A Tip For Reducing Disk Queue Length On Windows Servers

Yesterday I noticed one of the Terminal Servers (Windows Server 2008 R2) I monitor was experiencing high disk queue length (essentially the hard disk was being thrashed) by the ten-or-so users logged on.  CPU and memory utilisation were in normal ranges – in fact: there was plenty of memory to spare.

The extra memory available was due to a recent upgrade because the client was running out of memory, causing extra disk paging and slowing down the entire terminal server.  Originally I wanted to suggest an SSD upgrade for their hard disk RAID1 array, but decided with the following approach instead.

I set the page file size from system managed (which was 16GB-24GB of memory) to a set size of 4GB.  I chose this size rather than something smaller like 1GB because the users frequently run QuickBooks, large Excel spread sheets, a large Access database and large PDF files in Adobe Reader.  The users also run the usual, modern, gluttonous web browsers.

After a reboot I observed almost no disk thrashing and the hard disk queue length was reduced tenfold.  What I’d done was force the system to use more of its memory it had available.  A colleague of mine has since implemented this “trick” on another client’s terminal server with success.

This concludes my brief support article.  If this article has helped you, please let me know in the comments section below.

How To Fix A Missing, Disabled Mailbox in Exchange 2013 EAC

Recently I had to deal with a situation where a network engineer had mistakenly right clicked on a user mailbox in the Exchange 2013 EAC (Exchange Admin Center) and chosen disable.  This seemed to hide the mailbox.  The mailbox couldn’t be found through Advanced Search and was essentially missing by all means.  In actual fact, doing this queues the mailbox for deletion.

Fortunately there’s a default retention period of 30 days.  If you’ve accidentally disabled a mailbox (as it’s kind of mislabeled), follow these steps to correct the issue:

  1. In the EAC, navigate to Recipients > Mailboxes.
  2. Click More More Options Icon, and then click Connect a mailbox.

    A list of mailboxes that are disconnected on the selected Exchange server in your Exchange organization will be displayed. This list of disconnected mailboxes includes disabled mailboxes, deleted mailboxes, and soft-deleted mailboxes.

  3. Click the deleted mailbox that you want to connect a user to, and then click Connect.
  4. In the window that asks if you’re sure that you want to connect the mailbox, click Yes.

    A list of user accounts that aren’t mail-enabled is displayed.

  5. Click the user that you want to connect the deleted mailbox to, and then click OK.

    Exchange will connect the deleted mailbox to the user account that you selected.

By default Exchange will prompt you to attach the mailbox to the user account it was deleted from.  I believe it will only do this if another mailbox hasn’t since been attached so it’s still available for selection.

If this article has helped you, please let me know in the comments section below.  This concludes my brief support article.