“Drives are running out of free space” – SharePoint Rule

What the issue is

In Central Administration, there are two rules that appear to cause a lot of headaches for SharePoint admin’s.

These include the following two rules.

  • Drives are running out of free space.
  • Drives are at risk of running out of free space.

What’s the (conservative) suggestion

These will be set off and will display the following warning:

Available drive space is less than twice the value of physical memory. This is dangerous because it does not provide enough room for a full memory dump with continued operation. It also could cause problems with the Virtual Memory swap file: SYSTEM ([SERVER_NAME] – [DRIVE_NAME]).

The (out of the box) suggested recommendation is as follows:

Examine the failing servers and delete old logs or free space on the drives. For more information about this rule, see “http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=142688“.

What we should actually do in this scenario

In reality, this suggestion (lots of free space on the drive) is not always feasible to achieve, especially when using a virtual server for SharePoint. As such, the simplest way to deal with this situation is to turn off these warnings.

To do this, go into

Central Administration -> Monitoring -> Review rule definitions

Then find the category Availability, and you will find the two rules in question.

Edit the items and change their schedule to “OnDemandOnly”.

That’s all! You should no longer see these issues appear on the Central Administration page.

Note that another option if you’re using virtualization could be to cheat, and increase the size of the disks you’re running on (especially if they’re thin provisioned), but you’re only asking for trouble in this case as you may actually over-allocate your physical disk storage space, and then your virtualization environment is going to be unhappy. Take this approach only if you know a lot about virtualization and understand the risks associated with this.