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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Lost Memory In Kindle Fire After Deleting via USB Cable

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Showing 1-25 of 52 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 3, 2012, 7:01:13 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:

I'm really hoping someone can help with this....

I uploaded Breaking Bad Season 4 (3.4 GB) into the Video folder via my USB cable (i.e., directly from my Mac hard disk). It worked really well. I much prefer to watch locally on Gallery than wirelessly.

Now that I'm done with them, I deleted them using the same USB cable. In other words, I deleted the videos from Kindle through my Mac's Finder, as I would do for any other external hard disk.

BUT... I did not get the storage space back. It's as if the Kindle can't "see" that the files are not there. I'm guessing that it needed to be done witin the Kindle in order for its database to "know" that the files were deleted.

I've searched the online help and these forums. I've tried all sorts of things, including Menus > Applications > Gallery and clearing the cache. Nothing works.

I contacted Amazon Support (who are terrific, by the way) and their reply was that the only way to fix this was to do a Factory Reset.

Here's the problem with that. My first Kindle (a Christmas present) had a defective screen (several lines running the length of the screen). While waiting for my replacement, I did quite a bit with it, figuring I'd be able to sync the old Kindle over to the new one.

When I got the new Kindle, I found out there was no way to sync the two. Everything that was local (ex., settings, prefs, uploaded music, all the files e-mailed to my Kindle address, etc., etc.)... it all had to be done over again, not to mention downloading and re-installing all the apps from the Cloud, etc.

It took a few hours to get it back exactly where it had been, the first time around. Now it would take me at least a whole day to do the same thing. So Factory Reset would not work for me. I just don't have the time to do this.

Is there some sort of app that can basically de-frag or recapture the memory in the Kindle's Hard Disk? Or is there any other solution?

With only 1.35 of GB storage left, it's usefulness goes down considerably. I'd have to return something that I really love if I can't figure this out. There must be some sort of way to re-capture that memory other than doing a Factory Reset, which returns it to "brand new, no data" state?

Thanks very much if anyone knows the solution to this.

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 7:15:48 AM PST
Beth Sexton says:
Ken, did you do a Hard Restart? Hold down the power button for 30 sec. and let it reboot.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 7:21:35 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
Yup, sorry. I should have mentioned that. I did a hard restart. No change.

Thanks very much.

All the best,

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 7:27:18 AM PST
gypsy1 says:
Have you emptied the trash on your Mac? With Mac, if you move some something to the trash, it doesn't free up the space until you empty the trash. I always make sure the device is connected when doing it, but I'm not sure that you have to, it just seems to work for me.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 7:33:21 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
Yes, I tried that, too, followed by another hard restart. I had great hopes for that one, but nothing changed.

I've also tried putting the vids back onto the Kindle (one by one, since I can't put them all up now) and then deleting them via Gallery, hoping the file name might clear out the same file name if Kindle stored it in a database. No change.

Thanks again for the ideas. This is really weird. I'm surprised it's not been reported yet, since it's pretty natural to delete a file though the same cable. After deleting, I was going to upload other videos and that's when I got the "not enough room" message.

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 7:36:46 AM PST
It sounds like there's an issue with your specific Fire. I'd shuffled videos and music around between my comp and Fire and never had the problem with the freed up space not being available. You say you'd contacted CS already, so I don't have much in the way of a suggestion for you ; just putting it out there that what you're experiencing isn't an inherent design issue. For whatever that's worth.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 7:44:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012, 7:45:35 AM PST
S. Prewitt says:
On a Windows 7 PC you can run Check Disk to fix errors in a disk's file system. Does the Mac have a similar system utility you could use to check your Kindle Fire, while it's attached to your Mac as an external disk?

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 8:18:58 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
What a fantastic forum, I really appreciate the efforts.

To S. Prewitt, I scanned the disk with both Disk Utlity and Drive Genius. Disk is fine. No errors.

Doug, could I ask you a favor, to try to reproduce the bug exactly, to see if it's my Mac or the way I deleted? Here's what I did and what I'd ask you to try, if you're not worried about losing storage space...

1) Note your available storage space (Settings > Device > Internal Storage Space -- sorry, I don't want to insult your intelligence, you know more about Kindle than I do, I just want to make sure we're reading the same thing :-) ).

2) Upload a few vids (TV shows, since a few movie vids won't fit) to your Kindle from your Mac using the USB cable, into Video folder.

3) Note the total size of the uploaded file and then check your available storage space. It should have dropped by the size of the vids.

4) Still in the Mac's Finder (i.e., via the cable), select ALL the uploaded vids and delete ALL AT ONCE.

5) Recheck internal storage. Does it return to the original amount of available space?

Thanks very much, it'll be a great help to see if this is a bug in my Kindle or in the way Kindle handles this type of deletion.

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 8:33:45 AM PST
Actually I'd be more than happy to test out on my end, but I'm on Windows, not Mac. I'm probably putting my foot in it big time with this statement, but I'd be surprised if the way the Fire behaved differed depending on the OS of the external computer used to add/delete files. Having the computer's OS not see it would be one thing, but with the Fire itself that would seem odd. Quite possible that I'm mistaken in that, of course.

A thought just occurred whilst I was typing the above : have you tried using a 3rd party file explorer app (like ES File Explorer, which is free) to confirm the Fire sees the file(s) as being gone? Meaning perhaps the Mac says "yeah, that file isn't there", but it wasn't actually deleted so the Fire would still see it there and thus not give the free space back.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 8:51:31 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
Hi Doug,

I agree. I doubt that this would be OS-dependent. My guess is that the files got deleted, but Kindle's database did not record the event (perhaps because multiple files were deleted at the same time). So it "thinks" that there's only a gig left, when there is actually 4. If I had deleted them through the Kindle, my guess is that this would likely not be an issue since Kindle would likely "record" the event.

To answer your question... I used WiFi File Explorer Pro. It sees the files as being gone, too. And it also sees the same low storage availability.

There is an interesting option in WFFE, which is to delete the Video file. I don't know if that would totally ruin the Kindle or not. Here's my thinking...

WFFE probably reads the Kindle database (since it sees only 1GB available even though it does not see the files). So it likely "writes" to the Kindle's database, too, when it creates, duplicates, deletes folders. So, if I delete the Video folder, it might "clean" the error with it. Then I could create a new Video folder and I'd be up and running.

Any thoughts on that?

I really like WiFi File Explorer Pro, can do quite a bit with it. But I'm not familiar enough with Kindle to risk this unless someone here KNOWS that the Video folder can be deleted and then re-created without problem.

I'll hop over to Support and ask them.

Thanks again, I look forward to hearing what happens with your test, Doug.

And, just a thought... if anyone knows of an app that optimizes storage, that could be the solution, too (not a memory app, though -- I've tried a memory app, but it does not do what I need -- they all seem to be for cache, not storage). I could not find a "storage cleaner" (something that detects a difference between files present and files recorded in Kindle's database (I'm not a tech, so I could be way off guessing about the likely issue here).

Thanks again -- very much appreciated.

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 9:03:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012, 9:12:36 AM PST
S. Prewitt says:
I too would look for an android utility app designed to check your Fire's memory for errors. (File system errors, indexing errors, whatever.) I don't own any android devices, so I don't have any recommendations.

The time you would "waste" resetting to factory defaults is starting to look better and better, isn't it? :)

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 9:11:27 AM PST
Did you try this Android Assistant

It has a clear memory feature as well as cache and system clean.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 9:16:23 AM PST
S. Prewitt says:
And it's free!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 9:19:09 AM PST

I don't have a Mac and haven't messed with uploading videos via USB, but....

There are one thing I have noticed from uploading books via USB. Even when I delete the book, there are a few other files left on my fire that relate to the book. (I just do a long press and delete, don't go in with the usb again) I can see with ES File Explorer that there are other files left with the same title of the book I deleted, just with different extensions. Wondering if there might be some like that with video for you.

Just a thought....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 9:44:59 AM PST
Ken when someone deletes a file all the operating system does is deletes the index to that file so it can't be listed. It does not actually delete the file (hence file recovery software), you would need a wipe space app for that. The fact that the system still list that portion of the drive as in use *seems* to be a bug as it should list it as available for overwrite (free space). I don't know if you were using the Mac or an Android File system to check your free space.

It may be just what the Mac is reporting and I found an article for the MAC over at Cnet

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 9:50:45 AM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
I use ES File Explorer...also free.

I'm not sure, but it's possible that if you remove the files using that, you'll recover the memory.

I do use it a lot, but I've never tested that specifically.

I am not connected with that app except as a user.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 10:09:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012, 10:09:49 AM PST
That would be the preferred way (some Android File system app) of deleting a file off the Kindle Fire.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 10:14:01 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
Thanks very much, everyone.

Prateek/Cyriacus, this would not be a memory issue, since it's storage I've lost.

Chew&DigestBooks, you supplied a useful hint. You're right, the solution IS in using a file explorer. I use WiFi File Explorer Pro, so I e-mailed Paul Dyble the author. I bought that app since I had read comments that he gives great support. Lucky thing I did, because he DOES...

He e-mailed back quickly, told me to look for a folder called Trash or Recycle, that the files might be in there. They were! You can't see them with the USB cable, but you CAN when you use a file explorer app (or at least, I can with WFFE). So...

I deleted both a folder called "Trashes" and a file called Trashes (both at root level).

And NOW...

I have 4.88GB now available, out of 5.36.


Between all the helpful folks here, Amazon Support and Paul Dyble (juggling all 3 at the same time), we've got a great solution.

If it ever happens again, we'll know how to fix it. But I'd suggest using the USB cable ONLY to uplaod and to use a file explorer (and please excuse me for recommending Paul's WFFE since he really came through) to DELETE or do other stuff.

Yippee! :-)

Thanks again.

All the best,

P.S. To S. Prewitt, regarding your comment...

"The time you would "waste" resetting to factory defaults is starting to look better and better, isn't it? :)"

Yes, it was getting pretty frustrating.

But I've done a manual restore before and it took me several hours at that time, just for stuff I had done while waiting for Amazon to replace the first Kindle I had (which had a defective screen). Now, it would take me over a day.

In a few more months, it would not be conceivable. You can't believe the number of settings, passwords, documents, on and on and on that you accumulate.

Better to have a solution that will work again. Next time, it would only take seconds (not that I plan on doing THIS again ;-) ).

Also, it makes me wonder... Kindle will need the ability to sync to other Kindles when they release the next new Kindle Fire. I would never take the time to do sync manually ever again. Just a thought...


Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 10:24:29 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
For those who are interested, here's the full instructions for those who lose storage space after deleting files using the USB cable...

1) Use WFFE and look for a folder called "Trashes." Check to see if files are in there.

2) Using the file explorer app, delete that folder AND a file called "_Trashes" using the file explorer.

3) Do a 20-second shutdown and then start back up.

4) Check Settings > Device > Storage and you should see the storage restored.

5) Remember, do not use the USB cable to delete files or folders. The explorer apps seem more "Kindle-aware" if you want to do more than just upload a file.

OK, hope that helps someone else in the future.

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 10:45:06 AM PST
S. Prewitt says:
To be clear: Are you saying that the video files you deleted were still in your trash folder, and visible in your WiFi File Explorer Pro, all along?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 11:21:54 AM PST
Ken Evoy says:
Exactly. There was a sub-folder or two beyond the "Trash" folder, but when you duig though those, you eventually find the actual files. The key point is this...

You canNOT see the "Trashes" folder or file when using the USB cable. The intuitive conclusion is that they must be deleted into the Trash (Mac) or Recycle (Win), such as when jstbu suggested above to empty the the "Trash" on my Mac.

If you don't have a file explorer, you'd never know. Although Amazon Chat Support was fabulous, and they escalated up the chain, and I told them I had WPPE, no one ever suggested to look for a Trash bin in KINDLE (and believe me, they worked me through a list of all kinds of things to try).

Each time, they kept insisting that I had to do a Factory Reset, losing everything. They even asked the techs, while I waited. The techs confirmed that was the only option.

But it was simply not an option, at least not for me. Like I said, it's staggering what you lose. Just think of all the bookmarks and highlights, settings, documents e-mailed, some converted and some not. It's endless.

In any event, the problem seemed so basic, that there had to be some sort of simple answer. If it was a database issue, I'd rather contract a programmer to write a script to sync the database to reality, frankly. Luckily, it was simpler than that.

To Amazon's credit, they kept trying things, including agreeing with the idea to delete the video folder, although they suggested I do it using the USB-cable. When that did not work, I asked if we should re-try with WiFi File Explorer since it seems more Kindle-aware than the simple things you can do with the USB-cable (the app reads and writes to Kindle).

I suspect that with WPPE, if I had deleted the file, it would have totally deleted it. One day, I'll try it and see. But enough noodling for today. I've fallen way behind on my work. ;-)

Since Amazon said deleting the Video folder would not work, I scanned the list of files and folders (using WPPE) to see if there was anything else that could possibly be deleted, I spotted the Trash folder that Paul had just mentioned (called "Trashes"). And lo and behold, THAT is where the files were, but not some stuff that I had deleted within Kindle earlier.

Normally, when you delete a file from your hard disk, it goes to your COMPUTER's trash, not a hard disk's trash. It's only when Paul suggested to look for a "Recycle" or "Trash" folder on the Kindle using the File Explorer app, did I spot the folder and file called Trashes.

Not intuitive, but it got the job done. :-))

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 11:32:30 AM PST
S. Prewitt says:
OK, thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 11:35:31 AM PST
Ken - I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the fact that you posted the solution with a full explanation here. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 3:49:34 PM PST
Ken Evoy says:
It's the least I could do. What a super forum. I really appreciate the spirit and help here. :-)

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 3:58:14 PM PST
Awesome, glad to hear it got sorted.
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Initial post:  Feb 3, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 19, 2013

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