Trouble with Hard Drive Space and Trash

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RagnarDann, May 20, 2011.

  1. RagnarDann macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    This has got me baffled.

    The Basics:

    I am running Mac OSX 10.6.6 Intel Core with a 319.73 GB capacity.
    I have two external Hard Drives, one acting as my Time Machine Backup and one for iTunes and other Media.

    The Story:

    I had 71,777 pictures on my internal HD and as a consequence I had but 2.56 GBs left.
    So, I decided to get a 1.5TB External HD and transfer all the pictures onto there and delete the pictures off of my internal HD.

    Flash forward after all the transferring and duplicate deleting - I move all the picture files into the trash, hit delete and poof all gone.

    Or so I thought.

    The Problem:

    After having emptied the trash, upon looking at the level of internal HD space remaining open (expecting to find a substantial amount) I am shocked to find that there still remains that miserably minuscule amount of space: 2.56 GBs

    I understand about the "Empty Trash" function only making the files inaccessible and overwriting them later (thus making it possible to retrieve later if you should so choose), but I thought that Finder would add to the display of available space the 103 (or so) GBs that were being used by the pictures.

    As I have before stated, this has me baffled into a state that I have seldom experienced.

    The Appeal:

    As I have backed up all of the pictures onto aforementioned external HD, how do I regain this much needed space and get my computer to let go of these files forever?

    Thank you in advance for your time and any help which shall be offered!

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you move files from any drive to the trash, then empty the trash, the space is made available. If that didn't happen, you either didn't delete the files you thought you did, or you didn't empty the trash for that drive. The only other possibility is other files have been added to use the same amount of space, but that's a remote possibility. Check everything again. Did you delete the files in Finder? Or in iPhoto?
  3. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Sounds like you may have a little corruption of the file system due to reducing free space down so far. It happens. When free space gets below ~20% plus or minus something, bad things can happen. Yours got below 1%.

    Try Disk Utility. Use the repair function.

    You will probably need to to run it from the OS X DVD, booting from that DVD.

    Otherwise, you might want to copy your system disk and use the copy from then on.
  4. RagnarDann thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I physically dragged all the files from finder into the trash then hit "Empty Trash"
  5. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Is the trash truly empty? Take a look inside.
  6. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    I am getting ready to do the same thing with movies on my internal HD, so I will be interested to know what the final fix is, incase I run into a similary situation.
  7. RagnarDann, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

    RagnarDann thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Yes, the trash folder is empty. Even the icon agrees.

    I think that it may be what johnfkitchen says.

    Do you think that I can get a step-by-step on how to do all of that? I am actually helping someone with this and I would like to ensure that I don't mess up their set-up or their files.

  8. Count macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    hard drive space

    I had this problem a month ago, and it drove me crazy.

    Try going from the finder -
    GO --->
    Go to folder

    See if there is anything there besides /volumes or any other volumes you have attached.

    For some reason I had a copy, yes a full copy, of my external hard drive on my macbook pro 17". I confirmed that:
    a. Everything on my hard drive was indeed there
    b. That I had DISCONNECTED my hard drive
    and then deleted that copy hard drive.
    Voilà, another 256GB of free space on my internal !

    Good luck!;)
  9. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Disk Utility usage is discussed here

    Open Disk Utility
    Select the correct drive on the left
    Try Repair Disk Permissions
    When that completes, Choose Verify

    If there are issues, it will tell you what the next steps are
  10. RagnarDann thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Thanks for the help guys!

    As it turns out, the solution was much simpler... I just needed to shut the computer down, when it came back up everything was back in order.

    Yeah... I totally spaced on that one. *facepalm*
  11. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Glad things are looking good.

    I'd still run disk utility just to catch any problems before they go bad.
  12. electrolux76 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    I know the OP's problem has been taken care of, but I thought i would chime in with something I ran into the other day w/ an external drive. It was the same symptoms as the OP's drive but Disk Utility didn't solve the problem. I used the terminal to revel hidden files and that the trash folder on the drive was chock full o' stuff. For some reason the finder was not showing these in the trash can. Once the hidden trash folder had been deleted, the drive showed the right amount of free space.
  13. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    Good to know. Thanks!
  14. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010

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