Hard Drive Will Not Partition, it says it's 'full' but it has over 60% free space

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iGuardian, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. iGuardian macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #1
    I've tried repairing and verifying disk permissions, verifying the disk, etc, etc, and even defraging the disk.

    I still can't make a partition in the HD with bootcamp or disk utility.


    Please help!
     
  2. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #2
    One thing you shouldn't do is defrag. It is recommended not to defrag the disk in OSX. It handles that all by itself. But it shouldn't have done any damage. Try going into disk utility and selecting the disk you want. Then go to the erase tab and try "erasing free space." This will erase the free space you have on your drive and make sure nothing is there. When you delete in a file in the trash it actually doesn't delete. Just the disk marks it as deleted. Once you fill up that disk space again the new files you place there overwrite the old files. So try erasing free space and try partitioning again.
     
  3. iGuardian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply, I will try that now.

    EDIT: I just opened up disk utility and it won't let me erase free space on my HD since it's the one the OS is running on. I don't have any external HD's either...
     
  4. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #4
    Is that what it says when you click the erase free space button? Or is it greyed out?
     
  5. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

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    Toronto
    #5
    Use Disk Utility while booting from you Leopard install disk. Stick in the disk and reboot while holding down "c" on your keyboard.
     
  6. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #6
    Typically you'll want to partition the hard drive right after a fresh install of the OS. So if you have a bit of time, make a Time machine backup of your computer. Then boot the computer from the OS disk, partition the hard drive using the Disk Utility on the OS disk. Then go and install Mac OS X Leopard again and restore your data from the backup.
     
  7. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #7
    Yeah, if the option is greyed out then boot up from your install disc and try to erase the free space again. When you boot back up into OSX try to partition it again. Report back on if partitioning the disk works or not.
     
  8. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #8
    This is what I had to do when I was trying to use the boot camp assistant to install windows. The only solution it gave me was to erase the disk and do a fresh install. It worked fine after that. A fresh install with transferring your data back will take around an hour so make sure you have enough time for that if nothing else works. The great thing about time machine though is it transfers all settings and everything that you had previously. So everything will be exactly the same one the data is transferred.
     
  9. iGuardian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #9
    So, I did manage to erase the freespace.

    But seeing as I have lost my install disks for my mac I couldn't fix the problem, so i've installed Windows temporarily.

    I guess I'll be stuck with Vista untill Snow Leopard, as I don't want to buy a Leopard disk now (might be a waste of money like snow leopard coming out soon.)

    Thanks for your help.
     
  10. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #10
    So you erased your leopard drive to install windows?
     
  11. iGuardian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

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    #11
    It was the only thing I could think of. The system kept saying that "The Hard Drive is Full" over and over so I thought I'd rather have a bad OS than a bad HD.

    Hopefully I can tough it out until Snow Leopard, or cave and buy a copy of Leopard on Craigslist or borrow a disk from a friend.
     
  12. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #12
    Yeah, just make sure if you borrow a disk it is from whatever kind of computer you have, i don't think a macbook disk will work if you have an imac if you are trying to use the installation cd that came with the computer
     
  13. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #13
    He was wise to defrag, this issue is often caused by current, existing files being spread across the drive which leave insufficient contiguous (i.e. ongoing) room for the new partition. Defragmenting moves all the blocks together, hopefully creating a large enough 'gap'.

    The advice to erase free space is spurious, firstly because you risk crashing the machine (as it creates an ever-expanding file to overwrite the space with 0's, which leaves no room for the swap file to expand = crash). Additionally, the computer knows which files are deleted and wouldn't worry about this whilst partitioning (otherwise we'd always have to fully erase drives before using them, which simply wouldn't work - imagine explaining that to computer illiterates each time).

    AppleMatt
     
  14. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #14
    Ok, obviously you know more than I do. I had just heard from a lot of other threads and articles I had read that defragging was a bad idea for macs. But it makes sense in this situation as you pointed out. I didn't know that erasing free space would crash the machine, I had done this before and didn't think that it could do anything harmful.
     
  15. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #15
    It can be a bad idea, it depends really. OS X automatically defrags files under 20MB when you open them (but doesn't 'condense' the whole drive down). Also, it moves commonly used files (e.g. boot cache) to the fastest part of the hard-drive (the 'hot zone'). Running a defragmenter could in theory move these files out of the hot zone thereby slowing your Mac. I understand however that iDefrag respects the hot zone. I do wonder nowadays whether defragmenting has the any discernible impact.

    The way I found out erasing free space on the drive you're booted from was problematic was from the first time I did it ;).

    AppleMatt
     
  16. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #16
    Yeah, when I had done de-fragmentation on old windows machines in my house I had definitely noticed an impact on the speed of the computer reading files and opening programs. I had tried idefrag once and didn't notice any difference so I hadn't used it again.
     
  17. iGuardian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

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    Aug 26, 2008
    #17
    Are you sure? Can someone verify that if I use a Macbook disk it won't work on my iMac? Because the only person who I can borrow a disk from owns a macbook, and it's a macbook disk so...

    If it turns out I can't then I'll be stuck with Vista untill snow leopard :(
     
  18. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #18
    If it is an install disk that came with the computer, I'm almost positive that the install will only work on that type of hardware. The install cd that came with my uMB specifically says "MacBook, Mac OS X install DVD."

    Now, if it is a retail install disc of leopard then it will work fine, but if it a disk that came with the computer in the box then it won't work.
     
  19. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #19
    And if you are going to be running windows, make sure you have some time of antivirus software running, like Avast! or free AVG. You don't want to infect your mac with a virus before you get a chance to install SL.
     
  20. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

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  21. iGuardian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

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    Aug 26, 2008
    #21
    I did, but with Windows. I don't have my Mac OS X disk.
     

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