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Old Oct 31, 2008, 12:07 PM   #1
mktb
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OS X says I have no memory left, but I do...

Hi all,

MBP Penryn Late 2008 2GB RAM 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

I'm getting the following popup from time to time:

Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory.

Then, it pauses the app that uses the most memory (Safari) and shows a window where I can pause and resume applications, or force quit.

Strange thing is, I still have 4GB left on my HD, and my memory bar is only 2/3 filled.

What's going on?
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 12:10 PM   #2
Batt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mktb View Post
Hi all,

MBP Penryn Late 2008 2GB RAM 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

I'm getting the following popup from time to time:

Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory.

Then, it pauses the app that uses the most memory (Safari) and shows a window where I can pause and resume applications, or force quit.

Strange thing is, I still have 4GB left on my HD, and my memory bar is only 2/3 filled.

What's going on?
That IS no more space.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
MetalMac
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V memory

maybe its virtual memory

and yeah 4GB is really not much space
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 01:13 PM   #4
emt1
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It sounds like a virtual memory problem. Free up hard drive space.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 01:45 PM   #5
John01021988
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Computer does not even have 1 month old and already filled with 2 much pr0n??

J/K, yeah, your problem is that ur HDD is "full", at least try to keep between 8 and 10 GB of memory left
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 03:28 PM   #6
IJ Reilly
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If you reboot your Mac you can temporarily deal with this issue, but you really do need to free up more hard drive space, which OSX uses like RAM when your physical RAM is exceeded.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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Small tip.. always reserving approximately 10-15% of your disk for free space is a good idea for maximum performance.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 03:45 PM   #8
IJ Reilly
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Originally Posted by yellow View Post
Small tip.. always reserving approximately 10-15% of your disk for free space is a good idea for maximum performance.
I always have to ask -- why a percentage? Does OSX make larger swap files if the drive is larger?

Anything more than 5-10 GB should be fine, no matter the size of the drive.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 03:50 PM   #9
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If you use more than 85% of your drive it's time to get a bigger drive anyway.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IJ Reilly View Post
I always have to ask -- why a percentage? Does OSX make larger swap files if the drive is larger?

Anything more than 5-10 GB should be fine, no matter the size of the drive.
No & True.

I prefer working with a percentage. I find it helps people be more responsible with their disk space. You stick with your methodology, I stick with mine.
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 04:05 PM   #11
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Also keep in mind that OSX reserves HD space equal to the total RAM to write to when entering sleep ("sleepimage").
That kills 2GB of HD space, but you can change this....
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 05:39 PM   #12
IJ Reilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow View Post
No & True.

I prefer working with a percentage. I find it helps people be more responsible with their disk space. You stick with your methodology, I stick with mine.
I'm glad we got that straightened out.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 08:02 AM   #13
digitaltoast
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Similar problem

The problem I have is that a BRAND NEW Macbook 13" has just had about 60Gb of stuff copied off the old Mac. I know it can't be more than 60Gb because the disk was that size! This is onto a 150Gb disk.

But take a look at this screenshot:
http://www.digitaltoast.co.uk/files/..._full_grab.png

Also included is the dreaded error:
"Your Mac OS X Startup Disk Has No More Space For Application Memory"

What this doesn't show is that, although the virtual memory is "only" 6gb now, just before I ran screengrab, it was doing what it often does, which is report VM of around 50Gb! Yes, that's GIGABYTES!

Coming from the PC world, I find these figures insane - are they being reported correctly? I mean, I often work with huge video files on the PC, and have soundforge open at the same time too, and I'm still only using a couple of GB. The idea that activity monitor, dropbox etc are all using over 400Mb of VM *EACH* makes me wonder.

I've run diskutil - the disk was fine for the check, and it reported and corrected a few permissions errors, but then it always does.

If I reboot and immediately look at the disk size, it reports as 47Gb free. Within 5 minutes, it will be down to 20Mb or less (see screen shot).

Basically we have a brand new Mac which is virtually unusable until we can get this sorted.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 08:50 AM   #14
old-wiz
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I wonder if something else is eating up your memory. Perhaps spotlight? It does indexing. What have you downloaded since buying the system?
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 09:15 AM   #15
digitaltoast
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Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post
I wonder if something else is eating up your memory. Perhaps spotlight? It does indexing. What have you downloaded since buying the system?
Well, looking at that screenshot, I've got the monitor running and there's nothing in that list that stands out - only the fact that ALL of them are using stupidly enormous amounts of VM.

The only thing we've added is Thunderbird and Picasa, to replace Apple's insanely bad offerings and Office 2007 trial, but they've been going fine ever since. It's just the last two days.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaltoast View Post
The problem I have is that a BRAND NEW Macbook 13" has just had about 60Gb of stuff copied off the old Mac. I know it can't be more than 60Gb because the disk was that size! This is onto a 150Gb disk.

But take a look at this screenshot:
http://www.digitaltoast.co.uk/files/..._full_grab.png

Also included is the dreaded error:
"Your Mac OS X Startup Disk Has No More Space For Application Memory"

What this doesn't show is that, although the virtual memory is "only" 6gb now, just before I ran screengrab, it was doing what it often does, which is report VM of around 50Gb! Yes, that's GIGABYTES!

Coming from the PC world, I find these figures insane - are they being reported correctly? I mean, I often work with huge video files on the PC, and have soundforge open at the same time too, and I'm still only using a couple of GB. The idea that activity monitor, dropbox etc are all using over 400Mb of VM *EACH* makes me wonder.

I've run diskutil - the disk was fine for the check, and it reported and corrected a few permissions errors, but then it always does.

If I reboot and immediately look at the disk size, it reports as 47Gb free. Within 5 minutes, it will be down to 20Mb or less (see screen shot).

Basically we have a brand new Mac which is virtually unusable until we can get this sorted.
First, you blocked out your name/username in the search box but forgot to do the same in your sidebar.

Second, the number next to VM size has very little to do with actually memory or disk consumption. I don't know why Apple even has that in there because those numbers mean very little to the end user. Ignore it.

Your problem is different from TS's. Among TS's issues were a misunderstanding of space and memory.

For your, something memory eating process is badly out of control. Your swap used is 12GB. That number does matter What does your Activity Monitor show when you select All Processes and arrange by real memory size? The one on top will most likely be your culprit.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 12:18 PM   #17
digitaltoast
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Originally Posted by Signal-11 View Post
First, you blocked out your name/username in the search box but forgot to do the same in your sidebar.
Thanks! Good spot - they were just a bit worried about people somehow being able to hack in if they had the username, so just pointed at my screen grab and said "can we get rid of that" - I didn't think beyond that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal-11 View Post
Second, the number next to VM size has very little to do with actually memory or disk consumption. I don't know why Apple even has that in there because those numbers mean very little to the end user. Ignore it.
That's not very helpful. I mean, of Apple, not you! Imagine if a PC did that -people would be going spastic about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal-11 View Post
Your problem is different from TS's. Among TS's issues were a misunderstanding of space and memory.

For your, something memory eating process is badly out of control. Your swap used is 12GB. That number does matter What does your Activity Monitor show when you select All Processes and arrange by real memory size? The one on top will most likely be your culprit.
Unfortunately, I was only visiting, so not near it now. I'll try and talk them through doing this again, but I already thought of that, and under "real" memory, it was only showing Safari as being around 52Mb, IIRC. Nothing massive. It was the >1Gb VM process that were catching my eye more!
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 01:04 PM   #18
Signal-11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaltoast View Post
That's not very helpful. I mean, of Apple, not you! Imagine if a PC did that -people would be going spastic about it!
Well, it's one of the things that is constantly coming up on these forums so you're not alone. It is useful, but not to most. All it does for 99% of users is confuse them.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I was only visiting, so not near it now. I'll try and talk them through doing this again, but I already thought of that, and under "real" memory, it was only showing Safari as being around 52Mb, IIRC. Nothing massive. It was the >1Gb VM process that were catching my eye more!
Have you done a top in terminal by memory usage? Sometimes, it'll turn up something different.
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Old Jul 8, 2009, 09:29 AM   #19
cawesjmu
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Since it's a new computer, without a lot of downloaded stuff, or time invested in settings, it'd be easy to do a reinstall. Clean wipe and start again. Just thinking maybe something like WhatSize could pick out what's growing at ridiculous rates.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:22 AM   #20
smcguffee
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Me Too

I'm also getting this error:
"Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory."
I'm using all of the 20GB of RAM and into 70+ GB of VM on a program I'm running. The VM size is around 230 GB, but I have over 500 GB free on the startup disk. Is there a way to increase the amount of the startup disk that is used for swapping? Is there a way to set a separate blank 2TB hard drive as my virtual memory? I'm at a loss for how to get around this problem.
Any info for how to configure mac memory options or solutions to my problem would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Sean
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 11:09 PM   #21
darciv
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Sigh. Me too.

I found this thread and it has been helpful, but not solving my problem - don't know where else to look. I have about a year old IMac (w/ extra memory) and started getting this error last week. So, I pretty much wiped it clean of every file possible, dumped everything I could. There is now more about 3x more on my little macbook pro than on my IMac. I just checked it after reading suggestions for others and found that I have 833 GB of free space on my HD on 169 GB of VM. I ran activity monitor and the biggest things I could find were run by root (which I assume I can't touch), including kernel_task. Everything else is minor. Now I'm running utility repair but I don't have hope that it will make much difference since I did most the work in freeing up space. Or did I? Any other suggestions on places to look, things to dump? I have no videos and have removed most all of my photos to HD (I'm a photog). Safari is so slow I couldn't even get through apple support. tearing my hair out!!
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Old Aug 4, 2011, 01:55 PM   #22
miketheg
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jumping on the resurrected thread!

I just bought an 11-inch MBA, 128 GB hard drive, 4 GB ram. Less than 2 weeks old. I've been getting the exact same error message. I have maybe 30 gigs of stuff (music, movies, etc) on there right now, and am not running any intensive applications or anything. Just safari with 7-8 tabs.
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 08:01 PM   #23
HeatherAus
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Me too with this problem

I have a MAC mini, which has been working fine then I upgraded to Lion and apart from a few minor problems initially which were easily overcome...I am now getting the same message as the people above this message occurred immediately after I opened Calibre.. there was an update for it so I downloaded the update, but didn't install it this morning I got this message and the calibre DMG file is sitting in my disk utility. I have now installed it but ther are 2 Calibre DMG files sitting in there and there seems to be no way to eject them as that is the only place I can see them. I do not know if this has anything to do with message that keeps popping up.. it is only that the is the last thing I did before seeing that message.

I have 33.2GB free on my HD which is 320GB
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 08:17 PM   #24
HeatherAus
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Its gone away..

I have just update firefox.. and that annoying message has disappeared ?? Could it have been a firefox problem?
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:23 AM   #25
donkeyfly
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memory is killing me, pls help!!

Since yesterday I am unable to download anyfile, I always get a message saying that there is not enough free disk space, but I happen to have several GBs space still left. I can't save any textedit document, it takes forever to reboot and when I connect my usb external harddrive it is not recognized. moreover skype refuses to start. The internet also got slower and when I have more windows open the task manager shows up and asks me to close down some applications. Strange thing I refused to update last week when the message poped up and when I opened the update today it said that there was nothing to upadate.

What is happening? Is it a RAM problem? or have I got a virus on the board? I really need to work on my computer and seems to me, that I can't eve backup now. I am very grateful for any suggestions.
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