Disk Quotas cause SharePoint Search Site Data Web Service to Fail

More fun with Microsoft Search Server Express 2008 – this time with crawling content and disk quotas.  My Search installation was failing each day with the following event log entry:

Event Type: Information
Event Source: Ntfs
Event Category: Disk
Event ID: 36
Date:  11/07/2008
Time:  2:59:43 AM
User:  <Search Service account name – deleted>
Computer: <computer name – deleted>
A user hit their quota threshold on volume C:.

The user that was hitting its quota?  My Search Service account!  My setup was as follows:
C: drive, 13 Gb free, program files, Disk Quotas enabled
E: drive, 40 Gb free, index files and SharePoint databases, Disk Quotas disabled
I have a full crawl that occurs at 3am each day.  At about 2:58am each day a System Event entry was added to the log as above, and consequently the crawl would fail.  Worse than that, all future incremental crawls would also fail!  Because SharePoint Search automatically deletes content it can’t locate after three attempts (such as when a file is deleted under normal conditions) it removes the index entry.  So every index entry was being deleted, and I had zero content in my index.  No content, no results.  Drat.
The solution was to remove the Disk Quota requirements for my search service account only.  You can do this via:
1. Open Windows Explorer
2. Right-click on the Drive and select properties
3. Click the tab “Disk Quotas”
4. Remove the disk quota requirements for the search service account
After making this change, I no longer get any event log errors and my search stops falling over every day.

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