Linux Filesystem ext3 usage reach 100%. The space would not free up after remove some files.

The filesystem is ext3 and 12G. When it reached 100% today, I removed three 300M files.But df -h ./ still shows the usage is 100%. After I removed one 2G file, the df -h ./ shows normal.
This problem is not related with process. I did not find any process which used these files.
df  command should read the superblock to calculate the filesystem usage. Looks like the superblock would not be refreshed after I removed three 300M files. Remove file means that the entry for this file will be deleted from the inode of the directory. The inode for this file is still there. The filesystem should notice this. I don't get why.  Is there a way to correct this ?Thanks.
c11v11Asked:
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fosiul01Commented:
you could of try df with sync option to see if that shows the right amount

i would not worry about that. also it could be, it took bit time to flushed the buffer hence it was not showing the right amount. also you can try to check health of the hard rive.
gheistCommented:
Space is not freed if you delete open files.
c11v11Author Commented:
it is not open file for my case.  when i run rm. file,  the command return success quickly.  looks like it didnt do anything. although the file is removed, the space is not free.
gheistCommented:
try lsof +L1, that should show deleted but open files (by you, coworker or a faulty script)

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SandyCommented:
Agree with gheist... #lsof can show you correct status
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