losing hard drive space..

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by unispherephoto, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    unispherephoto

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    #1
    for some reason, my hard drive appears to be filling up on its own. i have not loaded anything new onto the drive nor am i in the process of downloading anything, yet after i leave my system running for any significant amount of time i have less drive space than i had before. if i restart, i will usually regain the lost space. is this a virtual memory issue? is it because my drive is almost full? (> 1 gb left)

    also, i am still almost 3 gb short of capacity (drive is journaled hfs+, 18.63 gb, but only 15.97 worth of files show up when folder sizes are added up)

    i have run cocktail to clean all caches, etc..but that never gives me more than a couple hundred mbs.

    any ideas?


    -----------------------------
    TiBook 500/512/x.3.7
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    It's the VM filling up. Something like Windows XP's "page file". It's the part of the hard drive that the OS is using for extra memory. The only way I know of to revive it is to reboot your computer. Don't worry about the space though, if you need more, the VM size should automatically decrease, giving you more space.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    unispherephoto

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    #3
    ok thanks. any way to get back this lost 3 gb though? i cant imagine VM takes that much (and it never comes back after restart either)
     
  4. MP2
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    #4
  5. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    #5
    The swap files are in /var/vm. If you look in there, you'll be able to see how much space they're using, and whether they're the culprit.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    unispherephoto

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    #6
    yeah i used monolingual..but that still leaves more than 2 gb unaccounted for...
     
  7. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #7
    Have you tried restarting to clear out the swapfile?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #8
    Virtual Memory can take quite a lot of space.

    And sometimes files don't add up correctly if a user isn't logged in, etc.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    unispherephoto

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    #9
    where is this var/vm?
    is it invisible?
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    OSX is great at managing disk space. Don't worry about it too much. Unlike Windows, OSX won't litter your HD with temp files.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    unispherephoto

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    #11
    yeah ive never even had to think about it before..i just noticed this recently.

    thanks for the info
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, WA, Australia
    #12
    VM in OSX seems huge to me - i have 1gig of ram and the swap file is 3.1gig thats with safari and mail open...

    if you do get short on space it does tend to auto reduce.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #13
    IF you only have a few hundred MBs left on a 20GB HD, then you'll experience slowdons. Keep atleast 2GB free, or the HD performance will suffer!
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #14
    Yes, it is invisible and controlled by the OS.

    Yup. But the best thing to do is keep at least 2 GB free. Or, get a bigger hard drive...:D :rolleyes:
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #15
    Maybe it's time to buy and external firewire HD to move uneeded files to. (pics, music, etc)
     

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