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I have an external 3 TB hard drive with 3 partitions. I use 2 partitions for backups with Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner.

Recently the following has started to happen: if I open a partition in Finder it doesn't list any files and says there are 0 items on volume. It lists the remaining disk space accurately but doesn't list the contents. Get Info appears to list the space accurately as well. All three partitions show up in the terminal. Using the terminal I went to these volumes and 'ls' listed nothing there.

I reset the NVRAM and relaunched Finder, the problem was solved for about 15 minutes. The second time I looked at these partitions the problem was back. All 3 partitions list nothing. Any ideas how to fix this? Is my drive hosed? I'm running High Sierra on my older iMac. Whenever I restart my iMac, things are normal first time I check. Second time and then after no contents are shown.

Below is Finder window for one partition.

enter image description here

  • One of my 3 TB USB/Firewire WD drives shows the same volatile behavior maybe 2 times a month. It's formatted to one 3 TB partition which is almost full. But sometimes it's shown as an empty! 2.2 TB drive. I suspect a faulty firmware and/or some temporary kext/system mishap. – klanomath Dec 29 '17 at 3:20
  • @klanomath, Thanks. I guess the best bet is to replace it. – jmh Dec 29 '17 at 3:24
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Did you try looking for hidden folders? You can ⌘ + shift + . to show hidden items, or do ls -lah on the terminal.

If nothing shows, give DaisyDisk a try

Also, if you are using AFP, snapshots may be taking that space.

  • I know whats on the disk but why does Finder say 0 items. And nothing shows in Finder window. – jmh Dec 29 '17 at 2:46
  • I have show all files turned on. They are displayed for a few minutes but suddenly they disappear. – jmh Dec 29 '17 at 2:56

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