Items not deleted from USB

bobbytomorow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 10, 2007
425
22
Left Coast
I've had this problem since at least Lion, perhaps before, when I stick a USB in with mp3's for example (could be any file type) and open the USB stick in Finder and delete a few mp3's, they appear to be gone as in I can no longer see them on the stick in Finder but when I plug the USB stick into my media player the old files are still there! This also affects the space on the USB stick as in when I delete files I do not recover the space...the only way is to completely reformat the drive...what gives?
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,175
5,319
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
I will try this, thanks...I never knew that! :)
It works this way on Windows and Mac and probably others as well, on a Mac, if you delete the file it will move it to an invisible Folder called Trash inside your Home Folder, it will only get deleted when you empty the trash.
It is similar to Windows, there it is called "$Recycle.Bin" on the root level of the drive, and will only be deleted after emptying the trash can.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,847
357
Milwaukee, WI
when I plug the USB stick into my media player the old files are still there!
Please define "there".

If that means still in the Trash when you look after plugging the USB stick back in, the answer above will solve this.

If that means still in the folder on the USB stick where they disappeared from when you moved them to the Trash, this is a bigger problem.
 

bobbytomorow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 10, 2007
425
22
Left Coast
If that means still in the folder on the USB stick where they disappeared from when you moved them to the Trash, this is a bigger problem.
This

when I move files to the trash they disappear as expected but when I plug my USB stick back into my car stereo the old audio files are still there...another thing too is that as I delete files from my USB sticks I do not get the space back, say its a 4GB stick with 2GB of data and I delete 1GB of the data, you would think I would now have 3GB but it still shows as 2GB :confused:

This has been like this for as long as I remember since from at least Snow Leopard to Lion and now Mountain Lion
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
This

when I move files to the trash they disappear as expected but when I plug my USB stick back into my car stereo the old audio files are still there...another thing too is that as I delete files from my USB sticks I do not get the space back, say its a 4GB stick with 2GB of data and I delete 1GB of the data, you would think I would now have 3GB but it still shows as 2GB :confused:

This has been like this for as long as I remember since from at least Snow Leopard to Lion and now Mountain Lion
Ah, you've encountered 2 different issues here.
#1: Empty the trash, as suggested above.
#2. The Mac likes to put "junk" files on flash drives corresponding to resource forks for the original files. That may explain the ghosts you're seeing. There are several ways to zap the ghosts:
  1. Use an archiving program capable of removing Mac stuff (BetterZip, Keka, ...I'm sure there are others)
  2. Use an Automator Action on the original files on your Mac to get rid of the resource forks prior to copying
  3. Delete the ghost files manually on a non-Mac OS (Windows, Linux, another BSD, etc.)