Drive Partitioning in a Small Business Server 2003 R2

October 20, 2008

At Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans we utilize this blog to inform business owners of Microsoft systems of important issues before disaster strikes.  Today we encountered a common malady when attempting to recover a Small Business Server 2003 R2 from a BSOD – the SBS 2003 was originally setup with one big partition that includes the operating system, Exchange log files and databases, and voluminous amounts of user data.

Disaster recovery of an SBS 2003 with one large partition can be more intricate, more time-consuming, and more susceptible to data loss.  The situation could have been easier to recover if the hard disk was initially configured with two partitions: one partition for the operating system and the Exchange information store databases, and one partition for the client data.

Daily monitoring of a Microsoft SBS 2003 server is rarely an option for clients of Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans.  Most of our clients only access their SBS 2003 to verify the nightly backup. Configuring separate partitions for user access, and the operating system and Exchange, can greatly reduce the amount of service and monitoring required.

Problems with the operating system that involve system rollbacks are relatively easy and safe from data loss if the operating system and Exchange are placed in a separate partition from user data.  Users who dump voluminous amounts of data (i.e. .pictures, videos, and music) to their network drives will not effect the operation of SBS 2003 and Exchange as the user data partition fills.

From Onsite Computer Services experience, a very important consideration during setup is the size of the operating system and Exchange partition.  With the current price of hard drives a large operating system partition (>100 GB) is reasonable; however every setup is different.  Remember, we’re planning for the future and most would like to avoid the need to resize the operating system and Exchange partition in a few years.  The object is to keep it simple.  If disaster strikes, than a simple SBS 2003 configuration is MUCH easier to recover or rebuild in a timely manner with a minimal chance of data loss. What do you think?  Tell us about your experiences.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at eli@onsitenola.com. Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.

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