Trying to find missing Gigs on Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Vaud, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Vaud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #1
    Hi have a MacBook Pro and when I click on the harddrive and Get Info, it tells me I have used 100gigs of 111 available. But when I right click on Macintosh HD in Finder and Select All of the folders and hit Get Info, it tells me they add up to only 95gigs....where is the other 5 gigs hiding? My trash is empty.
     
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    An actual gig is 1,024 MB. HDD manufactures advertise a gig as 1000 MB. So on your 100 gig drive you are losing almost 2.4 gigs to start with.
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    First, if Vaud were running Snow Leopard, that's not the case--it uses decimal, 1 billion byte Gigabytes. Second, a binary GB is actually closer to 1.074 billion bytes, because 1 KB=1024 bytes, 1MB=1024KB, and 1GB=1024MB. This is why the 120GB drive Vaud has is reporting 111GB available (meaning you're NOT running Snow Leopard, obviously!).

    Now for the actual answer: Doing a Finder "get info" only reports file sizes for files you have permission to read. Low-level system stuff for which you do not have permission won't, I believe, be included in that total, nor will files owned by any other users on the computer.

    So if there are other users on the computer, some of that space may be in their files. More likely, though, given that the discrepancy is only about 5GB, it's just system stuff. Totally normal, and that's a reasonable number (I don't know exactly what a full OS install uses, but it's much more than that).
     
  4. Vaud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #4
    drive space

    Hi, thanks for the responses...I do not have any other user on this computer. I am running Mac OS 10.5.8 with a 120gig HD. I am aware that the OS takes up space and leaves me with approx. 111 to start. That is not in discrepancy. What I am trying to find out is where are the extra 5gigs being used?
     
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #5
    If you re-read my answer, I note that it's most likely system files that aren't being included in the Finder "Get Info" total, even if there are no other users on the machine.

    I actually overlooked something, though: There are several top-level system directories that you do NOT see in the finder: /usr /private /bin /dev and a few others. Since they're normally invisible in the Finder, Get Info will NOT report the size of any files in them (other than in the total space used on the drive).

    They have several GB of data in them, and that's where your "missing" space is. It's being used, it's completely normal, it's just not included in a simple "Get Info". If you're familiar with Terminal.app, you can open them and see what's in there, though there's not much point in it unless you're a Unix jockey.
     
  6. broken-chaos macrumors regular

    broken-chaos

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    For some numbers, under Snow Leopard, /private is 3.5GiB. /usr is 895MiB. They're likely similar in most previous versions of OS X, too - that's most of your 5 GiB/GB right there.

    They're absolutely system-required files, so don't try to get rid of them, by the way!

    edit: Upon further investigation, part of that 3.5GiB is 2GiB for a sleepimage - which will be as big as your RAM is!
     
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #7
    Actual sizes will vary wildly, of course; /private on my work computer (10.5, desktop so no sleep image) is 1.4GB; my home latptop (10.6, 2GB RAM sleep image) is 6.1GB. Add in another gig or so for /usr, at least (the rest are, I think, relatively small).
     

Share This Page