Weird Disappearance of Disk Space

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by tomrob, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. tomrob macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2003
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    London
    #1
    My G4 DP 1Ghz tower is running system 10.2.8, installed on an IBM 42.94GB ATA drive.

    When I "get info" it says 32.94GB are used, and 10GB available. But all the visible directories inside the disk appear to only contain 16.6GB in total.

    There's a whole other 16 GB missing somewhere, perhaps a large invisible file of some kind.

    Have run Techtool 4 and Disk First Aid over the disk and repaired permissions etc but the disk is always pronounced OK. Anybody got any ideas where to find and reclaim the missing space ?
     
  2. MetallicPenguin macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Did you recently just deal with a huge movie or some other large files of some sort? That's about the only thing I can think of.
     
  3. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Hi Penguin - yes indeed. been a lot of messing around with disk image backups and things on that disk. they've since been supposedly erased. any thoughts on how to fix the problem, or where to look for help ?
     
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    #4
    Are you using any P2P software?

    Certain programs are known to allocate that space before the download completes. So if you trying to d/l 100 GB worth of movies/music/p0rn, your disk may show 100GB taken on top of whats already on that disk. I would start by checking wherever you set your files to be saved and see if those files are taking up space.

    Also, completely obvious, make sure you empty the trash :)
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    Ever notice the /var directory? It contains various necessary system information that takes up space, especially the swap files in the vm directory.

    My current virtual memory size is 5.19 GB and this is what's being stored:

    -rw------T 1 root wheel 67108864 22 Jan 20:34 swapfile0
     
  6. Ben Kei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    London UK
    #6
    I actually just logged on here to ask about the same thing...! Strange, looked at the forum and right near the top was my question.

    Anyway, I've had about 400mb dissapear on me in the last week or so and it's made me nervous because:

    a) my brother keeps looking at porn while I'm out :mad: he thinks he's being clever by deleting history but he doesn't know about cookies!

    b) someone I know had some nasty malware on his PC and it turned out some dodgy porn site had remotely hosted some suspect material on his computer!

    I have a broadband connection and leave it on most of the time... sometimes I can see MB's falling off my HD!

    I'm going to reinstall, just wondered if there was a logical explaination for this.

    I still primarily use OS9 (skint musician!) but I do like to use OSX for a few things..

    Also I should add that when booted in OS9 the disk space remains the same, onlyu affected when I'm booted in OSX.

    Cheers. :)
     
  7. Viv macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Normandy, France
    #7
    Photoshop under OS 9 had a bug that did this.

    Basically it did not kleen up the "temp" files when it closed the app.

    Under OS 9 I would run norton disc editor and look for a folder named temp.

    Just change the mane to something else and it will become visible so you can trash it.

    The biggest temp file we found was 17Gb

    I have not seen this problem under OS X though.

    Viv
     
  8. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2003
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    #8
    no P2P stuff - and I have booted up under OS9 to see if I can find big stuff there thats invisible under Panther, but to no avail. How would I get to look at the (presumably invisible ?) files in the /var directory and rectify the problem if they're enormous and unneccessary ?
     
  9. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks Viv - I just did.

    Weirder and weirder. Omnidisksweeper can see all the invisible files on the drive, and it confirms my own math: that there is just under 17GB of files in total on the disk. The /var directory incidentally is just 4k in size. However, "Get Info" still insists that 32GB are used and that there's only 10GB available. Am I missing something obvious, or is this very odd behaviour indeed ?
     
  10. Viv macrumors regular

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    Normandy, France
    #11
    Very odd, if there is a big file or lots of little ones hogging the space you should see them with discsweeper.

    Ok find your install disk and boot from it by holding down the c key

    When it boots up and launches the installer go to the file menu and run disc utiliy.

    in disk utility select the disk first aid tab and repair privalidges.

    Have a cup of tea.

    When its done quite then restart and see what happens.

    Do a google search for "maintain" nice little utility.

    run it, select clean, daily, weekly,monthly

    do a cache clean too

    Now try?

    Viv
     
  11. Pseudonym macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #12
    There's a good little freeware app that might tell you where your space is going called WhatSize.
     
  12. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2003
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    London
    #13
    Many thanks - Have tried the excellent Whatsize, but resultwise it's same scoop as before - shows up everything including the invisibles, but no trace of the missing disk space.

    So then I thought I'd get clever - created a diskimage 18GB in size and (using Carbon Copy Cloner) tried to copy over
    all 17GB worth of visible and invisible files onto it. Thought I could then wipe the HD and resinstall from the disk image.

    No such luck. The disk image filled right up long before the clone was completed and gave me an error message that it was out of disk space.

    Anybody else got any thoughts about what this disappeariing Gigabytes problem might be ?
     
  13. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    PS...

    Oh, and Viv - have already been repairing privileges, repairing the disk, running TechTool 4 under Jaguar, and TechTool 3 under 9.2 (and rebuilding the desktop and running Norton while at it) ever since the problem first occurred. It aint fixable by any of dem fings - they all report no problem.
     
  14. Viv macrumors regular

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    Normandy, France
    #15
    Ok, do you get the same result in OS 9 as OS X when you get info on the hard drive?

    It does sound like the disk catalogue is corrupt, have you tried disc warrior? as it makes a new catalogue it may fix it.

    Viv
     
  15. Viv macrumors regular

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    Normandy, France
    #16
    In fact try this if you have another mac and a firewire cable.

    Reboot the nackt one with the T key held down, that will start it up in firewire disk mode.

    Now plug it in to the other mac and get info on it and see what it says.

    You can also try running the disc programs on it too.

    Viv
     
  16. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Thanks for these suggestions Viv, though in fact I've tried em all - disk space is shown as the same under both OS9 and OSX, and regardless of whether the machine's being read from another computer in FW target disk mode. Repairs and rebuilds all also tried from other disks and/or from other computers

    There does seem to be some kind of coprrupt B-tree nonsense going on, and I ran DiskWarrior 3.01 over it this afternoon and rebuilt the entire catalog file. Still the same stubborn result: 17GB worth of visible and invisible files on the disk, 32GB of disk space shown as used, 10GB available. Total capacity of disk is just under 43GB.

    If the B-tree catalog on this disk is hosed, would one normally expect Disk Warrior to have rebuilt it from scratch and made it OK again ?

    As mentioned in previous posting, when I tried to archive the files with Carbon Copy Cloner, they just took the mysterious swathes of unuseable disk space with them and choked the destination disk.
     
  17. MetallicPenguin macrumors 6502

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  18. Viv macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2003
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    Normandy, France
    #19
    It sounds like two files have intermingled themselves but that only used to happen with OS 9.

    Copy your files of in small groups, you wont be able to save it all or make a clone.

    Save what you can then reformat and reinstall, sorry

    Viv
     
  19. AultTimIT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    #20
    Same Problem... but we fixed it!

    I just read this entire thread... we had the exact same problem this morning in spades.... 110 GB went AWOL. It wasn't the swapfile0, and the trash was emptied.

    We had also been moving lots of information and making disk images. (Huge ones of about 50GB).

    We were down to 220MB of space on a 250GB HD, and lost the netinfo account logins, had to resort to root.

    Anyway, used the omnigroup disksweeper and it found 115GB in the Volumes folder that were unaccounted. So at the terminal I went went to /Volumes and found two disk image volumes hogging up space but not showing up on the desktop. I then typed rm -r DISK_IMAGE_NAME on the ghost volume listings, did a get info on the HD, and it was back to normal. Then I restarted and all the netinfo account logins were available again!
     
  20. tomrob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    London
    #21
    Tim - you're a star. Thanks for this posting

    In the end I resorted to finder-copying off my personal files, wiping the HD and reinstalling the whole damn system and apps from scratch, just to get my disk space back.

    But I had indeed been messing about with disk images, so this is undoubtedly what my problem was at the time. Phew...

    thanks again

    Tom
     

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