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Knowledge Base SpaceObServer


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SpaceObServer doesn't start to scan a specified directory. What's the problem?

There could be reasons for this issue:

1. Is the system service "SpaceObServer Agent" started? The "SpaceObServer Agent" processes all scans of directories. If thisservice is stopped or paused, no scan can be processed.

2. Is theselected directory on a network drive? You cancustomize the login of SpaceObServer Agent within the installation ofSpaceObServer (username, domain and password). If you do not enter a valid useraccount the login is set to the local system account. That may cause problemswhile scanning network drives. To fix this problem please switch the servicelog on to a user account with sufficient access rights (See: "How can Iswitch the login...").

3. Do you use"Windows Authentication" for the database login? If you usethis option ("Tools > Options > Database > Login info") andyou switched the login of the system service SpaceObServer Agent to a specifieduser account, this user must have read and write access on the selecteddatabase.If it isnot possible to give the user access rights to this database, please do not usethe Windows Authentication for the database access. Use a valid database useraccount instead.

4. Does the"Observing Server" exists and is an SpaceObServer Agent running onthis machine? If the"Observing Server" is set (not blank) for a root directory, only thisserver will execute scans for this directory, no matter from which client thescan was triggered or scheduled. If for any reason (e.g. a rename of theserver) this machine is not found or no SpaceObServer Agent is running on thismachine, the scan will not be executed. You can configure the Observing Serverform within the context menu of the Configure Scans dialog (sub menu "ExpertSettings"). If none ofthe above applies, please check the column "Last Error" in the"Configure Scans" dialog and the Windows Event Log for furtherinformation and error messages. Please include this information if you contactus, together with the type and version of database software you are using.

Why does the Windows "Properties" dialog shows more used space on the drives than SpaceObServer?

The Windows"Properties" dialog in the Windows Explorer shows the physically allocatedspace on a drive and SpaceObServer shows the space occupied by all files withina given path.Beyond space that is needed for storing thefiles itself, additional space is used for storing management data like theFile Allocation Table of the file system or the boot sector. This is usually0.5-2% of the occupied space. Anotherpossibility is that you are using Software RAID, like Windows NT/2000 offers,which spreads the data with redundancy over several disks. These disks willappear as one logical volume and the failure of a single disk will not causeany data loss. But for storing the redundant information, additional space isneeded. If a networkdrive points only to a subfolder of a servers drive, the allocated space(correctly) reported by SpaceObServer may also be much smaller than thephysically allocated space on this drive reported by Windows Explorer, becausepossibly not the whole drive is accessible through the network. Anotherpossibility is that not all parts of the drive could be scanned due to securityrestrictions. So you will see only parts of a drive in the results. If the SpaceObServerListener system servicestarts with the default settings, you will always have appropriate rights toscan local drives, but this does not hold true for scanning network drives.

How much disk space does the database consume?

The space used by the database depends on the number of files, the number of folders and the change rate of your files. Generally the database needs approx. 35 MB per 100.000 files. This is just a rule of thumb and is only valid if the database has been compressed recently. When you enable the MD5 checksums for your scans, the database size will increase about 1.5 MB per 100,000 files.

How can I use a SQL database with SpaceObServer?

By default, SpaceObServer ships with a SpaceObServer Embedded database (FDB file)SpaceObServer.fdb. You can change this connection by choosing "View / Options / Database" and selecting a new database connection. If you want to use a SQL server database for backing up data, your computer has to be connected to a server with a running MS SQL server. Alternatively, you could use a locally installed MS SQL Server as well. You will also need avalid user account for the database access (user name and password). A free MS SQL server version from Microsoft can be downloaded from the internet or you can use the MS SQL Server installer in SpaceObServer by choosing the corresponding link in "Options > Database".

Why are scans with SpaceObServer slower than TreeSize scans?

TreeSize Professional scans file system structures as needed and holds a snapshot of the scan in your system memory.
SpaceObServer archives all needed file system information in a backend database. This is needed to calculate size development information for the scanned directories and enables you to filter the file system tree without the need of a rescan.
Building up the SQL database is quite costly. This is why the initial scan of SpaceObServer runs very slow compared to the scans of TreeSize Professional.
Note: The update scans of SpaceObServer do only need to update the changes on your file system in the database. So generally the update scans run faster than the initial scans.

I need to move my spaceobserver database to a different server. Can I just move my database and update the connection info within SpaceObserver, or are there additional steps?

When you are planning to move your database from one SQL server to another, without changing the type of SQL server, it is recommended using tools provided by your SQL server database to move/migrate the database from the one server to another (e.g. "backup" & "restore" for MS SQL Server databases).
Alternatively, you can use the SpaceObServer intergrade function "Export to SQL Server" (Scan > Configures Scans > right-click on the scans to exports > Export > Export to SQL Server). This function works independent of the underlaying SQL server types.

I've noticed that the "Last Access" date is not updated, it is much older than the "Last change" date. What is the reason for this?

The last access date of a file is maintained by Windows. Since Windows Vista/Server 2008, Microsoft disabled the automatic update for the "Last access" date by default to improve system performance on NTFS formatteddrives. Because of this, the date won't be updated anymore if a file content is changed for example. That is also the reason why the last access date isn't a good indicator anymore for recent usage of a file.

For more information on this topic, please refer to the following MSDN article:

How do I change the installation key?
You can change your installation key at "Help > Change installation key". Reinstalling the software is not required.

Can I use SpaceObServer in a Cluster environment?

You can use SpaceObServer in a clustered server environment by installing it on one of the nodes. That means that a node fail over is not handled, but scheduled scans will be started automatically after the node is running again. You can also install SpaceObServer on both nodes and in case of a fail over you simply have to change the observing server for all scanned roots. You can do this by selecting "Set Observing Server" in the context menu of the "Configure Scans" dialog ("Scan > Configure Scans > Expert Settings"). Leave the observing service blank to allow any service to perform the scheduled scans. Then you should deactivate the scan services ("Tools > Options > Service") on all but one of the nodes in the cluster and activate it again on a node fail over.

Why does TreeSize show charts on the "History" tab going back a long time in the past for some volumes, and empty charts for others?

For each scan that is executed on a specific folder or drive, TreeSize automatically saves the size from that scan for the use in the "History" view. If another scan on that same folder is done, TreeSize will add the new size data and create a graphical trend for this folder. This is the reason why you might see different periods of time for different drives and/or folders.

We have another product named SpaceObServer, which is much more powerful in regards to creating reliable statistics for the increase/decrease and the historic developement of disk usage of your systems. SpaceObServer scans local and network drives as well as Exchange mailboxes and Linux/Unix-servers via SSH using a background service and stores their structure, sizes and properties in an SQL database.
In a user interface similar to TreeSize the collected data can be viewed and browsed in hierarchical or tabular views, 3D bar, pie, line charts and tree maps. Using the archived data you are able to track the development of the space usage from past to present, and forecast future size usage.

Where can I download my software?

Log in to the "Customers Area", using your login name and password.
Please follow the link "Downloads / Updates" in the left hand menu named "Customers Area".
There you can download your software immediately after finishing your order.

I tried to uninstall SpaceObServer to install the latest version, but the file "SpaceObServerAgent.exe" was not removed and the installer cannot replace it. How can I remove the file to install the latest version?

The file "SpaceObServerAgent.exe" is the SpaceObServer scan service, called "SpaceObServer Agent". Normally this service automatically shut down before un-/reinstallation. To avoid this problem please do the following: 1. Ensure that the service "SpaceObServer Agent" is stopped. 2. Use your Windows task manager to ensure that there is no process"SpaceObServerAgent.exe" running (tab "Processes"). If so, use the "Terminate process" button to kill this process. 3. Ensure that your windows event log is closed (The Windows event log could hold a handle to this file).