Where has my Disk Space gone?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by walkingmac, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. walkingmac macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    #1
    ok... I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to my computer. I want to know what is going on, who is accessing it, and what is on it. So you can understand my frustration as I am starting to have Disk Space Warnings that I am low on my primary HD. The thing is I DO have enough space.

    I go through TONS of files trying to clear small clutter from folders that would hold internet dl's and etc to try and shed a few pounds of needless .sit files and such. only to really get no where and still left (as far as my computer is concerned) with only about 800 MB left. Out of desperation I just restart (a practice I hardly do as I don't need to and host my own web site so, up-time is important). When I get my Finder back and check the space, I have 4.7 GB!!!! has anyone else experienced this?

    I mean, I am sure it sounds like a virtual ram issue, but I haven't had issues before and it is so random it is hard to troubleshoot.

    Here are the conditions on my machine on basic or idle use (besides when I use it for work which means Pro Graphics and Media apps.. ie Photosh*p, FCE, InD*sign, etc)
    System Preferences
    iCalViewer
    DNSUpdate
    V Resource Graph
    Mail
    iChat
    Safari
    iTunes
    iCal
    MenuMeters
    Butler
    Konfabulator (Buddy Stalker, Mini Digital Clock, The Weather, TVScraper)

    I have a 1 GHz G4 with 640 MB SDRAM.

    Thats about it. I can't think of anything else that might be important to help someone think of why my system is doing this.

    Any Ideas?
     
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #2
    osx uses virtual memory (disk swap) after you run out of ram, and it uses it in 80MB blocks. once a 80MB swap file is created, it will stay in the temp directory even if you won't have to use it. the temp directory will be cleaned during next boot.

    you have clearly done some heavy processing because it seems you have needed 5+ gigabytes of memory at some point :D
     
  3. walkingmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    #3
    ahhh.... that does make sense. I regularly do large amounts of rendering for videos and such. is it possible to clear this easily? is there an app i can use to clear them or a directory i can see to trash these?
     
  4. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    The swap files reside in /var/vm, but I don't know how smart it would be to delete them while the system's running.
     
  5. walkingmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    #5
    Probably right.... any good way apps to clear it?
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    It is not smart at all. Most likely to occur is that the files will appear deleted but the disk space won't be released. (should get released when the system is restarted next.)

    They get cleaned up automatically when the system is rebooted. So there is no reason to touch them.

    Depending on the total space used by the swap files, it might be an indicator that more memory is needed.
     
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #7
    /var/log

    check that directory, sometimes the log files get *big*
     
  8. walkingmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    #8
    well... i have found the files in the directory given, only to find they seem to be growing exponentially. I have 5 'swapfile's, each increasing in size in this order...
    1-64
    2-64
    3-128
    4-256
    5-512
    Their created times are spread out over time and I assuming they correspond to my usage and it's need for the extra virtual memory. I understand the need for them and will monitor them over the next day or so to see if there will be more and how much disk space they take up. I am a bit confused though as to why they would not relinquish the disk space after it is no longer needed, especially if the pattern holds and more of these files are created following the same exponential amount of disk space. That only makes me wonder why I have not had this problem in the past (looking back as I have calculated my disk space manually I have regularly been missing, but I can't recall over 1 GB being unaccounted for).

    I am sure there is some computer guru shaking his head at me now, but I am just not understanding and am looking for a way for these files to give up the space once they are not needed. I am sure I am confusing this process too much with 'cache' systems that can be easily cleaned, but it worth asking I guess.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #9
    Personally, I think the failure to delete excess swap files is a bug in Panther. I don't remember seeing this issue in Jaguar. As mentioned earlier, a reboot nails all of the swap files. Logging out gets rid of most of them.
     
  10. walkingmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    #10
    ya.... i just am used to not having to do such. I agree... odd panther bug or flaw in system architecture.
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    Actually except for the size of the files, Jaguar worked the same way. The files only get cleaned up on reboot.
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #12
    Based on the above numbers, I would say you need to add at least 512MB of ram. This will actually speed up your system.

    The 512MB presumes you regularly get that many swapfiles.
     
  13. walkingmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    walkingmac

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati

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