Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VMware Workstation - Where's my space going?

Let me begin with how much I hate that it has been so long since I've posted.  I'm hoping to pick up some new posts in the coming weeks as I have been very busy testing and implementing ESX(i) 4.1 and enjoying it overall.

This post however is about an issue I came across with VMware Workstation 7.  Like any other good tech person I have a VM that I use for surfing the web looking for things and for managing my torrents when the need arises.  Once my files are downloaded, I perform some virus scanning and then Drag and Drop (DnD) them to storage on the host computer (W7 64bit).

I noticed recently that I was running out of disk space on my primary drive (72GB high speed SAS) and was unable to figure out where it was all going.  Turns out that Workstation 7 keeps your DnD files located in the following hidden directory
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp\VMwareDnD

Imagine my surprise when I found 23GB of data sitting there.  Data that I had properly stored and organized on much larger (and slower/cheaper storage).  Now that I know it is there I know to delete it, but that is a huge relief since I'm generally pretty mindful of how I use my system drive.

Apparently early versions had this issue where they placed the data in the C:\Windows\Temp\VMwareDnD directory and the files were supposed to be deleted upon reboot but did not.  The post below goes into more detail about the recent versions of Workstation on Windows 7 hosts.  The VMware employee contributing in the community forum explains that the files are left in the VMwareDnD directory until next reboot since Workstation has no way of actually knowing when the copy is completed to the final chosen location.  This is fair logic but unfortunately this was not the case for me since I've rebooted several times and I had files in this temp directory from 2 months back.

It's not a big deal for me now that I know where to look and what to expect, but the key take away here is that while DnD is a great feature to use with Workstation, you have to keep an eye on your storage usage.  I'm certainly benefiting also since it forced me to properly evaluate the applications I had installed and allowed me to remove a few that were no longer needed.

Thanks for reading.

VMware Community Reference
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/268474

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