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Disk requires periodic directory repair

I am running Security Spy with admittedly limited hardware:

2011 iMac, osX 10.13.6

2TB external HDD connected by USB 2.0, set to delete files when less than 100GB free

4 2MP cameras and 2 4MP cameras

With my setup, I get about 9 day's worth of video storage. I ran into an error regarding writing to disk after about 2-3 weeks of continuous use. Since then, I have monitored disk pressure and note that it starts to spike and rise at about 2 weeks, going from 0-0.5% to 5% or more. When that happens, I will shut the program down and run DiskWarrior which always shows that the directory needs to be rebuilt. After that, everything is OK. Is there something I can do to prevent the directory issues?

On a separate note, I have noticed that while the older video files are removed, the empty folders for those days remain and have to be manually deleted. Is there a way for these folders to be automatically deleted?

Thanks for any input into these issues


  • This is highly unusual, and could indicate a problem with the drive. Try a complete reformat of the drive using Disk Utility. You could also try increasing the deletion threshold (e.g. to 200 GB instead of 100). If these things do not resolve the issue, the next step would be to replace the drive with a new one.

    As for the folders: these may stay longer than the files, but they will be removed eventually. Simply ignore them and you will find that they are deleted after a few days.

  • This sounds a lot like the problems I ran into when my deletion threshold left too little free space. Totally agree with Ben recommending you change the deletion threshold to 200 GB (leaving about 1 day's recording space free in your system). That was the ratio that got mine working properly again.

  • Thanks for the advice! I had increased the deletion threshold above the default but I can definitely increase it more. This is a new external drive but it was on sale from Best Buy and I am not above replacing it with a better one. Thanks again for the advice. I love how I can run this system on older hardware that otherwise would not be useful.

  • Gentlemen,

    This issue appears to have settled itself. I did not get the opportunity to increase the deletion threshold but had already turned off the setting to turn off hard disks when possible. I am not sure if that fixed the issue but I have not had a problem in over 2 weeks.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Not that you need any additional thoughts, but if you have some future issues with disconnections of the external drive you might look at USB 2 being the weakness. In past work that I was doing where large files needed to be moved (not SS related) the USB spec failed to satisfy. It wasn't until I went to a Thunderbolt certified external drive and cable (who would have thought but the cable really did make a difference) did I manage to avoid the subtle small disconnect/reconnect events that the USB drives had (I tested multiple with the same effect).

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