MacBook hard drive mysteriously full - HELP!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Miles Davis, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Miles Davis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    #1
    My MacBook was not starting all of the iLife programs when I clicked on them, Apple care told me to reinstall 10.4, which I did, which I blieve created a backup of my old system. It has been working well for a week and I just added all of my music from my external harddrive (I had never put it on the MB, it was from my old mac). Yesterday, it told me that I didn't have any virtual memory to run iTunes. I check my harddrive and found that it was full! I've checked every folder in my harddrive and nothing adds up to 60GB. iTunes is only 16GB. Soooo, I called Applecare to try to find the backup file, or at least locate all of this missing space. They were extremely unhelpful, I know more about macs than this woman did. She was more interested in selling me the upgrade than helping me. After 40 minutes, I got no where. Has anyone else had this problem? What should I do?

    Thanks,
    M
     
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    The backup should be in a folder called Previous Systems or something similar in Macintosh HD. I had a similar problem with my old powerbook, when I upgraded to Tiger, I had that folder, and it was just a few GB of nothingness. But I didn't have that much on it then.
     
  3. Miles Davis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    #3
    I don't have any such folder. We're are talking about 20-30GB of missing space. I've done a search for large files, all I have is one .avi of 700mb. This is driving me crazy and I'll be pissed if I have to install 10.4 again. This IS a new computer after all.
     
  4. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Maybe, although I doubt it, alot of this missing space is in hidden folders. To see them, install a program called OnyX (I think it works on intel, haven't tried it yet though), and in finder, enable them. Then check those.
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Try using OmniDiskSweeper to find that missing space. It could be an out-of-control log or something. :)
     
  6. flyguy451 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    #6
    I always use a program called Whatsize. It will give you the size of every file and folder on your HD.

    It's Universal too.
     
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #7
    ODS or WhatSize should tell you where the problem is. Just be sure that you run it while you're logged in as a user with administrative privileges (if you have multiple accounts)...otherwise it won't be able to see everything.
     
  8. Miles Davis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    #8
    Thanks for all the help everyone. I used WhatSize. It found a file called windowserver_last.log that was 20GB! It is in private/var/log. The problem is, I cannot locate that anywhere. Even with Spotlight. Is this okay to delete, what is it?
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Well done. In Finder, press COMMAND-SHIFT-G and paste private/var/log in the accompanying dialogue box. Find that file and delete it. It's a log file so removing it won't affect anything. It's a bit of a bug in OSX that occasionally lets logs grow outrageously. :)
     
  10. Miles Davis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    #10
    I did a search after I posted, it seems this has happened to other people to. I went into Terminal and deleted it with "sudo". Is this going to happen again? Is there anything I am doing wrong to let it happen?
     
  11. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #11
    No, you're not doing anything wrong. It just happens every once in a while...it's a bug and it's fairly rare. If it happens frequently, it might be worth trying to track down the cause, but I wouldn't worry about it for now.
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #12
    Yeah, FWIW I've had two years with two Macs and never had it happen. The good thing is it's relatively harmless. :)
     
  13. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #13
    Is it just me or have there been about 10 people around tonight all running out of hard drive space? Is there a full moon or something?
     
  14. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    Yeah, if I don't think the Omni Group has ever seen such high traffic at their site. :D
     
  15. mariacangiano macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #15
    my mac book air drive is full

    I have a question..I run whatsize in my computer and there is a file of 6GB that is called private...can I erase that, how do I do it? When I check the storage there are 50 GB in OTHER..solutions???
     

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