External Hard Drive extra space being used, erasing and complications help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sun surfer, May 14, 2011.

  1. sun surfer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    The title may not be the best, but I couldn't figure out how to ask my question in the title.

    Here's the problem: I have an external hard drive that used to be the hard drive in an ibook, I think. I am now going through and cleaning it out. I have completely cleaned it out, to where when I connect it, it shows that nothing at all is on it.

    However, it says that there is still about 25 gb being "used". I'm not a huge techie person, so I'm really not sure why. Here's what I want:

    1 - If there's still anything on there, I want to find it and see what it is before I completely erase it.

    2 - I want to get everything on it completely erased for security reasons and to get it like new. I think I can use disc utility for this? Not positive though.
     
  2. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    1) You could have lots of hidden files on there:

    To reveal them open the terminal and type:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true

    If you want to revert to not seeing hidden files:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false

    You will need to log in and out for the changes to take effect.

    2) Disk utility will securely erase if you zero-out deleted files.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  4. sun surfer, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

    sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #4
    Thanks! I tried both ways and they both work. It seems that 20 mb of hidden stuff was two "mach kernels" which I'm not sure what that is. The rest are just various small things. LOL one random thing, "tmp", says last modified in 1969!

    I guess I don't need any of that stuff on a wiped clean now external hard drive.


    ETA - Would I need this stuff to use the hard drive again? Like, if it's completely wiped clean of all these hidden things, will it still work as an external hard drive?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    You don't need any particular file to make an external drive work.
     
  6. sun surfer, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

    sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #6
    OK I've tried to erase everything. It has freed up most of the space per my original question. However, there are a few things that won't go away and it's annoying me!

    .ds_store keeps popping back up in it after I erase it.

    A .spotlight folder won't erase. I put it trash and it says the .live things are being used and can't be erased, even when I've shut everything else down.

    A .trash folder is not allowed to get moved to trash.

    So I did the erase from disc utility with the 1 overwrites and after it was done, taking over an hour, those were still on the external hard drive! They won't go away.

    Anyone know how to get rid of them on it? I know it's probably not necessary but it's bugging me. I'd like it completely clean.


    ETA - a .fseventsd folder keeps popping up in their too.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    Those are Mac OS X hidden files. They will be re-created every time the drive is accessed with your Mac. They don't take up much space and don't need to be deleted.
     
  8. sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #8
    Thanks. It's all good now.

    I used the terminal show hidden files to find everything, then turned it back off once I was done.

    I used the Grand Perspective program (since both programs you recommended looked the same I chose the one with the name I liked better :p ) and it's really interesting. I can be a bit of minimalist - I love getting rid of unnecessary stuff! - so that was an eye opener to use on my regular hard drive. Very interesting to click around and see what the big bits were.
     

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