Managing Windows Server 2008 Disk Quotas, Part 2

Posted on January 15, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Windows Server 2008 with

In the previous article in this series, I introduced you to the concept of quota template. Now that I have shown you how to create or modify a quota template, I want to wrap up the series by showing you how to actually implement a disk quota in Windows Server 2008.

Implementing Disk Quotas

By now you should already be familiar with the File Server Resource Manager, because we used it to create and edit disk quota templates. It should therefore come as no surprise that this is also the tool that you will be using to implement disk quotas.

Open the File Server Resource Manager, and then navigate through the console tree to Quota Management | Quotas. When you select that Quotas container, the Details pane will display any existing quotas. Since we haven’t actually created any quotas yet there shouldn’t be any listed though.

To create a new quota, right-click on the Quota container and choose the Create Quota command from the shortcut menu. When you do, Windows will display the Create Quota dialog box, shown in Figure A.

Figure A The Create Quota dialog box is used for implementing disk quotas.

As you can see in the figure, the first thing that you have to provide is the file system path that you want to apply the quota to. After you specify a path, you need to tell Windows whether you want to simply apply the quota to the path, or if you are planning on basing the quota template, and want to apply the template in a way that allows the quota to extend to both new and to existing subfolders.

The next section on the Create Quota dialog box allows you to choose whether you want to use an existing quota template, or whether you want to define a custom set of properties for the disk quota. Microsoft recommends that you use a quota template. If you want to use a quota template, then simply select the template that you want to use from the drop-down list. The bottom section of the dialog box provides a summary of the settings within the selected template.

Of course creating a custom quota is also an option. To do so, just click the Define Custom Quota Properties button, and then click the Custom Properties button. This will provide you with an opportunity to enter the same types of information that you would normally provide when you are manually creating a quota template.


Once you have selected all of the desired options, click the Create button and the new disk quota will be created.

File Screens

Technically, file screens are not actually a part of this quotas. Even so, they are managed through the File Server Resource Manager. That being the case, I wanted to go ahead and show them to you because they are a handy feature.

The basic idea behind file screens is that you can prevent certain types of files from being stored in certain locations. For example, I once did a consulting project for someone who’s server had run out of disk space unexpectedly. Subsequent investigation revealed that the reason why the server had run out of disk space was because one of the users uploaded their music collection to a network drive. File screens could have prevented this problem, because they can be used to ensure that users are not allowed to store music files in the folder.

To see how file screening work, navigate through the console tree to File Screening Management | File Groups. When you do, you will see a screen similar to the one that is shown in Figure B. As you can see in the figure, Microsoft predefined several file types, but also gives you the option of defining your own file types.

Figure B Windows predefined several file types.

I already showed you how quota templates work, but file screens also use templates. File screen templates work very similarly to quota templates. As you can see in Figure C, file screen templates allow you to specify the types of files that you want to block, and the type of screening that you want to perform. You can then apply one of the built-in file screen templates, or a custom file screen template of your own to a particular path, just as you apply the quota templates to a path.

Figure C Like quotas, file screens also use templates.


As you can see, it is easy to create disk quotas once you have created the initial templates. Although it is possible to create a quota without a template, Microsoft recommends using them.

Got a question? Post it on our Windows Server 2008 forums!

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