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3308 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2010 8:10 AM by jsd2
Currently Being ModeratedDec 7, 2009 9:46 AM (in response to uncultured)uncultured:
Not sure what you were trying to delete securely. Were you trying to completely erase the HDD and write zeros to the disk, or were you trying to delete individual files?
To locate that extra large file(s) you can use one of the following utilities:
Omni Disk Sweeper
Whichever you choose will scan your drive and list files/folders by size. Scan the list and look for suspicious looking files, ones that seem unfamiliar, or excessively large.
Do you have you drive backed up?
Message was edited by: corneliusMBP 2.4 GHz 2 GB RAM, 200 GB HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.1), PismoG4/550, 120GB 5400 HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
Currently Being ModeratedDec 7, 2009 6:25 PM (in response to uncultured)It sounds as if you were using Disk Utility's "Erase Free Space" on the whole disk, rather than Finder's "Secure Empty Trash on just those items in the trash. If so, take a look at this article:
[Recovering From a Failed Secure Erase Free Space|http://www.macgeekery.com/tips/quickie/recoveringfrom_a_failed_secure_erase_freespace]
There is a Terminal command there you could try, but be very careful if you do - a typographical error in a "sudo rm -f" command could cause a disaster. You should have your files backed up in any event.
You could instead look for the EFTFile1.sparseimage file (or similarly named big files as reported there) and then try to delete it. There are a number of possible locations for that file reported in the response section of the article above. If the file is in /var/root/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems as described in the main article, then it will not show up in Finder even if you enable visibility of hidden files, and it also won't show up in OmniDiskSweeper or Disk Inventory X when run from your regular user account. Apps run under your user account cannot access any files that are inside folders that you do not have permission to enter, and /var/root is such a folder. You could, if you don't see the file the first time, enable the root user and run OmniDiskSweeper or Disk Inventory X from there. See
[Enabling and using the 'root' user in Mac OS X|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1528?viewlocale=en_US].
If you instead use WhatSize (it costs $13, the others are free), it has an option Tools>Measure as Administrator which will authenticate it to run with root privileges. WhatSize can therefore find restricted files when run from your normal account that the other programs won't see unless run from the root account.iMac G5 1.8 GHz, Dual-boot 10.4.11, 10.5.8
Currently Being ModeratedJan 20, 2010 11:35 PM (in response to jsd2)I have pretty much the same problem; used an external drive to run the Disk Utility in an attempt to securely erase free space on an iMac G4 hard drive with the 7 pass overwrite. After many hours and about a quarter inch to go on the thermometer progress bar (which hadn't moved in over an hour by then) I saw a "Skip" option. Thinking that meant I might be skipping part of the 7th overwrite, I selected that option, which led to the display now saying "Skipping" -- and it's been saying that for an hour or more, with no progress seen. I'd like to see that article about recovering from a failed secure deletion but the link seems broken. Can you reply and provide an alternate path to that article? I'm new here and while it might be easy for me to find, maybe less easy for others. PS I have in the past run into a similar problem with "Drive Genius" software and their tech support showed me how to use that "sudo" Terminal command, but it's been a while. Thanks.iMac G4 1ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
Currently Being ModeratedJan 21, 2010 3:16 AM (in response to DanSurplusMan)Hi and welcome to Apple Discussions.
If Disk Utility is still running, I'd let it go for many more hours before concluding that the secure erase free space had failed.
The link I posted above still works for me - here it is directly:
In case you still have trouble reaching it, here is the main article from that link, and the first two posted comments:
Recovering From a Failed Secure Erase Free Space
January 14, 2007 - 4:20pm
Sometimes, when using the erase free space function of Disk Utility, the process will be interrupted by a crash, hang, power outage, or small mammal urinating on the power supply. Should this happen, you’ll find that your disk has suddenly lost the majority of its free space and nothing you do in the GUI will show you where it is. No amount of checking the disk will bring it back, because it’s not a catalog problem.
Disk Utility accomplishes the erase feature by creating large sparse image files in a preset directory. It then deletes them with the srm tool (secure remove) and an overwrite pattern of your choice. If Disk Utility is interrupted, this sparse image is left on the disk just taking up space. Starting another free space erase session makes another file, instead of cleaning up the previous one. So, as there are no checks in Disk Utility for cleaning up this failed process, so you have to hunt it down manually.
There are a variety of ways of doing this, but I’ll cut to the chase and give you the answer. The files are created in /var/root/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems and are sequential variations of the name EFTFile1.sparseimage. Simply remove these files (as root) to reclaim your free space and then start the process again to finish the task.
sudo rm -f /var/root/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/*
The location of the sparseimage file given in the above tip is only
correct if you’re erasing free space on the boot drive. If you’re erasing
free space on another volume, the sparseimage(s) can be found here:
Where “YourVolume” is the name of the volume being erased, and “UIDNumber”
is the UID number of the user performing the erase.
December 11, 2008 - 7:13pm
I actually managed to find the sparseimage file in my trash after failing to find any reference to it, or TemporaryItems, anywhere under any user account….and then I only got to it by searching every file\folder on my system for bytes used…just don’t empty trash securely or it all locks up….emptied normally and got 200GB instantly….
It looks as if the sparseimage file in your situation might be in the alternate location given in the first comment above, since were apparently booted from a different volume when you ran the secure erase free space. You said:
used an external drive to run the Disk Utility in an attempt to securely erase free space on an iMac G4 hard drive
If you were booted from the external drive, then according to the first comment above, the terminal command given in the main article would not work.
I think in your situation that if you are left with an internal HD with all the free space gone and not recoverable by emptying the trash, that I would again boot from your external drive, and first run Disk Utility's Repair Disk on the internal drive, to be sure the volume structure is OK. Your files should be backed up somewhere in any event. I would then download and run [OmniDiskSweeper|http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnidisksweeper> from the external drive, looking at your internal HD. If the sparseimage file is in the alternate location given in the first comment posting, you might not need root access to locate it and delete it. If this does not find it I would enable the root user on the external drive as per my earlier post here, and then run OmniDiskSweeper again from the root account.iMac G5 1.8 GHz, Dual-boot 10.4.11, 10.5.8
Currently Being ModeratedJan 21, 2010 7:19 AM (in response to jsd2)Thank you for all the information, I really appreciate it. Around 5:30am local time this morning, 5 hours after I'd last looked, the erase utility was still stuck. I didn't think to check this thread so soon for replies, so I quit the utility (after getting the warning that if I quit before the utility finished I might render the disk "unuseable") and the installer, and rebooted from the internal drive. The system booted normally. Get Info on the internal drive indicates that I have the same (or very close to) the amount of free space that I had before I ran the erase free space utility. Does that mean that I don't have a huge temp file, so I don't need to do anything further to avoid future problems, or is that a false report and I do still need to search for that temp file? Thanks again.iMac G4 1ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
Currently Being ModeratedJan 21, 2010 8:10 AM (in response to DanSurplusMan)That is good news. I don't think you need to worry about a large temporary file still being present if your free space is the same as before.
I would make sure, though, that your internal HD volume structure is still OK. You can check this even if booted from the internal HD by running Disk Utility's Verify Disk. If any errors are reported there you should reboot from the external drive (or the Tiger install DVD) and then run Disk Utility's Repair Disk from there.iMac G5 1.8 GHz, Dual-boot 10.4.11, 10.5.8