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Free up missing space on camera memory cards Storage Devices
I was perplexed to find that my new digital camera said that my 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo was only able to hold about 60 pictures at 8.0MP resolution. Exploring the memory card via the Finder, I wasn't able to find any obvious culprit.

Then I decided to Show Hidden Files. Immediately, a folder called .Trashes made itself known. Inside that folder was a folder called 501. That folder contained all the images that I had deleted from my memory card via the Finder the last time I imported photos. I was able to delete the photos by dragging them to the Trash and then emptying it.

Moral of the story? Always delete your photos from your camera, not through the Finder.
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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: ArtemisG3 on Jun 27, '07 07:38:32AM

At the risk of sounding obvious, I'll say it anyway. Once you drag your pictures from the memory card to the Trash, you must EMPTY the trash to free up the space on your card.



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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: Chas on Jun 27, '07 07:51:39AM

Correct. The moral of the story: EMPTY the Trash.

This is like a Windows newbie mistake. I knew a woman who took her PC in for repair, it slowed down to a crawl and stopped working. It turned out she'd been throwing things in the trash for 2 years and never ONCE emptied the trash. So her disk was totally full. The PC repair guy emptied her trash and charged her $35 for 2 minutes of work (1 minute 50 seconds of which was spent figuring out what was wrong).



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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: BlakeyRat on Jul 01, '07 02:49:44PM

Windows is supposed to empty old files in the Recycling Bin when the drive reads 90% full. So there was actually something wrong with that computer other than just needing to empty the Recycling Bin.

Not 100% sure, but I think OS X will also delete old files from the Trash automatically when the disk space gets low. I think it's moronic to *make* people manually empty the trash.



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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: DamienMcKenna on Jun 27, '07 07:48:27AM

Does this also affect having iPhoto delete the images after importing them? I've noticed this too, though more of a gradual decreasing of the available space each time I import, and I've always solved it by copying off the DCOM directory (it's a canon camera), formatting the card and copying the directory back again.



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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: RaceTripper on Jun 27, '07 08:01:40AM

I don't even bother deleting my photos from the memory card per say. After I copy my camera files to my computer, I put the card back into the camera and reformat it using the camera's format facility. That way I'm assured of starting fresh each time.



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Free up missing space on camera memory cards
Authored by: kieranchan on Jun 27, '07 08:33:09AM
Agree. There is few benefit from formating the card too
  • increase chance to recover data (minimize fragmentation ease data recovery)
  • faster access in theory
  • some camera may access slower while the card not format by the camera (my old Minolta DC is like that)


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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: tyip on Jun 27, '07 01:16:33PM

    I agree this is the best way. But when the old photos that I want to keep only take up a fraction of the card, I don't want to reformat the card in case I want to show those photos to friends or relatives.

    Does anyone know how camera memory cards deal with fragmentation? Does the camera have enough smarts to split one photo into 3 or 4 fragments?



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: robogobo on Jun 28, '07 09:15:22AM

    Not sure, but I don't think they're so smart. This is why formatting is always recommended. It also reduced risk of corruption, wipes invisible files and keep sequential numbering in check. With some cameras, if you leave files on a card, it will pick up with that number +1 for the next shot, regardless of whether there's a file with the same name that was transferred off the card.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: megagram on Jun 28, '07 11:44:25AM

    I'm pretty sure you don't even need to concern yourself with fragmentation on any kind of solid-state media. Since there are no seek times with a moving head that reads and writes data it doesn't matter as much how your data is laid out. I'm pretty sure fragmentation has a nil effect on solid-state media.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: mesa on Jun 27, '07 08:03:04AM
    I use appleoff to get rid of such, just remember to not have the disk open in finder when you run it.

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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: rhowell on Jun 27, '07 08:09:59AM

    "Immediately, a folder called .Trashes made itself known...I was able to delete the photos by dragging them to the Trash..."

    One infinite loop!



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: zookie on Jun 27, '07 08:57:07AM

    I make a habit of always formatting my memory card via the camera after I've uploaded pictures to computer. I preach to my friends to do the same as well (whether it's Mac or PC). It blows my mind that people would go out and buy more memory card(s) just because it was getting slower & slower.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: gerti on Jun 27, '07 09:19:26AM

    a) If dragging photos to trash, empty the trash to free up the capacity.

    b) iPhoto allows to delete photos after downloading them, so the above would not be needed.

    c) Use 'Move' instead of 'Copy" to get images of the card.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: bendala on Jun 27, '07 09:52:09AM

    No, it is logical. Any volume (camera, external disk, USB pen...) has its own trash, which is really a hidden ('dotted') folder named '.Trashes', so any 'trashed' file in your camera, external disk or USB stick remains there until you select 'Empty trash' in the dock, just as it happens with your internal hard disk.

    So mount your volume and select Empty Trash, no trickery. Better yet, always empty the trash before dismounting a volume.



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    is it a hint?
    Authored by: sd on Jun 27, '07 10:26:09AM

    I really miss a way to vote against a hint.
    This is not a hint! What the use of messing about invisible files, if one can just empty the trash?



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    is it a hint?
    Authored by: robogobo on Jun 28, '07 09:23:08AM

    it's a valuable hint. This is something I have to remind my mother of from time to time. Plus, when you get to the bottom of it, the real hint is in the comments, formatting the memory card each time.

    Remember there are people who know less than you.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: lancermit on Jun 27, '07 11:35:20AM

    Where is the "zero" in the "Rate This Hint" scale?



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: nick on Jun 27, '07 12:32:19PM
    Or you can use this 3 1/2 year old hint from me to prevent the trash from working on your external drive:

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040121161137177

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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: tatilsever on Jun 27, '07 07:37:25PM

    Yepp, that hint is a beauty. I remembered your hint as soon as I started reading this one.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: sd on Jun 27, '07 11:58:22PM

    yes THAT is a hint



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    use rm
    Authored by: kholburn on Jun 27, '07 12:50:05PM

    I use the unix command rm. type
    rm[space]
    in a terminal window and drag the files you want to delete to the terminal window. Click on the terminal window and hit return.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: ethanh on Jun 27, '07 01:35:21PM

    Or alternately (from the term):

    mv -v /Volumes/your/camera/pic/location/* ~/Pictures/your/local/pic/location/

    ...mumble mumble something about skinning cats mumble...



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    The card belongs to the camera
    Authored by: mzajac on Jun 27, '07 09:36:48PM

    Treat the card as read-only by the computer. Digital cameras can be finicky about their cards, and you may have problems if you delete, format, or write to the card using the computer, a different camera, or other method.

    Admittedly, I know this from hearsay by an experienced photographer, but a few experiences have convinced me that following these rules is good policy.

    Always delete photos using the camera, and format the card with the camera if anything else has deleted files or written to the card. On some cameras the "delete all" function is fast, but on others "format" quickly zeros the header, while deleting all dawdles by deleting a pointer to each file.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: erosack on Jun 28, '07 03:24:34AM

    It's even better to format your memory card in the camera after you've loaded the photos onto your computer and backed them up.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: dan55304 on Jun 28, '07 08:10:58AM

    While this non-hint should have been caught and not posted, it is amazing how many people believe that removable devices don't have a trash. I've had IT people argue with me that you don't need to empty the trash on camera memory cards. It does actually seem rather stupid to maintain a trash on a 256 mb flash card.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: dondiego87 on Jun 28, '07 07:23:57PM

    Two main reasons why I bothered posting this.

    a.) Not everyone knows about the secret trash that every volume carries.
    b.) Even people who do (read: people like you and me) could get screwed over by simply being forgetful and unplugging the camera before emptying the trash.



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: bidmead on Jul 01, '07 10:21:12AM

    Don't faff about with third party utilities or remembering to move instead of copy, or going down into the command line each time to rm *.

    Nick's old hint revived here about deleting the .Trashes directory and creating a .Trashes files instead (so the .Trashes directory never gets recreated) is pretty well standard one-time procedure for all USB sticks, memory cards and any other limited capacity drives that you don't want filling up with deleted dross.

    Fin d'histoire...



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    Free up missing space on camera memory cards
    Authored by: gerlo on Jul 01, '07 01:50:59PM

    please check out the little app Wiper at http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/download.htm.
    It will free all the space on your card.

    good luck.



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