Question about space when drive is erased a few times

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sunrisemusic, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. sunrisemusic macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010

    I have the 11" Air with 128gig drive and 4 gigs RAM.

    It took me awhile to migrate my system across from my late 2007 white macbook, I was trying to do it using a CCC clone on a USB drive and it kept hanging. I was finally able to migrate successfully by making and using a Time Machine backup.
    But in the process of all this I wound up erasing the Air's drive at least 4-5 times, and when about to use Setup Assistant this final time I noticed that it said I had 101gigs (or something like that) available. I had reinstalled the system without languages, so I was expecting to have a bit more space than that, even with the extra space taken up from formatting the drive.

    Since the data that's been erased isn't actually erased but just isn't visible anymore (choosing the basic erase in Disk Utility), is it possilble this is taking up space and if so is there a way to clear that space? Does this mean I need to use the 'erase free space' option, which I hadn't done? If I can gain some gigs back I don't mind going thru the whole erase, install and migrate procedure again.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    If it's been erased by disk utility (even without secure erase), it will not factor into your "used space" number.
  3. sunrisemusic thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Thanks for the reply.
    If that's the case do other people think 101 gigs available space seem normal after only a system install with no languages? That seems weird to me. Even if I lose 12 or so gigs on formatting, surely the system software wouldn't take up 16 or so gigs????
  4. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    That is high for a minimal system install. Tell us what folders all your space is in...
  5. sunrisemusic thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Well, I currently have the Time Machine backup installed as well, but I don't have anything on the Air that I need to keep yet (Macbook is more for daily use, and air when travelling), so I'll go thru the process again in a few days or sooner when I have the time and will let you know. Thanks.

    Thanks Quad, according to that thread I should have more space left after basic system install than what I had... I expected to have around at least 110 gigs, not 100. I was totally expecting to lose some gigs with the formatting of the drive (as opposed to the advertised size) and system install, just not quite that many.

    I see there's another thread that's talking about similar stuff, but with a 64gig SSD here:

    One thing, I hadn't deleted was printer drivers (did that just now), I have an Epson printer so I kept the Epson folder, but deleted the rest and that gave me back an extra 1.x gigs. Is it safe to delete the HD/Library/Printers folder, and just keep the individual 2 Epson printer drivers that I need which are in my Users/Library/Printers folder?
  6. Quad5Ny, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    Maybe the time machine backup copied over some large files?

    I wouldn't worry about the disk space loss from what you did, current gen. SSD drives should be able to be erased/written 5,000-10,000 times(Re-installing 4 or 5 times is nothing :) ).

    Doesn't iLife '11 take up around 4gb(I'm on my Windows desktop right now so I can't check)? Also there is the hibernation file which will be the same size as your RAM.

    DO NOT USE ERASE FREE SPACE! That just makes a huge file on your hard drive filled with zero's and then deletes it.

    It was useful for normal hard drives because it overwrote your old (deleted) data that way no one could recover it. If you want to truly erase a SSD, you need to use secure erase to reset the flash cells.

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