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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Disk Utility Error Lost 40GB of HD Space Need Help!


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Dspec

 
Member Since: Jul 16, 2010
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Hello all,
Im a new member to the forums and relatively new to macs as a whole. I have been using a mac for about a year and half and have been completely in love with it. I have had no problems up to now. This evening I ran disk utility to erase the free space on my macbook(I read that was a good idea after removing large programs) and all was well until it tried to create the temporary file at the end of the process. Then it popped up and said that I had no HD space left(I had 40GB when I started). So I hit the "skip" button and waited but nothing happened. Then the application froze so I tried to force quit it. And after it quit the app it sold me I may have lost some HD space. So I tried to restart hoping that would clear the temp files and give my space back but no luck. When my MB booted back up I literally had 0.01GB of free space. So I tried fixing the permissions--nothing, I ran Cache Out X--freed about 800MB, then I ran Yasu--got me up to 1.5GB. Now I have enough space to run it, but still not very much. Is there a way to get the 40GB I lost back without reformatting the HD? Like I said I really do not know much about how OSX works, so any advice may help.

Thanks in advance,
-Dspec
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chscag

 
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It probably created the large temp file before it crashed. That's why the space is missing. Use your Spotlight search to see if you can find that temp file to delete it.

You might also want to download the free Disk Inventory X program which will tell what's using the space and where it's located.

Regards.
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Dspec

 
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I tried searching for it but I had no luck. I will try Disk Inventory X and see what I can come up with.

-Dspec
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Dspec

 
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Thank You for the reply.
First I tried looking through the system logs to try and find where it could have put the temp files but I did not come up with anything.
Then I tried searching for the file in Disk Inventory X and came up with nothing. There was no single file anywhere near that size(I am assuming it would be one file). If you add the total amount of data(shown at the top of Disk Inventory X) to the current free space it is still only 113.5GB witch means I am still missing nearly 46GB. I understand that there is some loss of space when you format a drive so I know that I will never have 160GB of usable space but I should not be missing anything like this. Is it possible that the OS is no longer reading that space? And it now thinks I only have a 120GB HD instead of 160GB?

Thanks again for your help,

-Dspec
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chscag

 
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Well for one thing, your 160 GB hard drive in reality is only about 149 GB when you use real world hard drive space calculation. But you should not be missing that much space. That tells me that it created 40 GB of free space on the drive which would not show up in the Finder or Disk Inventory X.

Boot the machine with your install DVD. Do not enter the installation program but instead select "Utilities", "Disk Utility" from the top menu. Highlight your hard drive on the left, and click on the partition tab. Look to see what it says about the partition and how much space it's taking up. It should show the 40 GB or so of free space in the same diagram. If it does, just grab hold of the partition line with your mouse and drag it to fill the entire drive. Click apply, OK your way out of Disk Utility, and reboot without the DVD.

Let me know if that works. Also, it's a good idea to backup everything before you try what I suggested above. Use Time Machine.

Regards.
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Dspec

 
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Well I did as you suggested and it showed 149.1GB usable space and it said there was 147GB used and 2GB free. I might try looking for the files again. What I do not get is that if it made it into unpartitioned space I should be able to see it as blank space. Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
-Dspec
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chscag

 
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No unpartitioned space showing up means the drive is one single partition. I think everything is OK except the fact that you have a full hard drive. Time to think about replacing it with a larger one or transfer files - maybe music and photos to an external drive. Don't mess with the drive any longer as that may cause problems. New large fast hard drives are not expensive and changing the drive is an easy do it yourself project.

Post back if you need further assistance, but for now I believe everything is working as it should.

Regards.
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6string

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Time to think about replacing it with a larger one or transfer files - maybe music and photos to an external drive. Don't mess with the drive any longer as that may cause problems.
Regards.
If the drive isn't already corrupted.... looking at the OP where you stated that you have 0.01GB, at that point I think you were already on a very steep downhill slope, possibly too steep to get back up
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hughvane

 
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Something nagging the back of my mind here, having tried Erase Free Space unsuccessfully a couple of times before. I read somewhere that there needs to be at least 10% of the hard drive completely free in order to do the 'erase free space'. As I understand the process, file fragments get placed in that 10% while Disk Utility cleans up the sector from which the fragments have been removed.

The "temporary file" to which chscag refers is, I think, the 10% component. The figures quoted in Post #6 indicate that the available free space was 2/149, which is a little over 1%. in other words, there is insufficient free space to do an Erase Free Space. Seems odd, but that's the way it works - apparently.

In my own situation, I abandoned trying to erase free space and bought a used Hitachi hard drive to use as external storage, transferring nearly 24 Gb of seldom-used applications etc from my eMac's 40 Gb internal drive. Doing similar may work for Dspec too, although I tend to agree that a larger internal drive would be preferable.

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