That's a big desktop VM


Where’d all the drive space on this MacBook Pro go? What a handsome question. Let’s ask GrandPerspective, the tool every Mac user should have. WinDirStat and QDirStat are useful analogues for those of you on Windows or Linux/BSD.

Screenshot from GrandPerspective showing one file taking up at least half my drive

Well then! Not to get all Malcom Gladwell on you, but turns out that gigantic rectangle is a Windows 7 virtual machine bundle created to help with games interfacing with old BMCs and other poorly-written, Windows-only utilities. In a fit of shortsightedness, I provisioned it as a preallocated disk for performance reasons, but on SSDs in 2017 I barely noticed a difference.

If I had used a default sparse disk, I could compact it.

Update 1: Turns out this VM wouldn’t have compacted well anyway, it’s cached every single Windows Update it ever did. The Windows folder is over 100GB!

Update 2: Comes after update 1.

Update 3: Remember when that folder was C:\WINNT? Jim Kloss would remember. It was even still the case with Windows 2000. Now if I didn’t also need this VM for games 64bit Windows software, I’d use 2000 in this capacity. It’d probably still work. Chips Challenge and SkiFree still would too.

Update 4: Windows 2000, built on NT Technology, it said. Or expanded out, Windows 2000, built on New Technology Technology.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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