percentage' of the total size of the disk since you could have really big disks or really small ones. Some people say that when the utilized space is over 60% of the total, performance will start degrading, but I have never corroborated that. The free disk space needed would depend on the operations you need to perform on the machine. For example, the disk defragmentator requires some disk space to be able to run; If you want to re-size a virtual machine's disk you will need at least as much free space as the size of the virtual disk, and so on. Windows XP shows a warning when free disk space is less than 200 MB, so definitely having less than that is not recommended, but I would try to keep much more than that. I would also like to hear what others have to say about this topic.
    85,220 pointsBadges:

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