Deleted Library but it didn't free up space
I just copied a 200G library from my computer to an external drive. I then moved the original Library from the folder in "movies" on my computer to the trash and emptied it but it didn't free up space. Any ideas what happened or how I can get that space back?
The following is the only explanation I can think of. FCPX will when possible use "hard links" for identical files on the same volume. E.g, if you copy a library or within FCPX create a new library and copy the same files there, these will be hard links not duplicate copies of the files. Hard links are a UNIX filesystem feature, as contrasted with soft links or symbolic links which point from the library to external media files. Soft links can be recognized in Finder by the arrow icon, but hard links appear exactly like a real file.
They will appear as separate files both within FCPX and Finder and appear to take the same per-file space, but the overall volume space consumption will not increase -- because under the covers there is only one physical copy of the files.
If a library containing the same files as other libraries on the same volume is moved (not copied) to another volume, space will be required on that volume. However on the original volume the "link count" of the contained files will simply be decremented by one, the files will be logically deleted but there were never two physical copies to begin with. Thus it won't free up space since that space was never occupied.
The only way I know to investigate this is using the terminal commands ls -i which will show whether the same file in two different libraries have the same inode number, and ls -h which shows the link count of each file. If the inode number is the same, there is only one file despite the appearance of two files. If after deleting or moving the library and contained files if the link count decrements by one that indicates there were multiple hard links to the same file.
This can be confusing but it's an optimization which actually saves space.
Thanks for the info. This feels so beyond my scope to figure out. Where/how do I use those commands to figure that out?
[Mandy Leonardo] "Any ideas what happened or how I can get that space back?"I'm guessing that when you imported your media into the Library you opted to "Leave files in Place" and so they were never in the library to begin with just links to the files as Joe suggested.
Could this be the case? Do you copy files into the Library when you ingest footage or do you manually copy the footage yourself and leave files in place?
Since you deleted the Library, it would be extremely hard to figure out where the Library thought the footage was located now. ☹ You're going to have to search your hard drive for some of the files by name to figure out where they are located if you don't know. Perhaps the copy you made on the external drive will give you a clue as to the filenames. That's assuming the files made it to the external drive. Did it's capacity get reduced by 200G after the copy? If you left the files in place, your external "copy" may actually be linking back to your hard drive. Be careful not to delete anything else until you can be certain that you really have a copy that is physically located on that external drive.
I'm not sure if I copy or leave them in place. How would I determine that? I don't do anything manually...meaning I import using the import feature in FCP.
So when you say file names, do you mean project names? Or clips? Or events?
Just checked the external drive and it's not showing that any memory was used up. Yet the files are all definitely there...I can open the library from there fine in FCP.
[Mandy Leonardo] "I'm not sure if I copy or leave them in place. How would I determine that? I don't do anything manually...meaning I import using the import feature in FCP."One way is to open your Import window and see what it is currently set at assuming you haven't changed it:
When you use import, where do you import from? Directly from the camera cards?
[Mandy Leonardo] "So when you say file names, do you mean project names? Or clips? Or events?"I'm taking about the clips. The actual files that come from the camera and become clips in an event.
[Mandy Leonardo] "Just checked the external drive and it's not showing that any memory was used up. Yet the files are all definitely there...I can open the library from there fine in FCP."This suggests to me that the file are NOT on the external drive and the ONLY copy you have is the one that is still on your internal hard drive (so don't delete anything yet).
This is an overview of what you want to do:
Step 1: Open the Library from the external hard drive in FCP X.
Step 2: Select one of the clips, right-click on it and select Reveal in Finder ⇧⌘R and make a note of where exactly does the file that represents that clip exist. I'm guessing that it exists on your internal hard drive which is why the external drive did not grow in size and the internal one did not shrink.
Step 3: Select the Library itself (not any event or project) and in the Inspector you will see the Library Properties window. You want to press the Consolidate button next to In Library. Consolidate will copy all of the media that is not in the Library into the Library. So if the media is still on your hard drive, it will physically copy that media onto the external drive inside the Library.
Step 4: Check that the external hard drive now has 200G less space (it should) and if to does, you can now safely delete the files that you noted in Step 2.
Please be very careful that the files exist on the external drive in the Library before you delete anything on your internal hard drive. Ask lots more questions if you are not sure of these steps. I don't want you to loose any files in the process.
[Mandy Leonardo] "...I just copied a 200G library from my computer to an external drive. I then moved the original Library from the folder in "movies" on my computer to the trash and emptied it but it didn't free up space. Any ideas what happened or how I can get that space back?This feels so beyond my scope to figure out. Where/how do I use those commands to figure that out?"
If your 200GB library was managed, IOW media was internal, then Finder would show 200GB occupied by the library bundle. Likewise in Finder doing a CMD+I on that library would show 200GB. Was this your case -- was the library itself 200GB at the Finder level?
John mentioned another possibility -- if you had external media, the library itself wasn't that big, so deleting it didn't clear up much space. In this scenario FCPX might have shown 200GB media space consumed *within* the app. Within FCPX if you clicked on the library then in the Inspector at bottom right examine the media space consumed, that might be 200GB, but the library bundle itself -- what you see in Finder -- could be quite small. In this case deleting the library bundle wouldn't save much space, since most of the space is consumed by media files external to the library.
However I assume your library itself was taking 200GB otherwise you wouldn't notice this at the Finder level. This would imply your media was internal, IOW a managed library.
But if that media was copied from files in a library on the same disk volume, when FCPX copies that into the 2nd library, it will use "hard links" if possible to avoid making duplicate copies of the files. Hard links are different from symbolic links which appear as little arrow-icons in Finder. They look and behave exactly like a file, except they don't take up more space because the app in conjunction with the HFS+ file system knows only a single physical version of the file is needed.
Consider this scenario: You have a managed library to which you gradually copy files or events from other libraries within FCPX. All those exist on the same disk volume. When you drag/drop a file, project or event between libraries, FCPX invisibly uses hard links and does not actually create duplicate files. However if you examine those newly-enlarged libraries, at the Finder level they will show the extra space. But if you noticed your total space remaining on the volume, it would not decrease. Then if you delete that new library (and empty the trash) where you copied the files, you don't get any space back because there was never additional space used. Only when the last copy of the files or the last library containing those files is deleted (and the trash emptied) is the space freed up.
This isn't related to the issue of hard links, but here are some general space-management tools:
OmniDiskSweeper (free, and full-featured): https://www.omnigroup.com/more
Final Cut Library Manager (inexpensive), which allows tracking library space consumption and supports easy and safe deletion of non-essential FCPX files: https://www.arcticwhiteness.com/finalcutlibrarymanager/
"Likewise in Finder doing a CMD+I on that library would show 200GB. Was this your case -- was the library itself 200GB at the Finder level?" How could I do CMD +I on a library that is no longer in my computer though? I'm not sure if the library was 200GB because it's gone now.
Thanks so much for your help but again, this is feeling so beyond me and not really clear on what to do or check for now. I don't really understand the concept of links and how they work.
Maybe use your finder option to search for the name of your project, click the 'show all in finder' button and you will be able to see what files are where. Could be something simple like the project file has ended up somewhere else!
More than likely no help to you, but worth a go. I understand it can be frustrating and quite hard to follow steps on here as there tends to be a few words or terms that can be unfamiliar... I have the same problem sometimes.