Disk Quotas

Suppose you share a Windows XP computer with other members of the family. Suppose further that these other members like to play the latest disk-hogging games or are intent on storing entire feature films on the hard disk. You'd like to restrict the amount of disk space these family members can use. Is this possible?

If you're using Windows XP Professional, the answer is yes. Disk quotas allow you to manage storage on a per-user basis. The only requirement is that you use NTFS on the partitions or volumes where you want to limit disk usage. (The other requirement, I suppose, is that you're using XP Pro.)

There are two specifics to keep in mind. One is that you enable quotas on the partition or volume level, not on the disk level. That is, you set limits on how much data a user stores on the C:\ drive or the D:\ drive, but not for hard disk. The other issue is that you can't set up quotas for a specific folder. The quota feature will be tracked for the entire logical drive.

Administrators Are Exempt

Any user in the Administrators local group, including the Administrator account itself, is exempt from all quota limits. If the Administrator account were not exempt, it would severely limit the Administrator's capabilities, such as the ability to install programs.

To configure a disk quota, log on as a user with administrative privileges, and follow these steps:


Open Windows Explorer and right-click the desired logical drive. Choose Properties from the context menu.


Choose the Quotas tab and then enable quota tracking by checking the "Enable Quota Management" check box.


As shown in Figure 6-7, quotas can be used as a way to simply track disk usage or to manage disk usage by limiting users' disk space. To restrict disk space, choose the "Limit disk space to" option and then configure the quota limits and warning levels in the entry boxes provided.

Figure 6-7. Set quota limits for all users except the Administrator.

Click Apply to commit your changes, and then XP presents a dialog box informing you that the drive will be rescanned to determine current disk usage statistics.

You then use the Quota Entries button to see disk usage statistics. You also can use these disk quota entries to make changes to the defaults set on the Quota tab. For example, you could set things up in the Quota Entries dialog box so that some users were allowed 10GB of storage, whereas other users were only allowed 5GB. To change a current quota setting, just double-click the quota entry and make any desired changes from the ensuing dialog box. To make new quota settings for an individual user, choose Quotas | New Quota Entry, select the user, and then configure disk limits.

Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
ISBN: 013167983X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 275
Authors: Brian Culp

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