Problem with USB stick

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Eusebius, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Eusebius macrumors member

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    Dec 9, 2006
    #1
    I have one of those flash drive usb sticks to back up documents, which I began using when I still had MS Windows. My problem: on the mac, when I right-clicked on the flash drive, it showed up as nearly full. I removed a large folder, ejected the flash drive, plugged it in again, and there showed no increase in available capacity; the numbers were exactly the same as before. When I tried putting the folder that I had just removed back onto the flash drive, a warning came up that there was insufficient capacity. But the folder had been on the flash drive not five miinutes before! So how do I make space on the flash drive? The panel that shows available space also shows something about the flash drive's format as being MS-DOS. Is that part of the problem? I'm not technically gifted, so I hope there's a solution within my grasp.
     
  2. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    #2
    When deleting a document/folder, you have to empty the Trash afterwards to free up the space. :)
     
  3. Eusebius thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Hmm. Not sure I understood this answer. The flash drive has no trash bin... I simply removed a folder from the flash drive to the imac's hard drive. The flash drive still shows as full, but it couldn't be!
     
  4. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #4
    I think that what you have to do is empty the trash on your mac while the stick is still connected to it.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    Did you ever delete the folder from the flash drive? Dragging the folder to your computer places a copy on the HD (leaving the original on the flash drive), it doesn't actually move the folder.
     
  6. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    #6
    To clear up what EricNau said, when you moved the folder, was there a plus sign in green? If so, you copied the folder instead of removing it.

    If you deleted the folder instead of/after copying it, you have to empty the Trash while the stick is still connected to your computer afterwards to free the space on your flash drive.

    Hope that clears things up.
     
  7. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #7
    I don't believe that I have ever needed to empty the trash after deleting a file on a flash drive. ...I just drag it to the trash and Poof! it's gone.
     
  8. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #8
    You might think it's gone but I don't think it actually is...
     
  9. Eusebius thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    The plot thickens. Using a little application called "Whatsize," I found a hidden file on the flash drive called .trash. It contains all the files and folders I had thought I removed from the flash drive. When I tried to delete the .trash file by dragging it to the trash bin on the hard drive, it wouldn't delete and instead a message popped up saying that an error had occured. So how do I remove this .trash file? It takes up three quarters of the available space on the flash drive!
     
  10. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #10
    Hmmm. It appears that you're right. It disappears but the space is still occupied until I empty the trash.

    What would happen if I never emptied the trash and plugged it into another computer? Would my file be there or not?
     
  11. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #11
    Empty the trash on your computer.
     
  12. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #12
    That's an interesting one. My guess is that the files would not be there but neither would the space - the worst of all possibilities!
     
  13. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #13
    That is what i was going to suggest. Delete the .trash file on the memory stick. IF you cannot delete it, try plugging it bac into a PC running Windows and see if you can delete it from there.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #14
    Let me try to answer this for you.

    When you drag a file to the trash on a removable media type device such as a Thumb Drive, the file moves to the trash but is not deleted until you empty the trash. So the available and used space remains the same on the Thumb Drive. After you empty the trash you then reclaim the space.

    Assuming there are no other files in the trash can, if you drag a file on the Thumb Drive to the trash can, the trash can will now show that there is some trash in the trash can. If you click on the trash can you will see the file. If you now unmount the Thumb Drive the trash can will now show that it is empty. If you remount the Thumb Drive the trash can icon will now show that it has trash.

    If you were to do the same as above only this time mount the Thumb Drive on another computer, the trash can will now show that it has trash. If in the case that the trash can already had trash from the other computer, the trashed files from your Thumb Drive will be mixed in with the trashed files from the other computer. If you empty the trash, the files from both the Thumb Drive and the other computers drive will be deleted.

    Bottom line is that until you empty the trash can, the files still are on your Thumb Drive.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  15. Eusebius thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    It doesn't make sense, but it's true. I couldn't delete the hidden .trash folder on the flash drive, but I was able to drag subfolders from the flash drive to the hard drive, from there to the trash, which I emptied and voila, the files disappeared at last from the original .trash folder on the flash drive. Why is this .trash folder hidden?
     
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #16
    Because it is a system file.

    Just like Windows has some hidden system files. Hidden files are not to be trifled with! ;)
     
  17. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #17
    Macs do too. They really shouldnt be touched but, say on the MAC OSX install disc 2, there are hidden files. You can add these on by showing hidden files without having to install them when you install the OS but as a later add-on if you wish.
     
  18. nsbio macrumors 6502a

    nsbio

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    #18
    Having to empty the trash globally in order to free up space on a thumb drive is bad. Really bad. I believe it is pure arrogance on you-know-whose part - it is very easy to fix. Case and point: google "compost os x" and you will find a very useful utility for trash management. It is not free (less than 10 bucks, I think), but it is a sanity saver. Have been using it for almost two years and counting... :)
     
  19. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #19
    To empty the .trash file on a thumbdrive you empty the trash on your computer. They're linked. That trash can is the trash for everything so when you delete a file from a thumbdrive it goes into the .trash file on the thumbdrive. That .trash file is represented by the trash can in the dock and you have to empty the trash to delete the file.

    It's not hidden, it's right there in the dock, you're just thinking that the trash can in the dock is only for the computer but it's not, it's like a big community trash can.
     
  20. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    ???

    Not sure what you mean about your Macs do too comment.

    I was replying that the .trash folder is hidden on the Mac because it is a system file. Since the OP reference Windows that is why I mentioned Windows files in my comment. On either system, hidden files are hidden for a purpose so the average user would be wise not to mess around with them.

    YMMV.

    Nice way to explain it. :)
     
  21. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #21
    Is this why my neighbour keeps leaving his rubbish in it?
     
  22. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #22
    Yep, it's like the skip you get delivered while you're renovating your house and in the time it takes for you to turn around to get the first bag of rubbish your neighbours have packed it to the brim with all their crap.
     
  23. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #23
    Sorry, looks like i got the wrong end of the stick. I was just saying that macs have hidden files too and not just windows
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #24
    No worries.

    Yep, Macs have lot's of hidden files as well. :)
     
  25. noodlehead macrumors member

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #25
    Ridiculous

    I think it is insane that I have to empty all my trash just to clear out my thumbdrive. Some things Apple just doesn't get.

    So, now I just pull out the drive and stick it in a PC, where the files are not hidden (they are just grayed out), and delete them, along with Spotlight files. Seems silly.

    Oh, also, why can't I secure delete individual items? Jobs says NO--you have to secure-delete the entire contents of the trash!
     

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