No Disk Space After Failed Disk Utility Erase Free Space

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by steiney, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #1
    Hello All,

    I'm having a pretty serious problem. I attempted to erase the free space on my HD, as I do from time to time, except this time it appeared to hang/freeze at the end, when it gets to the part where it creates a temporary file. I waited for several minutes and it didn't move. I tried clicking the skip button, but that did nothing either, so I force quit Disk Utility.

    The problem is, it left the disk at "Zero KB" of free space, effectively making my computer inoperable. I was in the process of studying for a huge exam tomorrow, and am currently flipping out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    If it matters, I'm on a Macbook Pro 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo, running 10.4.

    I really don't want to have to reinstall the OS and import the old files, but my real fear is that I will have to do a fresh install of the OS.

    Thanks in advance,

    steiney
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #2
  3. steiney, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thank you very much for your reply! I tried entering the command in terminal and it didn't seem to do anything. I double checked to make sure I typed in exactly what you said. Am I supposed to substitute something in place of the asterisk? I'm not the most terminal-savvy person.

    Also, would it be possible to show the hidden files, then go in and manually remove the file you are talking about?
     
  4. macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Do you have another drive that you can use to install the os and then hook up the old drive by USB(if you have a converter) and access your data?
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #5
    The asterisk is supposed to be there lol. What version of mac os x are you using?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Blackburn: I'm running 10.4.11. Sorry about the asterisk question. I figured it was a stupid question, but I really don't know what I'm doing in terminal. It's a shame because I'm pretty knowledgeable outside of terminal.

    Also, I don't know if you saw my edit to my last post, but would it be possible to show the hidden files, then go in and delete the file you are talking about manually?

    nippyjun: I'm not sure I follow you. I have an external HD, but are you talking about removing the internal HD?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #7
    Its possible to see hidden files on finder, you can use onyx to do that. You could try onyx to clean up the caches in your computer. But you would need to run it from the external hdd since you've got no free space.

    If you want just to see the hidden files just type this 2 lines in terminal:
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #8
    Well I generally use IceClean to clean out my caches, and it has a "show hidden files" option built in.

    If I show the hidden files, do I just follow the path you gave me in the teminal command to delete the temporary file?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #9
    Yes it will work. But try to also clean the cache.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I just tried cleaning the root cache and user cache with IceClean, but it says that they have already been cleaned. (I clean both of them just before running Disk Utility to erase the free disk space.)

    Also, entering the command into terminal to show hidden files didn't work. It said "Could not write domain com.apple.finder; exiting".
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #11
    Use the icecelan option to show the hidden files and go /var/root/Library/Caches and look for a really big file or folder.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    IceClean isn't able to make the "show hidden files" command work either, probably due to the same reason that it wouldn't work by entering the command into terminal.

    Do you have any other idea of how to get the hidden files to show?

    Would booting from the install disk and doing some sort or repair be of any help?
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #13
    Can you try and use onyx?
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    How would I download it or install it? My external HD is Mac formatted, so I can't plug it into my Windows computer to install Onyx onto it, and I don't think I will be able to run an internet browser on my Mac even if I download Onyx straight to the external HD.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #15
    can you move a few files to the external hard disk?
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Oh man, that's such a good idea! I can't believe I didn't think of that.

    I'm moving 2.2 GB's to my external HD right now. After the transfer is done, I will retry all the options you had me try, starting with the terminal command to erase the temp file.

    I'll post back in a few minutes and let you know what happened.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #17
    Yep it should have been the first thing to do:p
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Okay, the command to erase the file didn't work, but I was able to use the command to show all files.

    I went into /var, but when I try to get into the "root" folder, it says "The folder "root" could not be opened because you do not have sufficient access privileges."
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #19
    Try (again) to clean the caches. I don't know how to avoid finders restriction to enter the root folder:(
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I tried cleaning the caches again, and it's giving me the "already cleaned cache" message.

    I'm reading on support.apple.com right now about how to enable root access. If I can get it to work, then I think I will be able to get into the root folder and delete the file.

    I'll let you know what happens, or if I have any more questions.

    Thank you very much for all you help so far! I really appreciate it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #21
    Your welcome:) Good luck on this no so good crusade.. Try onyx. It may clean other folders that iceclean doesnt.
     
  22. macrumors 603

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    #22
    One other thing to try.... boot from the Install Disk, and then use disk utility from there. Do the Erase Free Space thing again, but this time let it complete the operation. Apple does warn that the operation can take a considerable time to complete... so go and have lunch or something. It may just need to reset some flags.

    Of course, make sure you have back up first. Again, you can boot from the Install Disk and then run your back up program on HD.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Okay, well I'm going to try booting from the Install Disk and run the disk utility from there.

    I enabled root access and got into the root folder, but the file wasn't in at the path you gave me, or anywhere in the hidden files. I looked through everything. Also, I ran WhatSize to see if that could locate it (sorting files by their size since the file should be almost 20 GB's), but that didn't find it, and also told me that the disk is only 91 GB's, whereas it should be 111 GB's.

    It's seems that the computer has lost track of those 20 GB's of space which the Disk Utility temp file was occupying. I wonder if it's gone permanently.

    I'm gonna try booting from the install disk, and I will let you know what happens.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #24
    Try to do a repair in disk util from the install dvd. The file must be somewhere or something in the file system his corrupted and is flagging those 20Gb as occupied.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Well I thought maybe I should reboot the computer normally before booting to the install disc. When I rebooted, my free space was back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think the computer just lost track of that section of the HD for whatever reason, and the reboot help it remember.

    Anyway, problem solved. Thank you again soooooooo much for your help.
     

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