The question is a bit broaded:
sparse file attribute on NTFS partitions and how can I remove it?
Using Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Nicole Hamilton provided the description of what sparse files are.
Creating a Sparse File
Start a Command Prompt (
The value of Size on disk depends on the cluster size of the file system. The default cluster size on NTFS is 4 KB. The drive I used for testing was formatted with 1 KB cluster.
I used this article as the source.
Removing Sparse Attribute
The utility I used in the example does not provide a flag to remove sparse attribute.
The simplest way to do is to copy the file. The file will lose this special attribute if the application that copies it does not specially preserve the sparse attribute and sparse range.
You can use Far Manager to clear the sparse attribute. Navigate to the file and press Ctrl + A to open Attribute dialog. Clear Sparse check box. And click Set button.
This sparse attrib problem happens all the time with downloaded isos for me.
Put this in a batch file and drag-and-drop the target file into it (with Windows Explorer). Et voilá
fsutil sparse queryflag %1 pause fsutil sparse setflag %1 0 fsutil sparse queryflag %1 pause
A sparse file is one that has holes in it. Large sections of binary zeros aren't written to disk. Here's Microsoft's explanation from Sparse Files (Windows):