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Showing true drive free space when using Symbolic Links?

By Mugsy ยท 7 replies
Sep 14, 2018
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  1. I have a tiny 128GB SSD. To save space, I'm using symbolic links to store data that doesn't need the speed of an SSD to another (HDD) drive.

    The problem is, Windows still reports the free space on my SSD as if I were still writing files to that drive. :(

    Is it? How do I determine the true amount of free space on my drive? How do I force Windows to correctly report the amount of free space on that drive? And if the reported free space reaches "zero", will I no longer be able to write to the drive?

    If Windows still thinks I'm writing to the drive even when I'm not, there really is no point in using Symbolic Links. (I haven't tested this with Win10. I'm using 64bit Win7.)

    TIA
     
  2. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 508   +47

    For anyone who comes across this problem in the future, I found the solution here:
     
  3. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,450   +546

    Where? Your link don't work.
     
  4. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 508   +47

    Crud. The link worked when I wrote the post but apparently was removed after posting. :(

    It was a link to the MS Support Forum describing the difference between the different types of Symbolic links.

    Let's see if I can't cheat (replace commas with periods):

    social,technet,microsoft,com/Forums/windows/en-US/79afc36f-c893-459f-9865-8e7bc8ee8d98/symbolic-links-causing-files-to-take-up-twice-the-memory?forum=w7itprogeneral
     
  5. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,450   +546

    Still don't work.
     
  6. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,450   +546

  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,208   +1,361

    I'm out the door for Doc appointment but will address the question when I return ....
     
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,208   +1,361

    Got some concepts mixed up here.
    First, Windows uses the term Shortcut for the underlying Symbolic link(the Unix/Linix term) or the Alias (the Mac term).

    Second, you need to understand there are TWO space in the file system:
    1. the actual data store where the clusters contain the user's data
    2. the Meta Space where the filename, size, date are stored OUTSIDE the data
    If you right-click on any windows SHORTCUT, you might see eg:
    upload_2018-9-19_11-16-50.
    The shortcut lies on my Desktop(location)
    size on disk is the CLUSTER size of 4k, but only contains 1.17kb of META data (not counted in allocated vs free space).
    and has some timestamps associated with the shortcut (not the real Documents Dir)

    A symbolic link/short cut is just a pointer to elsewhere. There are issues with links pointing into other partitions or disks,

    I use both soft links(shortcuts) and hard links for my webserver stuff and I'll show you what they look like:
    Windows Style

    dir /a

    06/11/2018 01:54 PM <DIR> CVS
    02/03/2015 10:17 AM 1,636 CVS Concurrent Versions System v1.11.1.1.html - Shortcut.lnk
    05/21/2014 09:22 AM 1,636 CVS.html - Shortcut.lnk
    03/03/2015 10:53 AM 6,625 CVS_Cheat_Sheet.txt
    05/22/2015 06:16 PM <DIR> db
    04/16/2016 01:26 PM 6,461 default_finder.php
    In Windows, the shortcut is visible (but only due to the name, no other attribute shows up). You can't see that DEFAULT_FINDER.PHP is a hard link

    Linux style file info

    ls -lF

    drwxrwxr-x+ 1 Administrators None 0 Jun 11 13:54 CVS/
    -rwxrwxr-x+ 1 Administrators Power Users 1636 Feb 3 2015 CVS Concurrent Versions System v1.11.1.1.html - Shortcut.lnk*
    -rwxrwxr-x+ 1 Administrators Power Users 1636 May 21 2014 CVS.html - Shortcut.lnk*
    -rwxrwxr-x+ 1 Administrators Power Users 6625 Mar 3 2015 CVS_Cheat_Sheet.txt*
    drwxrwxr-x+ 1 Administrators Power Users 0 May 22 2015 db/
    -rwxrwxr-x+ 17 Administrators Power Users 6461 Apr 16 2016 default_finder.php*


    In Linux, the red #17 is a HARD LINK COUNT for the file default_finder.php, meaning there are 17 other locations that point to the same set of data clusters. If you edit any one of them, they all see the change.

    I seriously doubt that the file space consumption increase due any use of shortcut/symbolic links.
     

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