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Disk space problem


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The following could represent a serious problem for the uTorrent Mac beta and should be verified. The Mac uTorrent is an excellent program and I hope this contributes to its development. My story: I downloaded torrent target files to my computer internal HD until it was full, then changed uTorrent options to save files to an external HD where there was more space. Unfortunately while uTorrent did save the downloads to the new, external, location, unbenownst to me it was simultaneously mirroring all those downloads to a folder named "downloads" inside an invisible folder in my computer internal HD named "volumes." Thus I kept getting warning messages about my boot system HD filling up and had to scramble to empty new space by backing up other data from that HD so I could erase it. Eventually I just could not erase any more without damaging the system and so began to investigate the problem more thoroughly. The following is an event log of sorts, comprised of e-mail messages sent to a friend requesting help with the problem:


I have a difficult problem about which I would like to ask, since you have much more expertise with computers in general and likely with the software in question, though you may not be familiar enough with OS X to comment. Please give me the benefit of your expertise as you are able.

I recently put a bit torrent client on one of my machines and downloaded a number of files. When I saw my disk becoming filled, I attached an external disk and set the torrent client preferences to save the downloaded files on the external storage. Now, even though all the torrents that were being saved onto the internal HD are either finished or transferred to download on the external HD, my internal HD keeps filling up and I have to scrape around for data on the internal HD to erase.

Unfortunately I just can't do that anymore; I've gone as far as I can go. But I still keep getting "startup disk nearly full" messages over and over. Now the real kicker is this: the Finder shows that the system startup disk, the internal disk I'm talking about, contains 110+ GB of data (it was sold as a 120 G disk, which means it will probably actually take 110-115 G, so that's reasonable). Unfortunately, when you open that up and look at the folders within it, Users, System, Library, Applications, etc., all added up they only contain about 25 G. Where is the other 80-90 G?????? That's where my space has gone!

I have already erased all caches, etc., and am really up against the wall here. I have less than 500 MB now and it keeps falling. WTF, over?


It seems I have located the missing data, nearly 80 G. I made the OS display hidden files. The data that is being copied to the external disk drive is being duplicated on my internal drive! Now WTF would it do that?!!

First I closed the torrent client, then dismounted the external disk, then found the hidden files.

Now, wonder of wonders, I have left the external disk unmounted and restarted the torrent client: download continues like the external disk was never there. Yet the downloads were being saved to the external disk as well, as directed.

Why should the data I directed be saved to the external disk be mirrored on the internal one?

FYI I the torrent client is microTorrent (beta 9.0.3; I tried to update to 9.1 but the program immediately stopped working! So I went back.)

This is getting more and more strange.

Can I erase the data on my internal drive without affecting anything else? It would certainly seem so, but Why TF is it there in the first place?????



By the way, those hidden files are in hidden folders named after the name of the HD (two folders, "HD" and "HD 1") inside a hidden folder named "Volumes" at the top of the internal disk directory. Very strange.


This gets more weird. Just to see what would happen I threw into the trash, without actually deleting it, one of the HD download data folders in the invisible Volumes folder of the internal HD. Then I went over to the external HD to see if the mirrored data I'd just trashed was okay. The Finder would not even allow me to select the external disk to check the contents. When I clicked the disk icon in the sidebar it merely blinked; same for the little triangle next to it. Veeeery strange.

In the meantime uTorrent was still running, downloading data, which of course it was saving to the invisible Volumes/HD/ folder on the internal hard disk -- so the continued download data from the torrent was being placed into a totally new file on the internal disk.

Obviously those torrent downloads are shot -- and they have been going on for days! Megabytes and megabytes, hours and hours totally down the drain.

The uTorrent Mac client is still in beta; I think I just found one of its bugs. It seems to me that when I changed the download target folder from the internal HD to the external HD in uTorrent preferences the program screwed it up. The weird thing is the downloaded files were taking up space on both disks, but it seems as far as the Finder was concerned, regardless of physical location, they were registered as in the invisible internal disk target folder, and tossing folder out (without even deleting it!) also invalidated the mirrored data on the new external HD target.

Very strange behavior.

Does this make any sense?


FYI, last night before crashing, in a last desperate act to get my partial torrent downloads (a couple of dozen) recognized and downloading continued, I copied from the target disk the download folder containing all the partially downloaded files onto another, backup, disk, reformatted the target disk, copied the folder containing the partial downloads back onto the now reinitialized and blank target disk, uninstalled and reinstalled the uTorrent app (ensuring ALL the program files were purged, using a special program for that purpose), rebooted the computer, went into single user mode and did a file system check, then rebooted back into OS X Finder. After reboot when I launched the newly installed uTorrent app, its main window was totally empty, i.e., no download files recognized. My heart sank. Disappointed at my failed gambit, which was probably doomed from the start, I went back to the download torrents (not the partially downloaded torrent target files, but the small torrent files themselves), which I habitually do not discard until the file is fully downloaded, and double-clicked them once again to restart the downloads. Surprise, surprise, As uTorrent began the new download process it detected the previously downloaded partials and started again on top of the old file where the previous download data left off! Victory! Well, victory for some of them, anyway, some it recognized, some it didn't. Guess that's the luck of the draw. What remains to be seen is whether the files split in two (or more accurately, completely splintered) by this process are actually viable or not.

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