How do I delete hidden files on an external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jason23432, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. jason23432 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    #1
    Hi. I have a 1TB Seagate external hard drive. Today, I erased the entire hard drive using disk utility (with one pass of zeros).

    However, once it finished erasing disk utility still showed 663.6 MB as "used" with 58 files. Yet when I open up the hard drive using Finder I can't see any files.

    I also tried formatting the external hard drive as FAT...which dropped the number of invisible files to 0, but still about 684kb was used for "something."

    Finally, I formatted it back to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)...the file system I want...and the 663.6 MB of invisible data magically reappeared.

    So what is this data and how can I get rid of it.

    Thank you.
     
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #2
    What you are seeing is the cost of the file system itself. It has some overhead. Spotlight also creates an empty index, which may explain some of the hidden files.
     
  3. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Mico, Texas
    #3
    To view hidden files, change this flag in Terminal.

    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles yes
    killall Finder
    To re-hide the files:
    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles no
    killall Finder
    May just need to empty the trash, I've seen external drives when plugged in show files that were deleted, in the trash.
     
  4. tarsins macrumors regular

    tarsins

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wales
    #4
    Easiest way to toggle hidden files display is Shift-Cmd-. in Finder.
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    Wow, I have been using OS X for many years now and this is the first time that I hear about this shortcut. :)
     
  6. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Mico, Texas
  7. tarsins macrumors regular

    tarsins

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wales
  8. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Mico, Texas
    #8
    Missed the . dot on the first round, wow, this is truly a hidden gem, Thanks!
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Whoa... never knew this either. All praise tarsins! :D
     
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #10
    Same here! Thanks @tarsins, that's an incredibly useful thing to know :)
     

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