Sudden + massive loss of HD Space!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AlbinoPigeon, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. AlbinoPigeon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    So this is a weird one! I was using my computer lightly one night, the only things open were iTunes, Safari, Word, and maybe Azureus (but not dl'ing, only seeding).

    It was off to the side as I was reading and i noticed the fan had been going for a while and was getting stronger, even though it there was nothing major going on. I checked it out and saw that my HD space had been reduced from it's normal 5 Gigs free to just over 1 free. And it was dropping every few seconds! It was as if I was dl'ing something very quickly, or importing DV footage, but the comp was doing nothing! (like I said, only seeding, not dl'ing).

    Then a 'low disk space' warning popped up and I saw free space was down to around 600MB. I panicked and did a hard shut down. Now the problem is gone, but I still have no room and I cant find out why.

    So my questions are:

    1) Does anyone know what happened? (and by extension, how to get my free space back)

    2) If not, is there an app out there that will tell me what massive files are lying around my computer so I can see if there's anything suspicious?

    EDIT: I have already checked/repaired permissions. And the computer is a MacBook 2Ghz (not core2).

    Thanks!
     
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    It's not entirely uncommon for a runaway log file to eat up GB of disk space. Usually it's fine to just delete it, but it if it happens again, you'll want to look into the reason behind it.

    To find huge files, use either OmniDiskSweeper or WhatSize.
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Or.. start with Terminal.app and type:

    sudo du -h -d1 /
     
  4. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #4
    if restart won;t solve the problem, you might try to use OnyX to clean up the hidden trash. I recovered 6G disk space with it, and your situation sounds very "fit" what I experienced.
    http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html its free
     
  5. AlbinoPigeon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    What does this do? A rather ominous warning came up and asked for my password.
     
  6. AlbinoPigeon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    WICKED! I found it using WhatSize! It's a file called "windowserver_last.log"
    and it's in /private/var/log/windowserver_last.log (over 4 Gigs!)

    Any ideas what this is and how it got there?
     
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #7
    It shows you how big each of the folders in the root directory are, so that you can see if any are particularly large.
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #8
    Something just went wonky and likely started generating errors over and over again. Like I said, if it's a one-time thing, don't worry about what happened...just delete it. But if it happens again, it's time to figure what you were doing at the time that it started ballooning.
     

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