licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Disk space problem: What we used to call a memory leak problem back in the old windows 98 days

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My VM has started to play up.

It is continuously showing no space left on my 45GB VM But nothing I can do recovers any space?? There is no yellow space before i go into the vm and When I get into the VM, no amount of deleting anything results in anything marked as yellow space appearing on restarting the VM.

I have gone into ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS  and deleted things till there is nothing left and no space appears.  There are no documents or music or pictures in this VM and i just deleted 1.86 GB of (hopefully!) un-needed files and still nothing appears as free space in the VM!

i even went into the system-performance to stop using the (4GB) pagefile.sys file and make it a [fixed] 800MB to see what happens and still no free space shows up! 

Yesterday I went into windows and started using Nikon Scan 4.0 and created about forty 70MB .tiff files (and was careful to store them all on the host!!) and still, after a day of using the vm, critical NO SPACE warnings began appearing.  Then the VM started expressing its displeasure by disconnecting its shared host file access!  The host now appears on startup as an inaccessable drive, with a red X in it. (yes, I DID restart a few times to get rid of any temp files which may have been created)

And I do now get the not-entirely-unexpected startup warning that it doesnt like my swap file so much that it may well start creating its own and telling me that if it does this, it will start creating one of it's own-decided size. 

Lastly CLEAN UP DISK SPACE from the pre-start screen only results in 911MB being freed up and the resulting yellow 911 mb of yellow reclaimable space disappears immediately, - even without opening the vm!

Is there any way I can identify what is taking up all this space or is there some other problem please?

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Which parts of what you're describing and doing relate to Windows inside your VM, and which parts relate to Fusion?

 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although I am a VMware employee I contribute to VMware Communities voluntarily (ie. not in any official capacity)
VMware Training & Certification blog

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

What version of Windows are you running?

How much memory do you have configured to the VM?

I assume that any of the disk space measurements are taken from within the VM, and not macOS. Space from files deleted within a VM will not be reflected in the amount of disk space allocated for the VM on the Mac, but should be reflected in what Windows reports.  Unless you are running out of space on the Mac ignore for the time being what the Fusion Virtual Machine Library or macOS is telling you about disk space.

There's a TL;DR discussion about how virtual machine disk usage and virtual disk consumption on the host relate to one another, but that's a topic for another time. Focus on what Windows inside the VM is telling you, and the assumption is that Windows is telling you that it's running out of virtual disk capacity.

One thought comes to mind: if left on its own, Windows will create a hibernate file that's sized according to your memory on the VM. If you open File Explorer, set it display hidden files and system files, and see if there's a hibernate file. (the file is at the root of the C: drive and is called hiberfil.sys). See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-client/deployment/disable-and-re-enable-hibern... for info on how to disable Windows hibernation (it's not really needed for a VM since the VMware suspend mechanism is independent of the hibernation file).

Second, try using Windows SMB file sharing to the Mac as opposed to VMware's shared folders. Shared folders are notorious for poor performance and causing problems. (I wish VMware would fix this as it's well known that the implementation is poor). Or create a second virtual disk and store the TIFF files there - they'll run a lot better if the VM could find them there instead of having to use the shared folders implementation.

Have you run any Windows cleanup tools  (such as the built-in Disk Cleanup)?

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

I always use windirstat.
Looks like the binary hasn't changed since 2012.. (probably longer)

https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/windirstat_portable

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

On Windows 7 you can almost always take ownership of a folder if you're the administrator.
So normally you should be able to delete those .jpg's.
It's weird though to have jpg's in a protected area. You have a screenshot of that folder?

re. installers.. you can't just go out and start deleting random installer files, but you can check the biggest ones and see if the actual software name is in the properties tabs when inspecting with Windows Explorer. There certainly is software that leaves big installer files even after a complete uninstall.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You wouldn't happen to inadvertently have Windows Media Player network sharing enabled, would you?

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-7-keeps-on-writing-thousands-of-jpg-fi...

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17 Replies
scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Which parts of what you're describing and doing relate to Windows inside your VM, and which parts relate to Fusion?

 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although I am a VMware employee I contribute to VMware Communities voluntarily (ie. not in any official capacity)
VMware Training & Certification blog
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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

What version of Windows are you running?

How much memory do you have configured to the VM?

I assume that any of the disk space measurements are taken from within the VM, and not macOS. Space from files deleted within a VM will not be reflected in the amount of disk space allocated for the VM on the Mac, but should be reflected in what Windows reports.  Unless you are running out of space on the Mac ignore for the time being what the Fusion Virtual Machine Library or macOS is telling you about disk space.

There's a TL;DR discussion about how virtual machine disk usage and virtual disk consumption on the host relate to one another, but that's a topic for another time. Focus on what Windows inside the VM is telling you, and the assumption is that Windows is telling you that it's running out of virtual disk capacity.

One thought comes to mind: if left on its own, Windows will create a hibernate file that's sized according to your memory on the VM. If you open File Explorer, set it display hidden files and system files, and see if there's a hibernate file. (the file is at the root of the C: drive and is called hiberfil.sys). See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-client/deployment/disable-and-re-enable-hibern... for info on how to disable Windows hibernation (it's not really needed for a VM since the VMware suspend mechanism is independent of the hibernation file).

Second, try using Windows SMB file sharing to the Mac as opposed to VMware's shared folders. Shared folders are notorious for poor performance and causing problems. (I wish VMware would fix this as it's well known that the implementation is poor). Or create a second virtual disk and store the TIFF files there - they'll run a lot better if the VM could find them there instead of having to use the shared folders implementation.

Have you run any Windows cleanup tools  (such as the built-in Disk Cleanup)?

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I think the whole problem relates to running windows in a VM. you are right, none of this  relates to running Fusion as a standalone.

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for that, I am running Windows 7 and have allocated about 4GB of memory (of 16GB) to the VM.   Yes, I have been trying to figure out this problem for some months before posting and have run disc cleanup as well as CCleaner constantly in the hope of helping! And I keep on running File Manager trying to identify spare files anywhere which I can delete!  That was why I am trying to identify what else can be taking up 45 GB of space on a VM in which I store nothing and from which I have uninstalled or deleted everything!

(I am not an advanced enough user to know how to delete files in a VM from within the host OS, though I did manage to do a disc cleanup, revealing those 1.86GB of cleanup-able files which I cleaned up from the Fusion screen in the host OS)

Anyway, I ran powercfg.exe /hibernate off and rebooted and the VM seemed to do a lot of thinking;    although the host still comes up as an error message concerning inaccessable drives.  And when I try to reclaim space with the vm closed down, 1.9GB of space. mysteriously appears in yellow with the annoying message telling me to CLEAN UP VIRTUAL MACHINE.  Needless to say, when I do so, that 1.9gb of yellow space completely disappears again!

On another point, I should confess I didnt understand "try using Windows SMB file sharing to the Mac as opposed to VMware's shared folders"

 

EDIT: Let me correct that, the X still comes up as a problem accessing shared folders on restart. BUT the VM freezes after a minute or so and when it settles down, the host IS there for sharing in all its glory!

EDIT2 Yes, I do constantly empty the recycle bin.

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Again, focus on what you see within the VM, not what the Virtual Machine Library is telling you. "Cleaning up the virtual machine" is only focused on how the virtual disk is being stored - the process of cleaning up defragments the Windows file system, and then attempts to reclaim the space within the macOS file system for unused data. It in no way impacts how much space the guest is using for its files.

There is no way to delete files within the VM from the host. And never, never, never manually delete files in the Virtual Machine's "bundle" folder, since you will corrupt the VM and lose data.

Could you post screen shots of the Virtual Machine Library's screen for your virtual machine, then post a screen shot of the properties of your c: drive (within the VM, go to File Manager, right click on the c: drive and select "Properties").

Also , could you post another thing from within the VM - screen shot from the Disk Management?

 

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

So there are two different disk space warnings - one is inside the guest, the other is for the host.  Can you post a screenshot of exactly what the message looks like?

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'll give it a try but for the moment, the properties screen for the c; drive shows the same 47GB vm size with nearly 1GB free after deletion of any hibernate file. Disc cleanup no longer cleans up much and system file cleanup can free up 609mb. (mostly windwsupdate backup files, and with no DELETE NOW button!)

I still cant figure out where Nikon Scan 4 puts its backup files. I wonder if that is taking up all the mystery lack of space?

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Might want to give a program such as TreeSize (that has a free edition) https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free?ca=1 a whirl to search your Windows VM. 

Never used it myself but knew customers that really liked it to find out what’s really on their Windows system. 

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

good idea. i have been struggling with treesize for a few years and occasionally it can identify what is taking up space if you drill down in its confusing interface for long enough!

Meaning it hasnt managed to identify anything yet.  Does anyone know of any other such product with a GUI that shows where space is being used please? Rather than one which just shows directories and sizes with no real indication of what is in them?

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

I always use windirstat.
Looks like the binary hasn't changed since 2012.. (probably longer)

https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/windirstat_portable

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

ah yes, that was the file i was looking for. many thanks for that Wila

I used it some years ago and then forgot its name. 

It tells me that I have over 6GB of what it calls windows installer files and over 4GB of JPGs.   And they are all buried deep in some subdirectory where I would never have dreamed of looking.    Sadly for present purposes they seem to be system JPGs (whatever that means) which cant even  be accessed, much less deleted!  They are in a networkservice subdir off a serviceprofile subdir off the windows directory.

This problem gets more and more baffling at every step!

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

On Windows 7 you can almost always take ownership of a folder if you're the administrator.
So normally you should be able to delete those .jpg's.
It's weird though to have jpg's in a protected area. You have a screenshot of that folder?

re. installers.. you can't just go out and start deleting random installer files, but you can check the biggest ones and see if the actual software name is in the properties tabs when inspecting with Windows Explorer. There certainly is software that leaves big installer files even after a complete uninstall.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Can one tell anything from this? None of those JPGs look important!  I think they are all copies of album artwork from my itunes library. They may have been accidentally created in some aborted install of MediaMonkey?

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You wouldn't happen to inadvertently have Windows Media Player network sharing enabled, would you?

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-7-keeps-on-writing-thousands-of-jpg-fi...

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

But there is a program called Patch Cleaner which identifies all deletable files and deletes them (all 5GB of them) after Windirstat has shown you exactly where they are

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

YES I am sure that is EXACTLY what is happening, arising from the Media Player which I never use!

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licensedtoquill
Enthusiast
Enthusiast
So it IS a memory leak.  Intentionally created by Media Player!  I wonder who designed this piece of genius software? 
 
Now I come to stink of it, I remember curing this problem about three years ago.  But obviously it isn't cured for every backup Windows VM that I have stored everywhere.  
 
And sadly I now can't remember how this leak STAYS cured.  All I have now done is to delete the directory holding all those jpg files and empty the recycle. bin. 
 

 

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