Disk Full Error, but it is not

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Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 23. Aug 2011, 03:51

OK, this is a bit out of the ordinary, but it has happened three times. My daughter is in college (starting 4th semester at this institution). She runs Linux on her laptop. In order to get on the college network for the students her computer has to show that she has the appropriate (college provided) MS Windows security software a NAC agent if I recall correctly. We installed Windows XP in VirtualBox. Then she was able to install the security software and the MAC address of her machine was cleared for takeoff. She did everything else in Linux or Wine. This has worked for 3 semesters with one exception. At one point she called me in a panic saying that she was required to do updates and now her VirtualBox Win XP would not run. It was complaining of a full disk. This was over a year ago, so I don't remember the details. We just deleted everything and reinstalled XP in VBox. I created a second backup VDI if she ever ran into problems again. At the time I thought the problem might have been snapshots. Since she does not use Windows I told her not to save snapshots. All ran fine for a year. She came home over the summer and her Linux disto was getting a bit long in the tooth. I upgraded to the latest version saving her VDIs. Before she went back to school I fired up her VBox and all seemed to be working fine except that the security software and nac agent were gone. I thought that maybe for security reasons these were only licensed for so long and automatically uninstalled or something. Anyway she had been through the installation drill a few times before and we figured no problem.

When she arrived on campus the first thing that was required was a Windows update. While doing that she got an error message that said her disk was full & the VM execution was suspended pending freeing up some space. There were over 12 GB free on her VDI when she started the update. Great. How does she free up space when she can't run the virtual machine? I had her create a new machine with the spare VDI thinking we might try attaching the "full" vdi and looking at it. She fired up the new machine. It seemed fine. I had her shut down and attach the "full" vdi. When she started back up she got another full disk warning when she tried to save her machine state.

HELP! Any idea what is going on? Is the best route to just delete and start over again? That takes a long time and what will keep it all from happening again? Thanks for any thoughts. Oh, since she could run, just not save machine state she tried having XP clean up files. It found a large amount of "old compressed files" and she selected to delete them. Unfortunately this did not solve the problem.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby mpack » 23. Aug 2011, 10:28

Okie2003 wrote:she got an error message that said her disk was full & the VM execution was suspended pending freeing up some space. There were over 12 GB free on her VDI when she started the update.

It's free space on the host (laptop) disk which has run out, not space in the guest. Deleting (like last time) only resets the clock back a few weeks, i.e. you found a roundabout way to compact the guest VDI, so as soon as she starts some serious installing inside the guest then she'll run out of space again.

What you need to do is delete some files from the laptop drive. To help, there are tools available which can tell you the biggest space hogs on a whole drive (so you don't have to search folder by folder). You get bigger returns by deleting the biggest space hogs. The only other option is a hard disk upgrade for the laptop. Others might suggest running the VM from an external drive. For performance and reliability reasons I would not recommmend that.


ps. No offence, but please edit your own posts more harshly in future. You told me a lot of stuff I didn't need to know (your daughter's education schedule), yet skipped stuff that would have been useful, like the size of the laptop's hard disk.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby vbox4me2 » 23. Aug 2011, 10:44

Size of VDI,
Used space in VDI,
Size of laptop harddisk,
Free space on laptop harddisk,
Partition type of hardddisk (where VDI is located).
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 23. Aug 2011, 15:55

removed because of duplicate post
Last edited by Okie2003 on 23. Aug 2011, 21:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 23. Aug 2011, 15:59

Sorry. I should have included these. The laptop is not mine and is not here, so I will go from memory and confirm tonight. the laptop is a Dell Latitude D430 (almost netbook size, which is why she likes it, but with the more power).
Size of VDI -- I am almost certain they were in the 14 GB range
Used space in VDI -- If above is true then ~ 2 GB (only minimal XP install)
Size of laptop hard-disk -- 80 GB
Free space on laptop hard-disk -- ?? it is divided into a / partition, a home partition, and data partition, and a VDI partition. I will get the numbers on these tonight. the backup vdi was on the data partition as I recall.
Partition type of hard-disk (where VDI is located) -- I asked her that the other night, so I am sure: NTFS and I think even the data partition is NTFS (can you have an NTFS vdi on and ext3 partition?) I will verify.

Does the error message mean the vdi is full or that the partition it resides on is full? I was thinking the former, but now I am wondering. If it is the latter then that is why a year ago when this happened I was tying the problem to snapshots. Thanks for stirring my foggy brain. I will check this out and report back.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Perryg » 23. Aug 2011, 16:11

Probably the best thing to do is to tell your daughter to type df -h in the hosts terminal window and post the results here.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby mpack » 23. Aug 2011, 19:04

Okie2003 wrote:Does the error message mean the vdi is full or that the partition it resides on is full?

The error message means that the host partition, the one the VDI is stored on, is full (actually I thought I was already pretty clear about that in the first sentence of my previous message).

You do not get a suspended VM when the guest virtual drive is full, the suspended VM happens because the only other way to handle host disk full is to simulate a catastrophic write error. Basically, the virtual hard disk controller can't store data, so it must either return "failed", or VBox must suspend the VM.

When the disk is full on the guest side then that's a normal condition that any guest OS should be able to handle by itself, so that isn't necessary for VirtualBox to catch it.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 23. Aug 2011, 21:56

mpack wrote:The error message means that the host partition, the one the VDI is stored on, is full (actually I thought I was already pretty clear about that in the first sentence of my previous message).


I apologize. I guess in my haste I missed you whole first reply. Also I only gave details of semesters to show that this set up has worked in the past for quite a while.

I appreciate everyones input and I will try to be accurate and concise when I have more information. Thanks again.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 24. Aug 2011, 19:18

Verified imformation:
sda1 9GB – 6.38 GB used, ext3, data 1
sda5 7GB – 4.24 GB used, ext3, /
sda6 8 GB – 3.8 GB used, ext3, /home
sda7 1 GB swap
sda8 15 GB – 15GB used, NTFS, primary Vbox vdi
sda9 34.5 GB – 22 GB used, ext3, data 2 with backup vdi

Observations:
sda8 folders
--VirtualBox_HardDisk (2.4 GB)
-----CofO.vdi (2.4 GB)
-----Emergency (10.6 KB)
-----Ruth-VB (225 KB)
--.VirtualBox (12.5 GB)
-----machine
-----Compressed.dat
The folders that contain the VDIs on my laptop do not have a .VirtualBox folder. I wonder if she could just delete this folder.

sad9 contains Vbox_Emergency.vdi (1.8 GB) This is consistent with above information that before this began both VDIs were set for ~14GB and had 12 GB free. It is important to remember that sda8 also had 12 GB free.

She will be emailing me the results of df -h when she gains access to a computer.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Perryg » 24. Aug 2011, 19:28

sda8 15 GB – 15GB used, NTFS, primary Vbox vdi

Full.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 24. Aug 2011, 20:17

Perryg wrote:
sda8 15 GB – 15GB used, NTFS, primary Vbox vdi

Full.


Yes, but the question is why? The title should have been "but the vdi is not and there should not be anything else in the partition". This is a partition that only housed the vdi. When the required updates started this was not full. Yes it is now, but why and what will prevent it from happening again? Does and XP update really take 12 GB? What is the .VirtualBox folder with the compressed.dat file (12.5 GB)? Where did it come from? Is it part of the updating? Can it be deleted?
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby stefan.becker » 24. Aug 2011, 20:20

After some times VDI Files are bigger then the really used size. In this case you can shrink it with CloneVDI.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 24. Aug 2011, 21:10

stefan.becker wrote:After some times VDI Files are bigger then the really used size. In this case you can shrink it with CloneVDI.


Thanks for the tip, but in this case the vdi is only 2.4GB.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Perryg » 24. Aug 2011, 21:28

Because you made a dynamic VDI that was bigger than the space you put it in. The VDI will start small enough but grow and if the drive or partition you put it on is smaller than the space you *actually* have it will fill up the drive and there you have it. You would need to look at the contents of the partition to see what is taking the drive space. Regardless of what it is there is no room left on that partition.
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Re: Disk Full Error, but it is not

Postby Okie2003 » 24. Aug 2011, 21:38

Perryg wrote:Because you made a dynamic VDI that was bigger than the space you put it in.

I don't think so. The vid was set for 14GB and the partition was 15GB (see above).

Perryg wrote:You would need to look at the contents of the partition to see what is taking the drive space. Regardless of what it is there is no room left on that partition.

As stated above, the sda8 folders
--VirtualBox_HardDisk (2.4 GB)
-----CofO.vdi (2.4 GB)
-----Emergency (10.6 KB)
-----Ruth-VB (225 KB)
--.VirtualBox (12.5 GB)
-----machine
-----Compressed.dat
So the hidden file .VirtualBox with the compressed.dat file is the culprit. What is it? Can it be deleted?
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