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available disc space doesn't add up

444 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012 2:56 PM by macjack RSS
cheyebba Calculating status...
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Nov 10, 2012 12:37 AM

Hi there

I've finaly decided to get rid of some movies from my MBP early 2011 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 running Mountain Lion since the System Info told me I had only 53.63 GB free and arond 100GB of movies. After backing up and deleting ALL the movies (but for a few short clips in iPhoto library) I was shocked to find that not only did the free disc space not go up much (67.88 GB) but that the movies still take up 97.94 GB on the HD. I emptied the trash and I can find no traces of video files on the mac. What's more the Activity Monitor tells me that there is 70.33 GB free space - maybe not a big difference from the System Information data but still. I can't go to the genius bar (I'm travelling and there are no apple stores where I am now) so you are my only hope.

MacBook Pro, iOS 5.1
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,935 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:10 AM (in response to cheyebba)

    I'm betting you have Time Machine turned on, in which case those movies were simply moved from the Movies category in System Info to the Backups category. Time Machine will keep what are called local snapshots, which are temporary backups (kept for one week) stored on your internal hard drive. When you delete (or change) something, it is kept for one week in those local snapshots, and System Info won't report that space as being free yet.


    However, if space starts to get too tight, those local snapshots will start to get deleted. So the Finder will report free space as if the local snapshots don't exist, since they can all be deleted to make room if necessary.


    For more information, see:


    The Storage Display

    What are Local Snapshots?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,935 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:29 AM (in response to cheyebba)

    In that case, I'd have to assume that whatever movies you deleted weren't actually taking up 100 GB, or they didn't actually get deleted.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2012 5:05 AM (in response to cheyebba)

    It's impossible to do more than speculate at this point, without being able to examine the machine. If the System Info storage display says you have 97.94 GB of movies on your hard drive, that means that somewhere (could be anywhere) on your hard drive, you still have movie files adding up to that size. I don't know what you deleted, but it obviously either wasn't actually deleted or was only a small fraction of the total.


    Try this: in the Finder, choose File -> New Smart Folder. In the window that appears, make sure the Search setting is "This Mac", then click the + button at the right edge of that Search bar. In the new bar that appears, set it to Kind is Movie:


    Screen Shot 2012-11-10 at 8.03.15 AM.png


    This should list all the movie files on the hard drive that are anywhere that Spotlight will search (which does not include system folders and other similar places).

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,935 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 6:16 AM (in response to cheyebba)

    The first link I referred you to above explains what "Other" is.


    As to the discrepancies, there are often discrepancies between the storage display in System Information and the reports given in other places. Why this may be I'm not sure, but it's not something I would spend too much time worrying about. If you find yourself needing to worry about every last gigabyte, you probably should simply upgrade to a larger internal drive. That's just not something you want to have to be doing all the time.

  • vkehayas Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2012 8:57 AM (in response to cheyebba)

    If you'd like a visualization of your disk space I suggest you try Disk Inventory X.

    You might find something that you could't pick-up easily before.

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (12,505 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 2:50 PM (in response to cheyebba)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 2:56 PM (in response to cheyebba)

    Could be local snapshots?

    Never mind...see Thomas has been there and you've ckecked that.


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