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I want to trick windows into thinking my ssd drive has more free space than it does.

An obvious question is why would I want to do that? Well, I do some ark mod developing using the dev kit, which is a UE4 based product. When it updates we can download an update, a patch which might be a few gb in size. But the Epic launch tool that we use to download and apply the patch is brain dead. It checks the drive for the amount of free space required to install the entire application, in this case about 120gb and will refuse to proceed without that much space, despite the patch really only needing about 5gb.

So I have ~100gb free, and cant install 5gb patch and Epic don't think it needs to fix this feature of their brain dead installer.

So, can I trick windows into thinking the disk has more free space than it does?

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  • Your saying a 5GB patch won't install because you have 100GB free instead of 120GB. You can't fake disk space.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 14, 2017 at 21:32
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    The best you could do is to create a junction or link with the mklink command to another drive which has more space.
    – cybernard
    Mar 15, 2017 at 23:28
  • I was already using a link from my HDD C: to my SSD D: but it was only 256gb, I bu the bullet and brought a 512gb to house my 120gb application.
    – Rob
    Mar 16, 2017 at 6:27
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    I already used mklink /j to redirect application defaults location to other drive, but installer still checks C: free space and does not proceed. I would like to bypass such check... as I have prepared joints link so that it succeeds Nov 29, 2017 at 10:50
  • If you are creative, you should also be able to free up the space you need. Jun 15, 2022 at 15:13

2 Answers 2

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One practical way is to make a virtual drive with like 2TB space and install your programs in that drive. In this way, u have a drive with fake space. this is a guide to make a virtual disk in windows 10: http://www.studentsempire.com/computer_tricks/how-to-increase-the-fake-size-your-hard-disk-space-up-to-2tb-in-window-10.php

TIP: Instead of installing your files in this virtual drive, u can make a junction folder in this virtual drive that points to the real files on your disk. Of course, it depends on your software. It may check the free space on the real device at the end.

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    This is a good idea! However, you should include all relevant steps directly in your answer so it remains usable even if the page you refer to becomes unavailable.
    – Daniel B
    Apr 9, 2020 at 9:03
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Can I trick windows into thinking the disk has more free space than it does?

Maybe, but the idea is bad. I'll ty explain:

Well, depending on the file system, yes I can think of ways to make Windows 'think' it has more free space than it actually has. But this would involve some heavy disk editing and could run into issues with Windows self healing mechanisms because as far as those are concerned we'll be corrupting the file system, introduce inconsistencies.

But however good the trick may be, it does not give you actual additional disk space. And if we then assume the 'patcher' actually needs the disk space (you seem to assert it doesn't but have you got proof for that?) you haven't solved the actual problem.

The patcher might as well:

  • Open the file to be patched
  • Apply patches
  • Save the patched version to a new file
  • Delete the original file

Far fetched idea or method? Not at all, it's the M.O. of for example many of the ransomware infectors/encryptors.

In which case tricking it into 'thinking' there's more free space will simply lead to a next problem.

Bottom line is, you probably just need the disk space even if you think the patcher uses a stupid method to apply the patch.

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