Cleanup of T: files

Computing Services Technote #584 V1

Title: Cleanup of T: files
Applies to: Campus file server users
Section: Network Services
Author: Manager, Network & Communication Services
Last updated: 25 February 2020


This technical note describes how you can reduce your T: drive disk space usage using the report that directory owners receive when their directory space is low. This report is automatically generated once per week and emailed to directory owners who have low disk space. While a ticket to increase disk space could be entered there are often files/directories that can be cleaned up to free up disk space. As disk space costs the University money and consumes power any cleanup that can be done frees up resources to be used elsewhere.


Each directory on the T: drive has a disk quota to ensure that all available disk space cannot be consumed accidentally. Once a week a program is run to check on directories that are low on space and a spreadsheet is emailed to the directory owner(s) that contains five worksheets:

  1. 100 Largest Folders
  2. 100 Largest files
  3. Duplicate folders: These are identified if they have the exact folder and file names in the directory structure and the mathematical hashes of each file match.
  4. Duplicate files. These are identified by calculating a mathematical hash of the file and looking for duplicate hashes. If even one character changes in a file the hashes won’t match.
  5. 500 Oldest files: old files are usually a good candidate for deletion

Checking Current Disk Usage

You can check your directories usage at any time by navigating to the T: drive and right clicking on your folder and choosing properties. In the window that open click on the OES Info tab and in the middle you will see:

  • Space restriction: XX GB Maximum #this tells you what your directory space quota is. If it says unlimited then the quota is almost certainly applied higher up the directory tree (usually on the directory right under the root of T: , for example T:\compserv )
  • Space available: YY GB #this is how much free disk space you have. This is accurate even if the actual quota is applied higher up the directory structure.

About Deletions and Disk Space

On an OES file server volume when you delete a file it doesn’t get immediately deleted. Instead it goes into a hidden salvage folder where the file can be later salvaged (un-deleted). Because of this you won’t see an immediate drop in your quota usage. If you would like to purge these salvage files to free up disk space, you can right click on the directory where you were deleting files and chose “Purge files” and then either Purge All or individually select files and choose Purge File.

Deleted files are kept for 10 days at the time of this writing.

Cleaning Up

It is suggested that you look at the tabs in the following order:

  • Largest files worksheet: cleaning up large files can provide quick wins if you see files that you know are no longer needed. The file name is provided so you can navigate to the correct location in windows explorer.
  • Duplicate folders worksheet: these are folders that were copied but never modified and one of them can usually be deleted.
  • Duplicate files worksheet: duplicate files provide another quick win as you wouldn’t usually store two copies of the same file. You can sort the sheet by size to start with the largest duplicate files.
  • Oldest files worksheet: Files that are 10 years or older should be seriously considered for deletion or archival. Many files are not needed beyond five years.
  • Largest Folders worksheet: reviewing this list can highlight directories that you wouldn’t have expected to be so large and require further investigation. See the Using Windirstat section below for a description of a helpful tool for investigating disk space usage.

Another technique for reducing disk space is to zip up files or directories that aren’t regularly needed and are just for archiving. To do this right click on a folder or group of files and choose Sent to | Compressed (zipped) folder. After the zip archive is created delete the original folder or files.

A reminder that deleted files don’t immediately free up disk space unless you purge them.

Using Windirstat

The free disk space browser windirstat can be useful for exploring large directories. It is available in the Programs menu on managed machines in the Novell Zenworks App folder. Technote 615 explains how to find and use WinDirStat in zenworks managed machines. If zenworks is not installed on your machine, see the downloads page for a link to the website where you can download windirstat.

Records and Information Management (RIM) Note

The University’s Records and Information Management policy (GOV-070-005) indicates that all university records will be classified, retained, archived or destroyed in accordance with this policy and related procedures and guidelines. All university records that are addressed in record schedules may only be disposed of as determined by the relevant schedule.  For additional information go to or contact the university record manager at


A description of how to reduce disk space usage, based on the report emailed to you when you are low on disk space, is described.

Revision History

V0 - October 2019 - Initial version