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Some drives on desktop don't show free space Storage Devices
I was looking at my desktop and noticed that some of the drives show the total space and free space, but some only show the total space, as seen in the image at right. It took me a few moments to figure out why this was happening: the drives which only show the total size are formatted in NTFS, and therefore are mounted read-only.

Any read-only drives will only show the total space, and not free space. This seems a little strange, since I might want to know how much available space I have, even on a hard drive mounted read-only. With some read-only media such as CD-ROMs, it wouldn't make sense to show "available space," but for hard drives, I wish it was available.

Tip within a tip: Unix geeks can go into Terminal.app and run /bin/df -h, which will show total size, space used, and space available for even a read-only disk.
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umm...
Authored by: jpkelly on Aug 30, '06 08:54:08AM

How does one get the drive usage to show up in the name?



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Some drives on desktop don't show free space
Authored by: luomat on Aug 30, '06 09:13:12AM

Several folks have asked this:s

1) Go to Finder

2) Close all Finder windows (cmd+opt+w)

3) press cmd+J or goto menu item View > "Show View Options"

4) Select "Show item info"

NOTE: Available drive space information is NOT updated very often, so don't rely on its accuracy. I usually think of it this way: "When I logged in, the free space was...."

Tip within a tip: If you want to force Finder to update the available space, create a new empty file at the root directory. For example if a drive is mounted as "/Volumes/External" then create a file /Volumes/External/blank.txt. That will trigger an update by Finder.

For your main hard drive, you have to create a file in /

You can delete the file as soon as you create it.

I usually do this in Terminal:

sudo touch /blank ; sudo rm /blank




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Some drives on desktop don't show free space
Authored by: mike666 on Aug 30, '06 09:33:24AM
2) Close all Finder windows (cmd+opt+w)

Not really necessary; just click anywhere on Desktop so that no Finder windows are frontmost.

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Conditions for update of available space
Authored by: stevebr on Aug 30, '06 10:49:54AM
NOTE: Available drive space information is NOT updated very often, so don't rely on its accuracy. I usually think of it this way: "When I logged in, the free space was...."

After some frustration and a lot of observation, I've noticed that the update takes place under the following conditions:

  • When the volume is mounted
  • When the contents of the top-level-directory of the volume change (/Volumes/MountedVol/, but not /Volumes/MountedVol/Subdir/)
  • At no other observable time (so no scheduled updates as far as I can tell)

In Tiger (at least from the last few revisions), this appears to be true for USB and FireWire disks with HFS+ and FAT volumes, as well as AFP and SMB mounted network shares.

As I mentioned, this is from observation only -- I don't presume to know definitively. It would be interesting to find out others' observations. We might be able to detect enough of a pattern to work out a scripted solution for better updates.



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Some drives on desktop don't show free space
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 30, '06 01:03:03PM

I, too, learned that the info shown with icons on the Desktop doesn't update often enough to be, well, of any use to me.

Instead, I turned to Dashboard widgets [there are many], but, honestly, I haven't used one in so long that I can't swear the widgets update well enough to be useful.

My usual method of checking disk usage: Switch to Finder [CMD-Tab will do], then do CMD-Shift-C, which opens a new Finder window to your "Computer", showing any mounted volumes. One tap on the Down arrow key selects the first HD, and the bottom of the Finder window shows the space available. Since I only do this about 2-3 times a day, this suits me well enough. Keep tapping the Down arrow to select each mounted volume in turn, and the Finder window shows its free space.

Seems this only works if the Computer window is set to column view, but Finder remembers how you last set the view of your folder, so leave it column view if you do this often. Or, just add a CMD-3 keystroke right after the CMD-Shift-C, and that'll switch the window to column view. Now tap the arrow key.



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Some drives on desktop don't show free space
Authored by: Fillman on Aug 30, '06 01:23:51PM

A quicker way to refresh the desktop is to ctrl option click on the finder icon in the Dock. Select the relaunch sub menu that appears and all is refreshed.

I've also noticed that if you run as a non-admin user, the primary hard disk does not show available space. Log in again as Admin and the number appears again. This makes sense since general users should not know about admin space, but it's still a pain.



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Some drives on desktop don't show free space
Authored by: barrysharp on Nov 01, '06 07:11:58PM

Activity Monitor's Toolbar - > Window -> Acitivity Monitor ( or Cmd+1) will ALWAYS show the accurate space used and free space. Use it as well.

Disk Utility will also show you the same accurate info.

Using Terminal.app and the df command is a pain to use and the -h argument does little good for it being human readable/understandable IMO.

I personally find this Finder's "Show iem info" to cause too much clutter on my Desktop - especially if you have many /Volumes mounted in your system (I have 12 most of the time).

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



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