Missing HD space - Paranoia or Dark Reality?!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by noahsnyc, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hello -

    I have the sinking suspicion that I'm "missing" some HD space. This comes just weeks after realizing that between iDVD and GarageBand, they had about 3gigs on my library. So that shows how sharp I am.

    It also seems as if my disk space is fluctuating between a few different numbers, all within a gig or so.

    Any simple ways to calculate what's taking up my disk space and whether or not I should get rid of it (assuming maybe it's errant system-stuff)??

    Any similar issues and fixes with fluctuating disk space?

    I somehow feel as if I should have a few extra gigs...but maybe we all do...

    Thanks a bunch


  2. macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I saw it discussed in another thread that OS X uses a large amount of space (around 1 GB or so) of your hard disk for virtual memory and stuff. That would certainly account for it, since it also fluctuates.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Paranoia. Like dferrara said, your page file/virtual memory/swap file/whatever can be pretty large and fluctuates in size. It also disappears when you restart the computer.

    If you do run low on disk space and if you don't use iDVD or GarageBand, those would be the first things to dump. The support files for those take up a lot of space.
  4. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Tip: if you want to keep iDVD around, but want to eliminate some excess space, right (or control) click on the iDVD app and "Show Package Contents"; in the folder that pops up, go into Contents->Resources. Sort by type. Everything marked 'iDVD Theme' is likely huge. Move the ones you don't think you'll need into a new folder. Burn the folder to a CD/DVD, or just delete the contents (in which case, you don't need to move them - just delete them). Then you can still have iDVD, but you'll save well over a gig of space and still probably keep all the themes you'll ever use.

    You can do the same with Garageband, but it's harder to determine what loops you won't eventually want.
  5. macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    /var/log/ can get big as well.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Saving space

    Deleted iDVD stuff which did save a bunch of space.

    Unfortunately (or forunately, depending on how we look at it), I've fallen for GarageBand pretty hard, so that's not going anywhere. Also, I've got about 15 gigs of music, so who am I to complain?

    Still, I feel about two or three gigs "off center".

    Any hidden system files or other extraneous stuff that could be deleted safely?

    Also, anyone know if there's any freeware out there that breaks down where the disk space has gone just to determine exactly where it might be hiding? I've tried "Where's My Disk Space", but it's very limited on the freeware level.

    So many thanks,

  7. macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002

    Delocalizer is some good software for freeing up a few hundred MB of space. It just goes into all of your software and deletes the help documents in foreign languagues that you don't need. I think i saved something like 300 mb off a fresh install of OS X once. Ignore the warning on the page, it works on 10.3.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    go into terminal

    see all the directories and file sizes do type:

    du -h /

    if you want just the base directory it is
    du -h -d 1 /

    this doesn't mean you can go into the directory and wipe out stuff, it means you can find out if anything is big.
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    Might be useful for me, I'm running a bit low. But I'm concerned about what the site says: 'DeLocalizer will remove all non-American English localization resource files that you request. This application is geared towards American English users, as it will not remove localization resources for American English.' I don't want to delete something important! :eek:
  10. macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    Also, it works with OS X 10.4.2 Tiger. It saves over 800 MB at least. If you also delete some printer drivesr from Libraray, you can also save close to 1 GB. I only kept HP and a few others.
  11. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    It just means it's removing the non-American English localization files, i.e. the documents that contain the menu items/dialogue text/interface stuff for programs in other languages. I don't bother to install anything besides English and Japanese when I install OS X, but a lot of people don't know how to customize their install, so they end up with the ability to view all their programs interfaces in, say, Norwegian, an ability they neither need nor want. And those localization files take up lots of space. Nothing bad will happen if they're deleted though—it's just that if you set Norwegian to be the default language, the files won't be there, and it'll default to the next thing down the list until it finds localization files that are there.
  12. macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2005
    Newark, DE
    When I installed Tiger I opted not to install ANY printer drivers. Saves you about 1 gig. Most printers you buy come with a driver CD anyway. My Canon Pixma 3000 and Canon MP780 both did. My workplace uses all HP printers so I did go back and install just the HP driver package (about 250 megs).

    I also went in and threw away all the stock desktop pictures. There are tons of them and I think they're all ugly, so I pitched them and saved quite a lot of space and used 10-12 of my own instead. Trashed all the screen savers too because I put my computer to sleep when I'm not using it. Also trashed all the system alert sounds because I hate them--replaced them with a single, silent .aiff file so they don't startle the hell out of me.

    You might try a spotlight search for "cache." I once found a 2gb cache for SoundStudio after I'd finished copying a bunch of old minidiscs through my M-Audio transit onto my computer and manipulated the files for burning onto CD. It must have been there for a month and I just stumbled on it.

    The language delocalizer is a good idea too. I have macaroni set to delocalize every month.
  13. macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2005
    Newark, DE
    Or, all that missing space could be taken up by dark matter.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    I have the same problem with my G3 B&W. It has a 12 GB harddisk in it, have about 2GB free, but I can't install X.4.0 to X.4.2 (or 4.1 for that matter). The virtual Ram is taking sooo much space.

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