Ghost files

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tlsubterfuge, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. tlsubterfuge, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    tlsubterfuge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2014
    Location:
    United States & France
    #1
    Hey all. So I'm attempting to free up some hard drive space and, naturally, I figured I'd get rid of some applications I don't use anymore—namely games that take up a lot of space.

    So, of course, I dragged the applications to the trash and they immediately disappeared in the Applications folder of course, but also from the Trash folder (i.e., I can't "Empty Trash" because there's nothing there to empty). Also, there are no longer files left in my Libraries.

    The problem is, no space has actually been freed from my hard drive. A cursory search of all my files shows that these files don't exist anywhere, but my hard drive still reflects a level with the files still on there.

    Also, it appears that no files are staying in my trash folder. It's almost as if the files are going to my trash folder but are not being displayed and, therefore, not able to be permanently deleted. So maybe it's a problem with that?

    So, I have ghost applications. But I don't believe in ghosts, damnit.
    Any help is appreciated!

    MacBook Pro, 3.06Ghz 2010 build 12F45
    OSX 10.8.5
    500GB HD (with only 540MB left)
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
    This may also be useful: Freeing up drive space in Mac OS X
     
  3. tlsubterfuge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2014
    Location:
    United States & France
    #3
    Ok, so my hunch about the trash folder was correct... or to the best of my understanding, anyway.

    I used Maverick Cache Cleaner to force empty the trash, and that seems to have done it. All I can gather is that somehow the files were located in my Trash folder, but did not display so there was no way for me to see that they were there or to empty it. Obviously, without emptying (i.e., permanently deleting), they couldn't be moved from my hard drive.

    My intuition correct? Any way to fix this so I don't have to force empty anytime I delete a file?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    You shouldn't have to force empty the Trash, even if it contains hidden files. Without more troubleshooting, it's hard to determine what's going on with your system.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Do you happen to have Time Machine turned on? If you do, when you delete files they stay on the disk in a hidden /.Mobilebackups folder. You can read a bit about it here. This might explain why when you delete files the disk space used looks the same.

    It is odd though that you deleted files and they did not show in trash. Did you just delete then normally in Finder?
     
  6. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #6
    I'm thinking along Weaselboy's line of thought. You say that you dragged and dropped the files to the trash, but that they didn't show up in the trash. Are you sure that you made it to the trash, and didn't lift off while over another window? It's possible that you accidentally moved the files to somewhere else on your drive. Try doing a Spotlight search for them just to be sure that they're not elsewhere.
     
  7. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #7
    I've had trouble with an external time machine disk and deleting backups! :p
    I put backup folders in the trash, then I empty the trash. Trash takes forever to empty, and when it gets to zero, it is not over, it goes PAST ZERO into the negative numbers. After a while i have -25,000 files deleted and counting.

    Another weird thing that happened when I tried to do this was after failing to empty the trash, I looked in the trash and saw all the old backups in there! Old backups that I thought I deleted! :eek:

    To fix it I just erased the volume with disk utility. Took ~5 seconds.
     
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #8
    Two things to note:

    1) If you put a file from an external disk (including a USB drive) into the trash and then disconnect that disk without emptying the trash, your trash will appear empty. When you reconnect the drive, the trash will appear full again.

    2) Counting into the negative numbers sounds a bit fishy... if your drive ever gets disconnected improperly, whether because someone unplugged it without ejecting it first or because there was a power outage, use Disk Utility to repair the disk. Occasionally there's some minor corruption in the file system, minor enough that OS X won't complain about the disk but that can still cause problems and weird behavior, possibly like what you observed.
     

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