out of disk space on imaginary (?) disk

At seemingly random intervals for quite some time now, I’ve been getting annoying pop-ups telling me I’m running out of space on Local Disk (K:).

There is no such disk in the physical world, but there it is on Windows Explorer. It appears to be empty, yet Properties says it has 409 MB used and 41.5 MB free. I put a small jpg file into it, and I could open and view the jpg normally. Perhaps it’s a partition?

I noticed it a while after I attempted to install the software that came with an old Pinnacle video capture device I had. That software turned out to be incompatible with Windows X, and it installed a non-certified (or something) video driver I had to track down and delete. But why would that software have created a partition?

What is the optimal method for making this thing go away?

It might be a RAM disk created for use with the video capture thing, perhaps?

Is there a way to tell?

Hmmmm. Maybe the Disk Management tool might show some info? Or whatever it is that lists the devices on the system. Not sure as I don’t use Windows 10 and I’m on Linux right now, but what you described does look a lot like a RAM drive.

Oh, lookit. It says K: is an “OEM Partition” on my system drive.

Hmmmm. Notebook/laptop? Some setups do have those for resets and all… not sure if that’s your case.

If you upgraded to Windows 10, sometimes these hidden partitions are getting named as visible logical drives when they shouldn’t be.

From here:

  1. Select the Start button, type cmd and then right-click Command Prompt in the search results and select Run as administrator.

  2. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type diskpart and press Enter.

  3. Type list volume and press Enter.

  4. Make note of the volume number for the drive letter you want to remove. For example, if the drive letter you want to remove is Drive “G”, note the volume number for Drive G.

  5. Type the following command, and press Enter.

select volume

When typing this command, in place of , substitute the volume number you made note of in Step 4. In the example above, if the volume number for drive G is 5, you would type: select volume 5

  1. Type the following command and press Enter.

remove letter=

When typing this command, in place of , substitute the drive letter you want to remove. In this example, you would type: remove letter=G

  1. Close the Command Prompt window.

Yep. Just un-map it in disk management. Remove the K:.

Colleague of mine had this happen recently, and in his case it was apparently triggered by a Windows update.


Ah, the joys of Windows updates! Makes sense. Well, kind of. ;)

Thanks, everyone. JD’s link is definitely what it was, and the cmd solution worked.