Disk Quotas

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

An important enhancement from NT4 to Windows 2000 is disk quotas. Windows NT 4.0 administrators can not limit the amount of hard drive space users consume without buying 3rd party utilities. Microsoft has built that functionality into Windows 2000. Using this capability, you can specify how much hard drive space each user can consume per NTFS volume (partition). W2K will enforce the quotas ( unless the user is an administrator ). What is really nice is how easy it is.
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Right-click the volume you want to set quotas on
  • Click Properties, and select the Quota tab.
  • Select the Enable Quota Management check box
  • Specify the amount of space the Limit Disk Space To (the upper limit) and Set Warning Level To (which specifies the limit after which the user will get the warning box).
  • Select the Deny Disk Space To Users Exceeding Quota Limit.

 If you don't select the Deny Disk Space To Users Exceeding Quota Limit option, users will be warned about exceeding the quota but they will still be able to write to the volume.

There is still room for 3rd party quota products. Microsoft's builtin capability has limitations:

  • Microsoft's quotas can be assigned to individual users or all users but not to groups
    biggie from a management perspective
  • Microsoft's quotas are per volume.
    kinda of a biggie from a management perspective
  • Microsoft's quotas ignores compression and counts uncompressed sizes.
    kinda confusing if user has lots of files compressed

You can export and import these quota entries. To export the entries:

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Right-click the partition you want to export the entries from
  • Select Properties
  • On the Quota tab, click the Quota Entries button
  • Select the entries you want to export
  • Right-click them and click Export.
  • Type the filename for the exported file
  • Click Save

To import the exported entries:

  • Open the Quota menu
  • Click Import
  • In the Import Quota Settings, specify the file you want to import
  • Click Open

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