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I have accidentally created a giant, unindexed, file on an NTFS system and I am trying to remove it.

CHKDSK appears to require the disk to be unmounted before the file can be reindexed (and eventually removed). Is there any way to achieve the same effect, without unmounting the disk?

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On a NTFS file system, each of the files must belong to an index. If you try to create a file by say the POSIX subsystem, you can create a large file that takes up massive amounts of space but is not addressable via the Windows NT Subsystem... Chkdsk is needed to clear it out of the NTFS tables and reclaim unused space. –  Stephen Thompson Dec 30 '09 at 0:48

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sorry to say CHKDSK will only perform that function on a unmounted disk.

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Is CHKDSK the only utility that can perform this type of work? –  blueberryfields Dec 29 '09 at 22:54
    
I'm afraid so, because of the way file systems are written, you would be insane to try to modify a filesystem on the fly if it has not been designed to do it. Remember the fun we all had when we used to do de-fragmentation on the fly before the operating systems supported it. What a mess! –  Stephen Thompson Dec 29 '09 at 22:59
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If memory server on an unmounted filesystem there is no USNjournal, which is why chkdsk can directly mess with the volume bitmap and mft without causing an issue. the USN journel is specifically designed to prevent someone (or something) from hosing the MFT and bitmap –  Jim B Dec 30 '09 at 4:21

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