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Erase Free Space Still Running After 3 Days


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Hello! I've been running Erase Free Space for an external 1TB hard drive for 3 solid days now and it's still not done. I'd read elsewhere that it might take 24 hours, but 72+?! That seems insane to me. The window is not frozen, as I can still interact with it. I checked Mac's "Force Quit Applications" window and CCleaner is not frozen.

I have attached a screenshot of the progress window.

I just want to know if I should hang in there or force quit. I'm terrified to ruin my external hard drive. Thanks!!

Screen Shot 2020-09-10 at 7.54.45 AM.png

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I'm not familiar with Mac, but a 1TB drive can take a long time to wipe especially if there is a lot of free space.

With an external drive the connection speed will also play a part.

I'm not sure if you can set multiple passes for the wipe free space on a Mac?
But if you can/have then obviously multiple passes will take longer than a single pass, the more passes the longer it will take.

The problem with force quitting a drive wipe is that it will leave (large) temporary files on the disk, using up a lot of the space.
Drive wiping works by writing random 'junk' to the free space and then removing those junk files, so that any recovery programme can only see the junk in future and not your deleted files.
If you force stop the wipe then obviously the junk files already written aren't removed.
You would then have to find and delete those files manually to get the free space back.

So I'd leave it running for now.

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Thanks for explaining. I chose to do the wipe because the 1TB drive only had about 350-400MB of space available even after I deleted about 30GB of files (yes, I made sure my trash was empty and also restarted a bunch of times), so I thought wiping would help clean it up a bit. I can't be sure exactly how much space is actually free on the drive because it seems that 350-400MB was not accurate.

In terms of how many passes, I set it to "zero out."

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Sorry, like I say I dont know Mac so have no idea what "zero out" means in this case.

TBH though wiping free space is not going to gain any space, it just makes sure that no one can recover deleted files.

I don't realy see how deleting GB of files would only leave MB of extra space? Maybe a restart or disconnecting/reconnecting the drive would help?

There again if the 1TB drive is that full then it looks like time to get another one.

PS. I wouldn't try to defrag it either. With that little percentage free space a defrag would probably take at least a week.

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