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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

Not enough space on flash drive even though there is

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Hey I'm new to the forums.

My problem is that I have a flash drive that says I don't have enough space left on it. It has a capacity of 488MB and I have used only 179.2MB so I should still have 308.8MB left but it keeps telling me there isn't enough space. I know it can't be that the file i am tying to save is too big because the files I usually save are on average 1MB. The largest file I have on my flash drive is only 10MB. I would appreciate it if someone could help me.
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Usually when you move to trash it still does not remove from the drive. Make sure to empty trash. That should do the trick.
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2006
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Ye that happened to me a few times untill it clicked.

When you delete from your usb you have to physically empty the trash before it recognises the action
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Yeah I've tried this and sometimes it works. Most of the time I will have a completly empty trash and it will still say I don't have enough space even though I have like 320MB left. also If I am working on a file like Illustrator or Quark, I won't be able to save changes becuase it says there isn't enough space so I will have to save it to the desktop and work with this copy, then I will have to delete the origional file from my flash drive and empty trash. THEN I have to copy the new file to my flash drive but then if I try to copy anything else it gives my the disk is too full thing.
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The problem is that flash drives are serial devices which store data in long serial chains. When you delete something, it opens up a "hole" that can hold a new file as long as it is the same size or smaller than the one you deleted. As you add and delete things, over time the "holes" in the chain get too small for any one thing to fit back into, and although technically the space is "free", nothing can fit into it. What you do to fix this is copy the entire jump drive into a folder on your desktop/laptop, totally erase the jump drive, then copy it all back onto the jump drive from your desktop/laptop. The copying process will put things back into one long chain again and the process will be reset, to recur again down the road at a later time. This is known as "fragmentation" much like on Windows computers where you "defragment" to put everything back in order again. Hard drives can handle fragmented files because their file allocation table has room to store all the different "holes" where a file has been put. However, jump drives cannot hold that much fat information, so they only allow serial sequential file storage. The only real defrag you can do is by copying, deleting, and copying back.
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