USB thumb drive has hidden files

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macmesser, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. macmesser, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #1
    I just purchased a couple of USB thumb drives from Microcenter to make system restore disks. I was surprised to see that 4.24 GB were used for 7011 items on both nominally 64GB flash drives. I have no idea what these files are nor why they're not visible in the finder. I'm planning on just reformatting the drives.

    The above raises some more (probably dumb) questions for me. Is there a specific formatting I should use with a USB flash drive? Also, in disk utility the device shows up as "61.92 media" but it has a "USB disk" volume under it. When formatting or testing, does it make a difference whether the device or volume is selected in disk utility and what's the difference between selecting one or the other?

    I appreciate any help in getting up to speed on some basics...
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Hidden files on new drives is hardly a new development. Since installing Dropbox on all of my devices, I rarely--as in never for months on end--use thumb drives anymore. Back when I relied on them, most thumb drives shipped preformatted FAT. Many included a U3 partition for hiding sensitive files.

    I used a Windows computer to remove the U3 partition. For most of my thumb drives, I formatted HFS+ Journaled for exclusive Mac use. None of my Windows machines gave NTFS as an option for formatting thumb drives. I used the free NTFS-3G NTFS driver to format my cross-platform thumb drives as NTFS. A thumb drive formatted NTFS using my Mac can be read and written on virtually every USB-compatible Windows computer still in use.

    I said all that to say this. You should zero (0) issues if you remove those hidden files. However, I am curious about the nature of the files. In the past, I found that you must use a utility on the drive to remove the hidden files and recover the space that they occupy.
     
  3. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #3
    I'm curious as to what those files are as well. Before I repartition and reformat them (I figure that ought to ensure that everything gets deleted) I'll see if I can examine them using TechTool Pro or Drive Genius. Do you have another suggestion as to how they can be rendered visible?
     
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #4
    open terminal

    "ls -a /Volumes/Name Of Drive"

    using the tab key to auto-complete names, or see what your options are
     
  5. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #5
    -bash: Is: command not found

    Must be in wrong shell
     
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #6
    It is "ls" rather than "is".

    A.
     
  7. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #7
    Last login: Fri Nov 7 22:19:58 on ttys000
    mac-pro-8:~ tcamilleri$ ls -a/Volumes/USB DISK
    ls: illegal option -- /
    usage: ls [-ABCFGHLOPRSTUWabcdefghiklmnopqrstuwx1] [file ...]
    mac-pro-8:~ tcamilleri$ ls -a /Volumes/USB DISK
    ls: /Volumes/USB: No such file or directory
    ls: DISK: No such file or directory
    mac-pro-8:~ tcamilleri$

    I don't use the command line- must be doing something wrong here: second time I typed lower case LS then space then dash plus lower case A, then space, then "/Volumes/USB DISK"

    first time I typed -a/ (no space between -a and slash)
     
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #8
    You might try this:

    Code:
    cd /Volumes
    ls
    
    That will get you a list of the mounted volumes, one of which should be your USB drive.

    Then you can cd name-of-USB-drive and do another ls, and so on. If the name of the USB drive is long or contains spaces, it is best to type cd and the first letter of the name and then hit tab to let the shell complete the name for you, e.g:

    Code:
    cd U<tab>
    
    will expand into "cd USB_DRIVE" (if that is what it is called). Remember as you explore to use "ls -a" to see hidden files.

    A.
     
  9. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #9
    Thanks. Got it. The listing was as follows:

    Code:
    mac-pro-8:Volumes tcamilleri$ ls
    Boot		Scratch		TM_Data
    Data		TM_Boot		USB DISK
    mac-pro-8:Volumes tcamilleri$ cd USB\ DISK/
    mac-pro-8:USB DISK tcamilleri$ ls -a
    .		.Spotlight-V100	._.Trashes	.vbt5
    ..		.Trashes	.fseventsd
    
    Doesn't look too interesting.
     

Share This Page