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I'm trying to recoop some diskspace on a test SharePoint environment of mine. I've removed as much content as I can in the portal and also emptied the site collection recycle bin but the free space on the disk hasn't moved. What am I missing?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In order to recuperate the space you will need to manage your SQL Server database files (MDF/LDF). My suggestion is that unless your disk space is critical that you not do this. Shrinking databases has some serious implications for performance and can cause some headaches. IMO, unless you really need the disk space, just leave it.

Here are some sources to back this opinion up from SQL Server MVPs:

http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2009/08/stop-shrinking-your-database-files-seriously-now/

http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2011/01/19/sql-server-shrinking-database-is-bad-increases-fragmentation-reduces-performance/

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlserverstorageengine/archive/2006/06/13/629059.aspx

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Personally I have never had an issue when shrinking SharePoint DBs - Keep in mind I am only releasing the white space, but have had no performance impact to any of my sites

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+1 Me too. It is ridiculous to avoid db shrinking on development/testing sharepoint environment as well as it is clear that performance and disk space size work in opposite directions and there should be a trade-off between them –  Gennady Vanin Novosibirsk Sep 24 '12 at 7:48
    
So long as one is aware of the potential issues that can come with shrinking large DBs, do as you will is my philosophy. However, I will say with out any reservation that the number one performance bottleneck for SharePoint is SQL Server and you should never just perform operations like this on production systems without knowing potential pitfalls. For dev/test - shrink away! –  Robert Kaucher Sep 24 '12 at 13:11
    
If you're dev/test environment is really good it should have data volumes which are similar to production. In that case you should avoid Shrinking the database. It doesn't just release whitespace, but first moves data into empty spaces causing fragmentation and bad tables out or index order, then releases the free pages. –  Per Jakobsen Sep 25 '12 at 12:44
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