sábado, 15 de diciembre de 2007

Tips for Host Partitions

When the time comes that VMware player tells you it can't exit because you don't have enough space in your host partition to store the virtual machine state, yo will have no other choice than shut down Debian itself and start looking what has eaten your partition space and how you can free some without resizing the partition.

StepTree is a tool I recommend to see a 3D overview of what folders and files are taking the most space in your partition. By scaning the partition I placed my VM in, I could crearly see that a lot of space was taken by the contents of a system folder named System Volume Information. I had not seen that in Windows Explorer because I had previously set in Tools/Folder Options to hide system files from view, which renders a more clean view of special locations like your user folder.

The recycle bin folder was empty because I had already disable this feature for this partition. The setting can be reached by right clicking in the recycle bin icon in the desktop and selecting Properties.

If the recycle bin is not emtpy and you disable it right away, its contents will remain in the bin and you may not be able to delete them manually any other way than clearing all partition's recycle bin data in a single click. The propper way to disable a single partition recycle bin and get rid of its content is to first set the partition recycle bin size to "0", apply the change and then finally, disable the bin and apply.

In the case of the System Volume Information (SVI) folder, it should be empty since it uses FAT32 file system, which is not compatible with Windows' system restore feature. It turns out that I could not delet it manually because the folder was created and populated with restore data back when the partition was using a NTFS file system; the fact that now the partition is FAT32 prevents that any file inside is removed because the folder properties dialog is missing the Security tab, which is where you can change ownership of the folder to be able to delete files.

So having no other choice, I created an archive of my VM folder into another partition --using no compression so as to do it faster-- and formated the hosting partition, this time as a NTFS file system. Then right click on "Computer", select Properties, than System Protection, and check that your host partition is not selected in the list of protected partitions. Restore the archived VM, test run it, delete the archive if you need the space and you are done, now you are claiming the maximum available space you could get from your partition.

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