iBook G3 HD lying about free space. what to do?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by indigoflowAS, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. indigoflowAS macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #1
    hey there all,

    i have a friend that has an aging iBook G3. it seems as though something is causing the reading of free HD space to fluctuate. upon a restart, the capacity is accurate, but as the iBook is left on...the finder shows that the free space is decreasing! other times it will read higher one minute then adds a couple dozen MBs. this continues till OSX warns him that he is running out of HD space and he is no longer able to dowload a file (PDF or mp3 or whatever) unless he restarts.
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #2
    I would recommend repairing permissions, and repairing the disk - all through Disk Utility.

    If that doesn't work, I would sit down your friend and his iBook and have a serious talk about why lying is wrong, and how sometimes ever though he sees the bigger computers with their bigger hard drives lying (my 120GB is really 111.8!) it still isn't right, and if they jumped of a cliff or started running Windows, would he? Yeah, that's right, you bet your ass he wouldn't!

    Past that, I really don't know.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    What size are the fluctuations? It might be Virtual RAM or alternatively, it could be P2P app(s) which sometimes claim to take up the full space of a download before it is actually downloaded.
     
  4. indigoflowAS thread starter macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #4
    Virtual RAM eh? might be worth looking into. how do i go about resetting/repairing the virtual RAM? i did repair permissions and such through disk utility...no love. it's some kind of messed up sensor or something...cause it is a false reading. i contemplated having him dump his vital files on an external drive and reinstall OSX from scratch.

    first, we will deal w/ the virtual RAM...what do i do?
     
  5. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    I think you need some sort of hack to get into virtual RAM settings in OSX, don't you? I know it's not as easy as OS 9...

    Here's a short article from MacFixit to get you started, sound like exactly your friend's problem:

    http://www.macfixit.com/staticpages/index.php?page=20031110093132207

    My advice? Downgrade to OSX 10.2. I run 10.2 on my G3 ibook 700 because it only has 384 RAM, and it runs quite well...
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Before going much further I think it's important to be certain we know what we're dealing with. Virtual RAM is just a guess. How much space does it chew through? How much space does he have free when he first starts up? :)
     
  7. howesey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    #7
    That's because Apple do not know what a Mega Byte is and they get their numbers all mixed up. It's OS X which is wrong. You still have all the 120GB though.

    Just to explain:

    8 bits to the byte
    1000 bytes to the kB
    1000kB to the MB
    1000MB to the GB

    8 bits to the byte
    1024 bytes to the kiB (kibi-bytes)
    1024kiB to the MiB (mebi-bytes)
    1024MiB to the GiB (gibi-bytes)

    Apple need to catch up with standards, they changed 7 years ago to avoid confusion. These are all SI, IEC, IEEE and CIPM standards.
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    It's not just Apple, Microsoft does the same. :(
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #9
    All other mainstream OSs do the same as OSX. Personally I've always thought the harddrive manufacturers should change their measurement to match those used since the dawn of (Unix) time.
     
  10. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    is it not the swap files
    I have a 3GB ibook 300mhz & it dose the same, It will start with about 800mb free then this will reduce until it runs out of space, if i then log out & in or restart it will recover the space,
     
  11. indigoflowAS thread starter macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #11
    that is about the same amout that this iBook starts up at (800-750mb) it will then fluctuate down and up...occasionally giving the 'disk full' warning.

    i suggested he might wish to up his RAM (good suggestion??), he's not too into downgrading to 10.2.
     
  12. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    A sound plan, though why someone wouldn't want to drop to 10.2 is beyond me. It's pretty much the same as 10.3 and takes up less space...

    But yeah. More RAM and/or a larger HD, both of which are pretty cheap these days...
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #13
    More RAM is a good idea however for a free solution, your friend can either keep less apps open at the same time or free up some hard drive space (somehow). I really think it's just the Virtual RAM building up which is nothing to worry about (perfectly normal) but mildly annoying if there's limited free space. :)
     

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