Windows seems to create a sparse looking file, in that it is created quickly without major disk writes and contains all zeroes when inspected with a hex editor.
Yet, as mentioned, its occupies whatever disk space you ask for meaning it isn't a sparse file.
I cannot create a file bigger than my available free disk space. (Which you can do using the 'dd' trick in linux. - because this is a sparse file)
At first I thought that NTFS was just updating its allocation table to say 'these blocks are in this file', but then I would expect the file to contain data (whatever was on that section of the hdd previously)
What can we call these sparse-looking zero-filled disk-consuming non-sparse files that NTFS creates?
Apart from manually writing to the disk, I can't think of a way to create a real disk-occupying file quickly
Unless you want to write 1 byte per cluster instead of the full 4k (assuming default 4k cluster size) - would this be quicker?
Anyone else got any ideas?