My Hard Drive is Telling Me Its Full and It's Not

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by shaunymac, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. shaunymac macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Ok, so I have a new external drive, 1TB to be exact. There is no way this thing is full. I mean, I have roughly 40 gigs of itunes content, 30 gigs of photos, 100 gigs of video and 20 gigs more of misc. So I am well under 1000 gigs.

    I have searched and tried some things like connecting the drive and making sure to empty the trash. No luck I reset the PRAM hoping it would do something. No luck.

    I have no clue what do do from here. I guess the only thing I can do is maybe try to fit all of this stuff on multiple drives I have and then erase it and start over. Ugh!

    Any ideas are much appreciated. Thanks guys.
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    What do Disk Utility and Activity Monitor say about it?
    How _exactly_ does your hard drive tell you that it is full?
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Take a look in Disk Utility. Select the drive, and click the Partition tab. Does/do the partition(s) fill the drive completely or is there grey space?

    Curses, beat me to it!
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    and presumably you have the drive formatted for HFS? If it was formatted for Windows FAT, that would explain a lot.
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    What would that explain?
  6. JoMaC-Daddy macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2009
    Just posted a thread about this issue and a member told me to use Omni Disk Sweeper. Search it up, it works wonders.
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    fat allocation can waste a lot of space. A file that only takes up 20K can use up an awful lot depending on the allocation units.
  8. shaunymac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Well, I would imagine that it was formatted right. I would hope that it is not formatted in FAT. It is a external drive from macsales/owc.

    When I go to diskutility, the pie chart is showing full. I now have around of 100gigs free after deleting some stuff. There still is no way that I have 900gigs of stuff. I came from a 320gig hd.

    I will have to check more about the drive when I get back home.

    I will definately look into omni disk sweeper.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    And, just to be sure, you have emptied the trash?
  10. shaunymac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Sorry if I wasn't to clear but I have tried the trash trick. It didn't work for me. I only had a few items in there. I was expecting thousands of files to appear when I connected it but no luck.
  11. shaunymac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Ok guys, here are the results.

    I checked out omnisweeper like JoMac suggested and that pointed me in the right direction.

    All of my previous estimates of sizes on iTunes, photos, and such were pretty close. What was way, way, way off was my time machine backup!!! Holy crap! 667.2GB! Insane! Uh, that explains alott.

    So, without going on further, what's the best way to prevent time machine from doing this? At this point I feel like I wouild almost rather back up my important stuff, music/photos/docs/etc, and make a clone of my drive then mess with time machine. I mean holy crap!

    Should I just partition a part of the drive specifically for time machine so it will "limit" itself and delete old backups automatically?

    Guys, thanks for the help. I'm always amazed what happens when questions are asked here!:D
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Parititoning the hard drive to limit time machine backups is a good idea; it's basically the only way to really share time machine on a physical drive. I have a firewire drive with time machine and other stuff and have a time machine partition plus a data partition, which is not backed up.
  13. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    This is really the best way. Choose how much you want to allocate for TM, like maybe 250GB, then create a partition that size. From there, you might want to go into the TM prefs and exclude some folders. Obviously, you don't want TM backing up your files on the external drive (but by default, I don't think it does). You might exclude applications and system files, though, and just back up your Users folder.

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