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Missing 40Gb on my MacMini???

1691 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MacDoc
I have an older MacMini, and by adding up all the file sizes I can see that I should still have at least 40 gigabytes still free on my hard drive. However, for many months it has consistently shown less than 1 gigabyte being available. I have run the disk repair utility and even DiskWarrior, which everyone assured me would definitely track down any problems. But, while it did find some directory errors, still only freed up a few megabytes, still leaving me with 40 lost gigabytes, while I consistently get warnings that my hard drive is full.

Any suggestions on what is happening here, and how I can fix things?

Many thanks!!!
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Give OmniDiskSweeper a try - it will scan your hard drive and show you exactly what's taking up all your space.
Likely one of your logs got out of control.
Try an Onyx run - see if that clears it.

This may help you find it.

Disk Inventory X 1.0 - Mac OS X - VersionTracker
I find mainmenu to be by far the best app for clearing logs and history etc.

MainMenu 1.7.2 - MacUpdate
Thank you for the suggestions so far. I have tried both OmniDiskSweeper and Disk Inventory, but they both show the same files and file sizes as I am seeing on the finder, totaling about 30 Gb. But that leaves another 40 Gb unaccounted for, since the total drive size is over 70 Gb.

I have taken into account all the applications, library and system files, as well as all the users. Everything adds up to about 30 Gb. I actually have over half of my hard drive free, but I just can't access it. The computer, these programs, and DiskWarrior are all failing to see that missing 40 Gb.

Any ideas?

Thanks again!

Likely one of your logs got out of control.
Try an Onyx run - see if that clears it.

This may help you find it.

Disk Inventory X 1.0 - Mac OS X - VersionTracker
Thanks for the reminder, I just reclaimed 5GB of caches on my MacBook.
Hmmm, given that none of the solutions suggested so far have worked, does that mean that there is no way to recover my missing 40 Gb, other than reformatting the entire drive?

Does anyone out there know how to make the missing portion of my hard drive become "visible" again?

Many thanks to all who try!
Have you turned on Show Invisible files? Onyx can.
I suspect its a log.

Do you have an external drive??
Yah, I've run Onyx, and have the invisible files turned on. Still missing 40 Gb. This is on the internal drive that came with the MacMini.

I recall this or a very similar-looking thing happening a few times on my old Mac IIcx many years ago, although a much smaller amount of memory was missing then. Norton cleared it up and found the missing memory every time by repairing the directory, so that's what I thought the problem would be this time. But North quits halfways through when I try it this time, saying it has hit an error that cannot be repaired. And I have also run Disk Warrior but it can't find anything wrong either.

So here I am. And again, any help would be much appreciated!
I don't quite understand how you decide 40 GB is "missing".

What does it show in 'Get Info' on the hard drive?
It shows:

Are you saying if you add up "used" and " available", that sum is 40 GB less that what is shown under "Capacity"?
Okay with Invisibles turned on - open your drive window and view by size in View as List

Click on Size to bring the largest to the top

Go to View Options and activate

Calculate all sizes
All Folders

This will take a while so go have coffee.

See what folder pops to the top of the window after the calculations are complete.
Turn the view contents triangle down on the largest folder to see the contents - this will continue to display the largest items at the top.

Each time you turn the triangle it will take a moment for the folders inside to calculate.

You'll end up with the main window looking something like this

Hunt your way through.

( just a thought - have you included the Desktop folder in your "calculations"?? - many over look how much they litter ;) )
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Actually, I originally found this problem by doing exactly what MacDoc suggests. The MacMini was showing just 1.57 Gb free, and I knew there was no way that it could actually be that full. So I added up every single file and folder, including invisible ones, using the list view, and came up with about 30 Gb.

Then, when I checked the Get Info for the drive, as KRS suggests, it showed 74.41 Gb total size, with 72.84 Gb used and only 1.57 Gb available. 72.84 Gb used in Get Info, but only 30 Gb or so used in my list view. That means that 40 Gb are going to something that is not showing up in the list. What could that be? I thought for sure that it was just a directory error, and that Norton or DiskWarrior would fix the error. But after repeated tries, I am still in this situation.

Thanks again for your help... looking forward to solving this!
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Reformatting May be your best bet

I know it's alot more work but you may be better just reformatting (zero out data) and then use Migration Assistant to copy all your info back to your drive once you've re-installed the OS. I just used this on my computer last week and it works great. You said your mini was a bit older anyways so you probably could use a reformat on your drive. I've always been of the belief that it's good to reformat a drive a least once a year or two.
Since an external is needed anyway I have found cloning it across sometimes eliminates the issue for unknown reasons.
THEN nuke the internal and clone back.

Migration may well work and you can't do archive and install anyway.
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