I have a sparsebundle which I made for some documents, and Finder reports its size at 16mb. The capacity I created it with is 41mb, at least that is its reported capacity.

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It is encrypted; when I mount it the folder is empty.

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Output of du:

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How can this be? I'd rather not have lost all these files.

  • What is your question? Did you lose files? Do you want to know why an empty volume still uses disk space? – Max Ried Feb 25 '16 at 14:42
  • @MaxRied My question is how an empty image consumes 16mb and how it can be possible that the contents just disappeared. It might have been I'm missing something about how these images work, but apparently, backup is the only option. – oarfish Feb 25 '16 at 15:35

Sparse disk images grow and shrink and your 16 MB is about the size of a totally empty container.

sudo ls -laR /path/to/mount_point

If there are no files, you will need to restore a backup copy of the sparse disk image or see if a commercial data recovery solution is possible on the storage where you stored the image.

By design, that "image" grows and shrinks in a destructive manner - so you can't expect to perform the "undelete" option that exists for moments of time when you delete a file from traditional spinning hard drive storage media or simple flash based USB drives/SD card type storage.

A sparse image is more like an SSD in that data recovery is not an option and backups are far more important.

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  • Do they shrink automagically or do you need to use diskutil compact? – Max Ried Feb 25 '16 at 17:15
  • If you don't think they are gone - why not try out Data Rescue on the volume? prosofteng.com/data-rescue-4 – bmike Feb 25 '16 at 18:03

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