Windows – Change sparse attribute from an .iso file on Windows 8.1

sparsefilesparseimagewindowswindows 8.1

I have few very large .iso files in my computer altogether about 1TB. All of them are sparse files and i want to remove the sparse flag/attribute from them, is there a way how to do it? Maybe some application or so?

I know when i copy the file the flag is removed, but copying 1TB of files is kind of complicated.

Best Answer

  • You can control whether the file is set as sparse or not by running (from an elevated command prompt) fsutil sparse setflag <filename> 0|1

    To turn off the sparse setting, run:

    fsutil sparse setflag YOURFILENAMEHERE 0
    

    To turn it back on, run:

    fsutil sparse setflag YOURFILENAMEHERE 1
    

    and to query it:

    fsutil sparse queryflag YOURFILENAMEHERE
    

    I found this by trial and error and a search on TechNet - I don't go around setting or unsetting sparse files so I can't speak to any risks from doing this, other than the file(s) will take up much more actual space than they might have otherwise.

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