A heavily fragmented file in an NTFS volume may not grow beyond a certain size

Article ID: 967351 – Last Review: February 19, 2009 – Revision: 1.0

A heavily fragmented file in an NTFS volume may not grow beyond a certain size

Introduction

A heavily fragmented file in an NTFS file system volume may not grow beyond a certain size because of limitations in structures that are used to describe the allocations.

In this scenario, you may experience one of the following issues:

  • When you try to copy a file to a new location, you receive the following error message:
    In Windows Vista or in later versions of Windows
    The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation
    In versions of Windows that are earlier than Windows Vista
    insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service
  • When you try to write to a sparse file from the Application log, Microsoft SQL Server may log an event that resembles the following:
    In Windows Vista or in later versions of Windows
    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: MSSQLSERVER

    Description:…
    665(The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation.) to SQL Server during write at 0x000024c8190000, in filename

    In versions of Windows that are earlier than Windows Vista
    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: MSSQLSERVER

    Description:…
    1450(Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service.) to SQL Server during write at 0x000024c8190000, in file with handle 0000000000000FE8 …

MORE INFORMATION

When a file is very fragmented, NTFS uses more space to save the description of the allocations that is associated with the fragments. The allocation information is stored in one or more file records. When the allocation information is stored in multiple file records, another structure, known as the ATTRIBUTE_LIST, stores information about those file records. The number of ATTRIBUTE_LIST_ENTRY structures that the file can have is limited.

We cannot give an exact file size limit for a compressed or a highly fragmented file. An estimate would depend on using certain average sizes to describe the structures. These, in turn, determine how many structures fit in other structures. If the level of fragmentation is high, the limit is reached earlier. When this limit is reached, you receive the following error message:

Windows Vista or later versions of Windows

STATUS_FILE_SYSTEM_LIMITATION The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation

Versions of Windows that are earlier than Windows Vista

STATUS_INSUFFICIENT_RESOURCES insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service

Compressed files are more likely to reach the limit because decompressing and compressing a file increases fragmentation significantly. The limit can be reached when write operations occur to an already compressed chunk location. The limit can also be reached by a sparse file. This size limit is usually between 40 gigabytes (GB) and 80 GB for a very fragmented file.

WORKAROUND

For files that are not compressed or sparse, the problem can be lessened by running Disk Defragmenter. Running Disk Defragmenter will not resolve this problem for compressed or sparse files.


APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
Keywords: 
kbsurveynew kbinfo KB967351

 

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

This article contents is Microsoft Copyrighted material.
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Trademarks


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Leave a Reply

*
To prove that you're not a bot, enter this code
Anti-Spam Image