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Finding Sparse Files

Articles and Tips: tip

Paul Thompson
Novell, Inc.

01 Jan 2001

Sparse files are very large files, typically several gigabytes in size, which contain very little information, and for which no disk space has been allocated for the empty sections of the file. Sparse files can cause problems because many programs don't know how to skip the empty sections when reading them.

The best way to find sparse files is to use the NetWare NDIR command with a filter option to list only very large files. For example:

NDIR <volume:> /SUB /SIZE GR 10000000

<volume:> is the name of the volume you wish to scan. /SUB lists files in all subdirectories on the volume. /SIZE GR 10000000 limits the listing to files larger than 10Mb.

Once you've found a very large file, you can determine if the file is larger than it should be.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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