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Question: Big iNode file in lost+found

I recently went through a difficult install of Lion (Fried my RAM). I basically wiped my Hard Drive, installed clean from a thumb drive, created a new user profile, then used migration assistant to move my time machiene files and old user profile over. The only thing that went wrong with this was that my old migrated profile would crash upon start-up, but this went away once I let the system index with my new profile.


Cleaning up after this mess, I saw a lost+found folder was created, and an iNode was in there (iNode290815 to be precise). Read what this meant online, and ran disk repair. It seemed to fix whatever problems may have been left over from the install, but the iNode file is still there, and it's 3.6 gigs large. Since Disk Repair checked out, and everything has been running well, is this file ok to delete? I'd like the space back, if possible, or at least move it so its out of sight.


Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)

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Apr 15, 2015 9:32 AM in response to Pascal Balthrop In response to Pascal Balthrop

.xar is an archive format: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Darwin/Reference/ManPages/ man1/xar.1.html


I first ran "file" to check it:


> file iNode38857788

iNode38857788: xar archive - version 1


Then I ran "xar -t" on the file and got:


/lost+found > xar -t -f iNode38857788

Distribution

InstallMacOSX.pkg

InstallMacOSX.pkg/Bom

InstallMacOSX.pkg/Payload

InstallMacOSX.pkg/Scripts

InstallMacOSX.pkg/PackageInfo

InstallMacOSX.pkg/InstallESD.dmg

Resources

Resources/ar.lproj

Resources/ar.lproj/Localizable.strings

Resources/ar.lproj/VolumeCheck.strings

Resources/ca.lproj

... etc ...

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Aug 21, 2011 8:12 AM in response to ReverendFitty In response to ReverendFitty

Hello ReverendFitty,


I too have a very large 3.5G iNode file in lost+found and would like to delete it if it saves space.


But all of the advice that I have read so far has pointed to just ignoring the files in this folder. I do have a time machine backup of it, but will leave it alone until I hear otherwise.


Regards

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Aug 21, 2011 8:12 AM in response to ReverendFitty In response to ReverendFitty

Hello ReverendFitty,


I too have a very large 3.5G iNode file in lost+found and would like to delete it if it saves space.


But all of the advice that I have read so far has pointed to just ignoring the files in this folder. I do have a time machine backup of it, but will leave it alone until I hear otherwise.


Regards

Aug 21, 2011 8:12 AM

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Aug 21, 2011 9:52 AM in response to gooober In response to gooober

Ok. I did some research through the forum postings and found that you can go to the terminal, cd to the folder where the lost+found files are kept and find out more information about the file using the 'file' command.


$ file iNodexxxxx


Once I ran that command I found that the file was an archive. I used the archiving program to list it's contents and found that it was the Lion installer.app!


Since I had already made a copy of this file on an Airdisc connected to the airport extreame, I went ahead and deleted it. Now I'm +3.5G more space.


I would certainly not recommend that removing the file in lost+found for all circumstances, but in my case I thought it would be ok.


Regards,


Mark

Aug 21, 2011 9:52 AM

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Aug 21, 2011 10:01 AM in response to gooober In response to gooober

You made a good guess. The wrong guess on an iNode file could bring down your Mac. These are low level folders and should not be touched.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inode

A file system relies on data structures that contain information about the files, beside the file content. The former is called metadata—data which describes data. Each file is associated with an inode, which is identified by an integer number, often referred to as an i-number or inode number.

Inodes store information about files and folders, such as file ownership, access mode (read, write, execute permissions), and file type. On many types of file system implementations, the maximum number of inodes is fixed at file system creation, limiting the maximum number of files the file system can hold. A typical allocation heuristic for inodes in a file system is one percent of total size.

Aug 21, 2011 10:01 AM

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Jan 31, 2012 3:13 AM in response to ReverendFitty In response to ReverendFitty

I have found a large 3.67GB iNode file in the lost+found folder in MacintoshHD which after opening turns out to be the installer for OSX Lion. Now my OSX Lion had been installed a month back and has been up and running for a month with intermittent blank screen and Kernel Panic regularly. I wonder whether something had happened with the installation of Lion. 😟

Jan 31, 2012 3:13 AM

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Feb 25, 2012 8:57 PM in response to jaruzek In response to jaruzek

Once it is in Lost + Found, then it's not a low-level folder anymore.

Put it in the trash but don't flush.

Then, restart and see how your Mac behaves. After you're sure things are OK, then delete it.

Feb 25, 2012 8:57 PM

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May 15, 2012 2:27 PM in response to ReverendFitty In response to ReverendFitty

First off, I'm an idiot. I was cleaning up my macbook, and also ran a disk utility. Ended up deleting a desktop folder that held all my work from 2012. It is 100% gone! I tried a few recovery tools, no luck. the only thing I spotted was this lost+found folder that I hadn't noticed before. it has a 3.7 gig file called iNode in it, and that is all. Is there any chance this contains my files?... from earlier strings, it looks like this might just be a lion install backup or something, but I am desperate. Any help is hugely appreciated.

May 15, 2012 2:27 PM

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Aug 22, 2012 6:36 AM in response to ReverendFitty In response to ReverendFitty

I have just noticed this Same folder today. However, mine contains 2 Inode files one weighing in @ 4.35 gb and the other @ 3.75 gb. Mounted them both and they are the install files for lion and mountain lion respectively. From what I read in this post it was supposed to be deleted but was not? And happened twice with each new install ? Seems weird to me. So I can go ahead and delete it and free up the 8gb! ?


No I'll effects experienced by u guys?

Aug 22, 2012 6:36 AM

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Question: Big iNode file in lost+found