My hard drive is missing space!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by appledyl, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. appledyl macrumors regular

    appledyl

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    My 500 GB external hard drive is filled up with 200 GB of files, (hidden and unhidden) but when I look at how much space is left it says there are only 30 GB free! I do know for a fact that my friend copied some files onto there with 'super user access', but they aren't showing up! How do I get that space back (without formatting it) soon? :(
     
  2. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
  3. appledyl thread starter macrumors regular

    appledyl

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I already did that..
     
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #4
    double check how large the partition is. It's possible it's divided into more than one partition or that the mounted partition isn't the full size of the drive. At any rate, a 500gb drive should give you somewhere around 465gb of real storage.

    If you're really at a loss, you can open up the terminal and issue:
    Code:
    sudo du -hs /Volumes/[B]DriveName[/B]/
    It should return something like "435G /Volume/DriveName" which tells you for sure it has 435gb of data.
    If you put a * after the last slash, it will tell you each file/directory and how large it is:
    Code:
    sudo du -hs /Volumes/DriveName/[B]*[/B]
    sudo lets you run a command as a super user, to see ALL files.
    du gives you the current disk usage
    -hs outputs a summary in human readable format

    Finally, it wouldn't hurt to do a "df -h" from terminal as well, to see how the system is reporting how large the volume is and percent full.
     
  5. appledyl thread starter macrumors regular

    appledyl

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    in disk utility there's one big partition of 465 GB and only 28 GB are free.
     
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #6
    Then there's definitely 437gb of data somewhere on the drive. I suggest going to the terminal and doing "du -hs" on several directories to find out where it's being used.
     
  7. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #7
    Is it possible that the G4 won't recognize a drive this big and is only showing what it recognizes? Just a thought.
     
  8. appledyl thread starter macrumors regular

    appledyl

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Each directory was the right amount of memory it should be, but it still adds up to 200 GB. Is it possible to get to superuser access without the password? I'm so confused.....

    erm... Before my friend took it, the hard drive wasn't missing all this memory.
     
  9. appledyl thread starter macrumors regular

    appledyl

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    diskinventory? Done it. Still says 200 GB
     
  10. Illicit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, ON
    #11
    couldn't you just ask your friend where he copied the files?
     
  11. appledyl thread starter macrumors regular

    appledyl

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    He says they're on there hidden in 'super user' form but he won't tell me the password and he's been endlessly avoiding me for that reason.
     
  12. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #13
    IIRC, if your users is an "admin" on the computer you can use superuser privs by issuing "sudo" before the command (in terminal). Sorry for my insistence on terminal, but I'm a unix geek so it's my nature.

    When you issue a sudo command it prompts you for YOUR password, not the superuser's (root) password. Type in the same password you use when you do software updates or installers.

    If your user isn't an admin on the machine then I would go about making it one. In my experience, outside of disk failures, root can always see every file on the disk. There's no such thing as "hiding" it from root's eyes, only removing the inode from the allocation table, in which even the system would report it as free bits (empty space).

    If your friend works for the NSA, however, all bets are off. ;)
     
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #14
    What kind of 'friend' hides things on YOUR computer and won't give you the password? Tell him to give you the password or he never gets near your computer again.
     
  14. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #15
    have you tried onyx ? Sometimes OSX mysteriously losing all your free HDD space, onyx maintenance sometimes can correct the problem.
     
  15. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #16
    Time to reformat the drive. Better hope your friend didn't want those files back.
     
  16. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #17
    Who cares if he does. He is not much of a friend. You never know he could of put something there you don't want on your computer... :confused:
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    If you have an external backup drive (which you should), I'd copy only your files to the external, reformat the drive and reinstall everything, then copy your files back. I'd also never let your friend touch your computer again. The reformat would not only get rid of the "hidden" files, but anything else your "friend" might have done to your computer without your knowledge or approval.

    One of the reasons I've never had a virus or security breach in the last 25+ years of using personal computers is I allow NO ONE to touch my computer, unless I'm standing there, watching everything.
     
  18. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #19
    You don't need a new hard drive. You need a new friend.
     
  19. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #20
    Are you trying to confuse the lad with your BS comments? :confused: There's no artificial hard drive limitations on a G4 machine.
     
  20. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #21
    ppl, dont jump on his friend before we know for sure what happened.

    its not the first time OSX mysteriously missing HDD spaces anyway.

    its not the place for us who knows a small bit of information to suggest for other people's life.
     
  21. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #22

    The OP already said his friend put stuff on the drive and won't give him the password. This totally justifies all the suggestions for wiping the drive; the disk belongs to the OP, not the friend.
     
  22. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #23

    WRONG


    Only 2002 Quicksilver G4s and onwards can recognise drives larger than 137Gb/128Gb formatted. Earlier G4 models couldn't without using a 3rd party PCI controller card. There's some info on the Apple site to support that fact here:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2544

    There is however a software solution that enables 48 bit addressing on older macs that DO NOT HAVE BUILT IN SUPPORT FOR LBA-48:

    http://mac.profusehost.net/overdrive/index.html

    This is a limitation of the internal ATA bus, not the firewire/usb ports though
     
  23. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Open Terminal

    Browse to the disk in question

    Type "ls -la" (copy and paste everything between the speech marks)

    Does that show the files? The hidden files will be represented by have a "." at the beginning. That command will also show permissions
     
  24. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #25
    Duff-Man says....if you're not used to using the terminal and want to see the hidden files you can use a utility like TinkerTool to show/hide them in the finder. It's free and does lots of other handy little tweaks as well that you may find useful...oh yeah!
     

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