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So my Documents and Settings folder on my WSS server is getting big in size, I feel the server needs some space freed up on the OS partition. Each user logs in using their unique MACHINENAME\username account. Not every user has a user profile folder, but i'd say a good chunk do.

What is the purpose of these user folders (from SharePoint's point of view), why some get created and other don't, and how can I delete them or move them safely?

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From your post, do I understand correctly that you haven't set up a domain and you don't use domain users to enter in Sharepoint? If that's the case, local users probably get their own 'space' on the documents dir if they upload something to the Sharepoint site (mysite perhaps?). Haven't seen this behaviour before though as I always use domains in a non-development environment. – Jan_V Sep 28 '10 at 5:58
correct. we use the machine users as SharePoint's OU. There's is no domain users logging in (external users), however the server is on the domain. – Mike Sep 29 '10 at 19:15

Hmmm, do you say that a folder get's created in Documents and Settings when a user log in? I doubt that it has anything to do with SharePoint - make sure that the users does not directly log in to your server using RDP or similar.

The user accounts which you use for the service applications (web apps, sql etc) creates user-folders though, but those folders does not contain much.

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right, much as in a few MBs. I have a big bucket of these users, and 5MB a piece adds up. There aren't much in these folders including ntuser.dat and the ntuser.dat.log, but they add up. – Mike Sep 27 '10 at 17:09
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've found that if you delete the user profiles from the server, the space can be cleared this way without preventing each user from logging in.

Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Settings -> User Accounts

Delete the users that have big user profiles.

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