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.Trashes folder exists on external drive

Problem Description:

When you connect a USB flash drive (Thumb drive) or other external hard drive to a Windows computer you find that you have a .Trashes folder on it.

Additionally you may see a folder called "spotlight" as well it may contain a version number in the folder name.

Cause of the Problem:

This happens if the drive was previously connected to a Mac OS X computer. Mac OS X will automatically create a folder for the trash, the windows equivalant of the recycle bin.

The Spotlight folder will also be created as well when the drive is connected to the Mac OS X system as it will begin indexing the files on the drive for the spotlight system.


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These two folders will do no harm to the drive. The ".Trashes" folder simply contains all the files that were sent to the trash on the Mac OS X system that were on that external drive.

The "spotlight" folder simply contains an index of all files that were on the external drive when it was last connected to the Mac OS X system.

It is safe to delete these folders if the additional free space is needed on the drive.

Related Programs and Devices:
Mac OS X , Windows , USB drive , external drive

Last Updated: 06/08/2008 01:49 PM

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