Finder reporting significantly more free space than is actually there

Discussion in 'macOS' started by daroga, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. daroga, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    daroga macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #1
    Hi all!

    I've had my Mac now for about 5 days and am loving it. Have a Late 2011 13" MBP, base level. I installed a Crucial M4 SSD 128GB two days ago and LOVE it.

    Anyway, currently the 128 GB is the only storage in the machine (a shell to put my original HDD in the optical drive slot is on its way). When I go to finder, and do a Get Info on the Macintosh HDD it tells me that I'm got 105 GB available, which seems weird since I only have 128 to begin with, and I know I copied over 19 GB worth of documents from my Windows PC and have a full Windows 7 virtual machine installed via Parallels. (The virtual machine file alone is like 17 GB I think).

    When I Get Info on my home folder, it says it's the far more reasonable 65 GB total, which would make it impossible to have 105GB free on the 128GB drive.

    What is going on here? Am I misunderstanding what the "Available" space that is being reported is? Is this SSD weirdness? Help a convert out! Thanks! :)
     
  2. talmy, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    You only cite the free space available when you do a Get Info on the drive. There are three numbers: capacity, available, and used. The available number should match the available number shown at the bottom of the Finder window if you have enabled showing the status bar. Also Capacity should equal available plus used. Used for your home folder should be much less than used for the entire drive. The numbers should also be the same in Disk Utility. This is all shown below. If you don't show a similar correlation, could you post the screen shots?
     

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  3. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #3
    My concern that space used on the Harddrive is much smaller (a 1/3 even) than the total size reported of my Home folder. Does OS X do some major file compression...?
     

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  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #4
    No it doesn't, but you can see the problem in that the Used amount for the drive is less than that for the home folder which implies file system corruption. I'd run disk utility from the install disk and have it Repair Disk.
     
  5. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Would enabling Trim have caused an issue or is this just something goofy and unrelated?
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #6
    Hopefully unrelated. You can verify (without repair) the drive from Disk Utility without booting from the restore partition. I was thinking for some reason that your system wasn't new. New systems with Lion have a hidden restore partition. Hold down the Option key while booting to be able to select it.
     
  7. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    When I put in the ssd I just restores the system to it from a time machine backup. I wonder if that was. Of the best way to go. Have to scan it this evening when I get home from work. Thanks for the help! I'll keep you posted!
     
  8. daroga, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #8
    Welp, it doesn't look like I can get to the recovery options until I get my original drive back in there unless I want to wait for the internet recovery to download, which I don't since everything is working fine at the moment. However, I'm a little confused how I got the SSD going in the first place, unless it pulled the recovery mode from my Time Machine drive and I'm not able to make it replicate that...? No idea.

    Anyway, I did run all the tests that I could within Lion via Disk Utility. The verify drive said everything was just dandy, so I don't know what's going on or if the recovery mode disk util will even do anything. Starting to think I should maybe just start over from scratch with a fresh Lion install...?

    Anywho, if anyone has any thoughts, let me know. Otherwise, the caddy for the original drive should be here by early next week and I should be able to get things really humming then.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Nevermind, you can boot to recovery from a Time Machine drive. I must have goofed something up on the way there earlier. Running Repair there didn't fix anything.

    Well, this is interesting. If you go to the little storage thing in "About this Mac" and add up the Free Space + Backups, you get the total being reported Available in finder. Does Finder not count backups as used space as it might purge them later? I'm going to try running Time Machine again and seeing if a fresh backup frees up some space? No idea what's going on, but even so, that doesn't seem accurate, as some of that massive 72 GB backup section has got to be like my Virtual Machine (17GB), etc.

    I feel like I'm back at square one!
     

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  9. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #9
    And just for fun, here's a rather odd collection of screen shots display that everything is A-OK, but radically different numbers between Finder/Get Info and Disk Utility.

    If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. I changed the thread title to more accurately convey the issue at hand.

    Thanks!
     

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  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    For space issues, there are a few things you can try:
    • Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.
    • Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
      [​IMG]
    • For Time Machine users on Lion, Time Machine local snapshots may be consuming space.
    • Use DiskInventory X (pre-Lion), OmniDiskSweeper, JDisk Report or GrandPerspective to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.
     
  11. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #11
    Well, I tried turning Time Machine off (which led to that giant 70 GB chunk to be labled as "Other" rather than "Backup") and then turned it back on. Now Finder reports about 40 GB free, which is exactly what it should be.

    Any idea what happened? Did I do something silly to mess it up? I'd rather not have to do that again!
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #12
    When you turn time machine off, all of the local time machine backups are deleted. In theory, if you need space it will automatically start deleting the backups, which is why they count as available space. I forgot about TimeMachine since I don't use it on my MacBook and local backups are only done on portable Macs.
     
  13. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #13
    Not that this will help you sort out what is using what, but I have found the most accurate picture of used/available space to be that reported by the command line utility df.

    You get a daily snapshot of this output automatically in /var/log/daily.out (look in Console).
     
  14. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #14
    Yeah, I understand that. And I did gain about 10 GB of space (according to Disk Utility) by turning off and back on Time Machine. I'm mostly curious as to what A) it was labeling so much of my Data as "Backups" and B) why Finder labeled everything it saw as Backups as Available space.

    Is this something that will happen frequently?
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #15
    If you make lots of changes while your Time Machine drive isn't accessible, then the local backups will grow faster. IMHO the design is broken in that the local backups are not transferred to the Time Machine drive when a connection is established. Local backups are supposed to be deleted as necessary to make room for files, which is why it is reported as free space, however some people have found that the local files are not deleted in many circumstances causing problems on systems with little free space. Local Time Machine backups can be disabled from the command line (search for the hack). At first I thought the feature would be useful, but as it turns out my usage patterns are best handled by daily synchronizing active folders between my MacBook and iMac with Chronosync, and doing occasional drive cloning.
     
  16. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #16
    Code:
    sudo tmutil disablelocal
    
     
  17. daroga thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #17
    That still doesn't explain why about 60 GB of data on my drive was being mislabled as backups. That's the thing I find the most alarming about all of this.
     
  18. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Oregon
    #18
    Adding files (such as copying from another system) will create backups, so if you accidentally delete the files you can restore them. And unless your VM is marked not to be backed up, every time you run it Time Machine will make a backup.
     
  19. Joseph Bayly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #19
    I put an SSD in and cloned my previous drive to it, and I'm seeing exactly the same thing. Something is goofy. Basically, the Finder must think that some of the real files are in fact backup files. That's the *only* way that these numbers can happen. In my case, I also have less space reported used than is in my home folder, much less used on the whole drive.

    Why? No idea. How? No idea.

    I'm going to try turning off Time Machine as well, and I'll report back what happens.
     
  20. Joseph Bayly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #20
    It worked!

    I turned off Time Machine, closed System preferences, and relaunched the Finder. Boom, it reported the correct free space. Turned Time Machine back on, relaunched Finder, and it's still reporting the correct amount.

    Now we just have to see if it "stays" correct.
     

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