Hard Disk almost full - BUT NOT REALLY?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2007
I have 250GB and I know that that really means about 230GB or so. However, I'm not even close to filling that up if I go down and check out the files - it only adds up to about 70GB. My user file takes up the most at 54GB.

I used Disk Inventory X and found out that there is a hidden Volumes folder that accounts for 139GB of memory (that's where the lost memory is) and it seems to be the exact files that I backed up to my Western Digital xhard drive. Why are they there and how do I get rid of them????

Please help!:confused:


macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2006
Try the following commands using Terminal as the "root" user

# df -h /
# du -sh /*

after you get the output, you can pretty much add them up and you should get the same total. hope this helps you out.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2007
df -h /
Shows the used amount to be 210G

du -sh /*
Looks like it only adds up to a little over 70G??

What is this invisible volume folder and how do I get rid of it?


macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
When you connect an external hard drive, OSX makes a folder in /Volumes which is basically a link to the top of the external. It sounds like when you are performing a backup, somehow, everything got saved in a folder in /Volumes directory which is not a link, just a regular directory in your internal disk. What kind of software did you use for backup?

I would connect the external again. See if your files are really there. And then eject the disk from Finder, don't just yank the cord. It may be enough to fix everything.

In any case, I am curious how you did your backup? Did you use a special program?


macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2008
Odds are it's the new Lion Mobile Backups in /.MobileBackups/ . That backs up files while you are not connected to your time machine backup. When you connect, it uploads those backups to the time machine drive.

In general, the mobile backups are managed automatically and will be deleted if you need free space, so I don't worry about them. If you want to get rid of them anyway, check out this post: http://wiki.summercode.com/how_to_disable_mobile_backups_on_lion