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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x: Calculating file sizes

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x: Calculating file sizes

Several readers have noticed that calculating file sizes (an option that can be turned on in the Finder via the "View" menu) can take extremely long under Mac OS X 10.3.x. The problem is especially apparent when using SMB shares, where file sizes can take upwards of 5 or 10 minutes to refresh after being modified.

There is also a more serious problem (for some users) that manifested in Mac OS X 10.3.x and was not present in Mac OS X 10.2.x: Parent folders will not update with the correctly calculated file sizes when one of their offspring folders is modified in size. In other words, if a parent folder contains two offspring folders each containing 5 MB of data (10 MB total) and one of the folders is deleted, the calculated size of the parent folder will not chance, still showing 10 MB of data.

Even the "Get Info" command will fail to deliver a correct file size in this scenario in most cases.

This is yet another inconsistency, specific to Panther, in the way the Finder's interface has traditionally operated.

Some tedious methods for accurately refreshing the calculated file sizes include logging out then back in, unmounting then remounting a volume, and repairing disk permissions using the Apple Disk Utility.

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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