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Windows 7: + 85GBs on my VHD file... Can't Shrink it

29 Apr 2014   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Understand, but VHDs don't grow by themselves. The phenomenon you saw must have been some kind of error. There must have been a lot of unnecessary 'padding'.

In any case, if you mount a VHD, you can shrink it like any other volume. Disk Management may have restrictions because it cannot move the MFT, but with Partition Wizard you can shrink it to bare bones.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Apr 2014   #12
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
I prefer "Discrete2 VM's i.e not using XP mode but running VMware. However If you can run something like ACRONIS on the XP VM you can back up the image, then perhaps create a NEW Xp mode VM and then restore the image -

I don't know if XP mode can work like that but if it does then you can solve yourdisk size problem.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #13
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Understand, but VHDs don't grow by themselves. The phenomenon you saw must have been some kind of error. There must have been a lot of unnecessary 'padding'.

In any case, if you mount a VHD, you can shrink it like any other volume. Disk Management may have restrictions because it cannot move the MFT, but with Partition Wizard you can shrink it to bare bones.
Logic tells me that you are right, they don't grow by themselves, the issue/problem here is that I really don't know why it did. Matter of fact, my partner's rig also has a big vhd file, the only difference is that his SSD is 240GB so he does not suffer the same fate as I did because mine is only 120GBs.

Again, I would love to know what I am, did or doing wrong to make the files grow. All I can say is I followed the instructions to make the XP Mode, connected to our server (Win2K database) and work with it on a daily basis but we rarely install a program or app within the virtual environment. We did specifically to be able to take advantage of Win 7 64bit programs and still be able to use our antiquated server (please, don't ask me why I don't upgrade the server, short clip is I CAN'T ).

So right now, I am stuck with the dilemma of whether I should use Migrate Easy to clone the old hdd drive (the one that has a 17GB vhd file) into the SSD 120GBs and hope that it does not grow again.

I am wondering something... if I go to disk management and I attach the 17GB virtual, make like I shrink it to that same size and then I detach it, I wonder if it will no longer grow in volume since I have already set its size?


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
I prefer "Discrete2 VM's i.e not using XP mode but running VMware. However If you can run something like ACRONIS on the XP VM you can back up the image, then perhaps create a NEW Xp mode VM and then restore the image -

I don't know if XP mode can work like that but if it does then you can solve yourdisk size problem.

Cheers
jimbo
As stated before I only installed XP Mode because I had a copy of a legit XP when I converted to Win7 and someone mentioned I could take advantage of both. Aside from that, I know nothing about virtual drives.

I tried shrinking the image and it caused all sorts of problems with integration so I had to go back to the size it had before... I followed some How To that I found on google as well as here.

Perhaps I am going to have to go take a look at that VMware that it is not the first time I hear about it... if is similar or more user friendly than XP Mode, perhaps I will use it.
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02 May 2014   #14
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AstaLaVista View Post
I am wondering something... if I go to disk management and I attach the 17GB virtual, make like I shrink it to that same size and then I detach it, I wonder if it will no longer grow in volume since I have already set its size?
Well, that did not work at all... the size has already started to increase again and it is up to 19GBs.

I think the best way for me to work this out is to clone the SSD with everything I have now and save the clone HDD for when the size grows back to 85GBs or more and rinse and repeat.

I am either to stupid to comprehend simple procedures or something is definitely wrong with the initial installation of Win XP Mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #15
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

I really do not now how to explain this, although I am strongly suspecting the SSD is somehow involved. If you installed a fresh XP Mode (uninstalling the old one from Progs & Features first) but this time on a spinner, might be interesting to see if it starts growing, too.

If you do this, first backup your existing XP Mode vhd to be later able to access its files if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #16
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there.

ON the VM can you run something like TREESIZE Free (Install it in the XP environment first so we can see what's going on in there).

https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/

this will give you (from the Windows point of view) what's using the disk space -- you might find there are some huge hidden temporary files.

To me that's the first line of attack to see what's actually ON the drives - and it's easier in this case to do it from WITHIN the virtual environment.

If there's any DATA (i.e not part of the OS and it's programs - but merely USER data) I would move that on to other drives so you've only got the OS itself and its programs in the VM.

Try that first and report back again.

the software produces a report like this -- can be useful.

You could run it several days apart and see WHAT files are growing. !!

IF it's not in the XP VM then there's another problem - but first let's see whats in the VM itself.

Cheers
jimbo


Attached Thumbnails
+ 85GBs on my VHD file... Can't Shrink it-tree.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #17
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there.

ON the VM can you run something like TREESIZE Free (Install it in the XP environment first so we can see what's going on in there).
...
...
We have already found out that the XP Mode vhd is in fact not as big as the host shows it (http://www.sevenforums.com/virtualiz...ml#post2758424), so the issue is not in XP Mode per se but instead in how host sees it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #18
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there


OK so it's not Windows XP -- so now let's try THE HOST system.

Try and mount the VHD with Windows explorer on the HOST - don't start the XP mode VM -- now use say Tree size free to see what's actually IN the mounted VHD from the HOST's point of view.

There must be SOME allocation that's causing the space to be used.

Mount and Unmount a VHD File in Windows Explorer via a Right-Click

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #19
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Jimbo, I have already done all of that, although perhaps, forgot to post the images... nonetheless, you guys are willing to continue to help me so the least I can do is follow the instructions and do so again, perhaps there is something there that I do not see but you guys will be able to... I will do this on Monday when I am back in the office.

I was thinking of disconnecting the SSD, plugging in the HDD and work with it for a few weeks to see if it does increase in size as well but the fact remains that the hdd is extremely old and super duper slow and I am afraid it might give up the ghost and I will be doomed for a few days... I much rather leave it as a clone for when the issues arise again.

I will see if I have another drive I can use but I suspect they are all as old and slow, if not older and slower, than the one I have now and the economy has hit me pretty hard so getting a newer just for testing purposes is out of the question.

Stupid question... Can not having a pagefile have something to do with this increase in the vhd file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2014   #20
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

OK, here it is, dunno why I did not do this last time out but... no time like the present, right?

Gotta be honest, I am even more confused now that I have taken a snapshot of the Treesize from the Host and VM side.

Why would the VM show 8-9GBs of usage and the Host 18-19GBs is just beyond my capacity of making sense of things.


Attached Thumbnails
+ 85GBs on my VHD file... Can't Shrink it-treesize.jpg   + 85GBs on my VHD file... Can't Shrink it-treesizehostdm.jpg  
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 + 85GBs on my VHD file... Can't Shrink it




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