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I created several virtual machines using Oracle Virtual Box. The total hard drive spaces these machines took up was ~40GB. I have since deleted these virtual machines from Virtual Box and My Computer is saying I have 58GB free when I should have ~40GB more free after deleting the virtual machines.

Info:

  • I am on Windows 10.
  • I deleted the virtual machines by right clicking the VM then selecting remove. I have then gone to File->Virtual Media Manager and attempted to remove the .vdi files but they are not listed there (so I assume/d they had been deleted in the remove operation).
  • I have run the utility Folder Size (that lists all big folders and files on my HD). And I cannot see/find these .vdi or other files that maybe taking up the ~40GB.
  • I have emptied my recycling bin
  • I have looked in C:\Users\MYUSER\VirtualBox VMs and there are no VMs/folders in there so I assume Virtual Box has deleted them already

Any advice on how I can fix this?

I believe the cause is bloody Virtual Box not re/un partitioning the harddrive after deleting the VM.

  • Reboot the machine and see if the space comes back but it sounds like there are flat files somewhere still on the file system of the OS that host the VMs. Perhaps the VDI extension for those is something else like VHD, etc.? – Pimp Juice IT May 30 '18 at 14:49
  • @PimpJuiceIT hehe, I have restarted multiple times, no change. – Jake M May 30 '18 at 15:08
  • Use something like WinDirStat, as an Administrator, to determine what is using your disk space. – Ramhound May 30 '18 at 15:29
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I deleted the virtual machines by right clicking the VM then selecting remove. I have then gone to File->Virtual Media Manager and attempted to remove the .vdi files but they are not listed there (so I assume/d they had been deleted in the remove operation).

The files will only be deleted if you select "Delete all files"... If you select "Remove only" then the VM (and related media) will be unregistered from the VirtualBox system, and the files will remain in your filesystem.

vbox remove vm


I have run the utility Folder Size (that lists all big folders and files on my HD). And I cannot see/find these .vdi or other files that maybe taking up the ~40GB.

Some formats of virtual hard disks allow their content to be stored as multiple smaller files, so searching for a single "full size" file may not reveal what you're after.

*.vdi is the extension for one of the available virtual hard disk formats... others include *.vhd and *.vmdk.


I have looked in C:\Users\MYUSER\VirtualBox VMs and there are no VMs/folders in there so I assume Virtual Box has deleted them already

The files are stored in %UserProfile%\VirtualBox VMs by default... but they can be stored anywhere


I believe the cause is bloody Virtual Box not re/un partitioning the harddrive after deleting the VM.

VirtualBox doesn't partition anything - virtual hard disks are stored as files in your existing filesystem.

You can confirm this by running Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc)


If all of the above is understood and you're still looking for the "missing" space, then you might want to start looking for more generic "Windows free space mismatch" type information.

For example:

Utilities like WinDirStat can also be quite helpful for understanding where disk usage is:

windirstat

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    I did select Delete all files when removing the VM's from VB. I can confirm that VB has not partitioned my HD. – Jake M May 30 '18 at 15:07
  • Ok, I've updated my answer - if you're confident that the files are gone, then it's probably best to refocus your search. – Attie May 30 '18 at 15:23

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