NTFS compression in WinPE 10 uses all available disk space

Applies to: Windows 10, version 1903, all editionsWindows 10, version 1809, all editionsWindows 10


Consider the following scenario:
  • You create a partition of 16 gigabytes (GB) on a test system.
  • You format the partition by using the /C switch to enable NTFS compression.
  • You create a bootable USB key in WinPE 10 x64.
  • You copy the “test” WIM files to the USB key.
  • You boot into WinPE on the test system.
  • The partition on the test system is drive C, and the USB key is drive D.
  • You run the following command line:

    dism /apply-image /imagefile:d:\test.swm /swmfile:d:\test*.swm /index:1 /applydir:c:\
In this scenario, DISM fails with error 112.

If you use WinPE 5 x64 in this scenario, you experience the same issue. The WIM file is split to fit on a FAT32 system. The log files are in the wpe5 and wpe10 subfolders.


To work around this issue, we recommend that you do not format the volume by using NTFS compression and instead use WOF compression by specifying /compact to dism when you apply these images. This mitigates the issue and also makes the system runs faster by using a more efficient compression algorithm.

More Information

We have confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.