Where is my disk space going?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by operastarlet, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. operastarlet macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2004
    ok, so I am supposed to have 60 gigs of space on my hard drive.
    although it does say only 55.88. but now I only have about 39.68 free and I can't seem to see where all this space is being taken up. I only have about 4 gigs of music on my drive and maybe about 4 gigs of movies. but where is the rest of the 12 or so of space?
    is there anyway to see exactly what is taking up exactly how much space?

    I'm really stumped.
  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Do you have FileVault turned on? FileVault can sometimes take up some hard disk space even though its not supposed to. Mac OS X takes roughly 2 GB, then all the iApps take about another 2GB of disk space (iDVD and GarageBand are huge!) Do you have any Pro apps installed like FCE or FCP?

    Also you may have some bad sectors developing on your hard drive. If you ever have spare time, wipe out your drive and then see if you have the 55.88 GB left. I would do this unless you really want to but that will tell you if your drive is developing bad sectors. Maybe something like DiskWarrior will tell you about bad sectors too.
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's most likely that system software and applications are using the other 8 GB or so that you don't see.

    I would suggest opening another Finder window and selecting Macintosh HD, changing to list view in the View menu, and sorting (clicking on size) by size. You'll see something like what I've included.

    Attached Files:

  4. alphaq619 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Bay Area
    If you really want to reclaim some hard drive space, you can delete some of the language files you don't need. Mac OSX and most applications have support for several languages, support for each taking up a couple hundred megabytes.

    To delete these files, do a search from the finder (command-F). Search for items whose visibility are visible and invisible items and whose extension is lproj. Delete all the folders for the languages you don't speak or use. English is labled "en".
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Your loss of disk space is almost certainly caused by an accumulation of virtual memory swap files. Take a look in the directory:


    The swap files start at 64mb and double in size every time another one is added. If you don't have a bunch of physical RAM (or even if you do!) and you run RAM-intensive applications, you can easily accumulate several gigs of swap files.

    Most of the swap files will be automatically deleted by logging out and logging back in (don't throw them in the trash!). The rest will go away after a restart.
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    definitely just pop a finder window open at the root level, switch to "list" view, and turn on "calculate all sizes". use the disclosure triangles at left to hunt down the big files that shouldn't be there. For instance, my internal drive was suddenly full a couple of days ago, when it should have had a lot more space on it. after hunting around, i found several duplications that i must have done by accident, as well as a single crash log file that was 3.5gigs(!). needless to say, i removed the offending program and files and am sitting happy with a roomy system disk.

    As for the language files, if you're not comfortable just trashing it all, look for "delocalizer" on versiontracker. it does the same thing, but without the risk of removing en (which is necessary for the OS, even in other countries).

  7. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    I ran across OmniDisksweeper (from the makers of OmniWeb) the other day. Might be an easy alternative for tracking down large files.
  8. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    First of all, your disk is 60GB unformatted. Once you format it, it becomes 55.88, this is the FILE System taking up that much space.

    Secondly you say you have 39.68 GB free, the math says you have 16.2GB used, and with 4 gig of muic and maybe 4 gig of movies, that's abt 8GB of missing space, at least 2-3GB of it is OS X. Another 2GB is definitely your Applications. That leaves you without abt 3-4GB of stuff missing, if you make movies in iMovie, you may have way more. If you installed iLife including GarageBand that's huge, any of the Final Cut softwares are also very large, i think FCP was 6 gb of stuff on my HD. Also if you have never reinstalled your OS you have every language file, every printer driver, classic support and all the apps that came with ur Mac also.

    I'd do what others have mentioned and use the finder to track down big files.

  9. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    you wouldn't happen to be running mlMac, would you? if so, i can tell you where your HD space is.
  10. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC

    Actually, thats not an accurate statment. For some reason, hard drive makers are allowed to market drives based on the incorrect formula of 1GB = 1 billion bytes. where we all know that 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes....duh

    So most drive makers market a drive that holds 60,000,000,000 bytes as 60 GB where in reality it is only 55.8793545 GB
  11. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Yeppers :p its 60 GB claimed, not real. Format whats left and you lose even more space!

    Like everyone else before me...

    8 GB of Music/Videos
    3 GB for OS X
    2+ GB for other Applications AT LEAST. I mean Office, etc take a lot of space
    Then all your other stuff... Of course I have no worries... 145GB free on my disk.

    Don't worry, the Best part about Hard Drives is that they are never the limiting factor. Just pay and get a bigger one :p ...
  12. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    a terminal command to check which folder is taking how much space is
    du -s -h *
    as per, why you have so less space left...no idea..:)..when i am using imovie ..my free space goes below 1 gb..so atleast u r better than me..
  13. Muskie macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2003
    Ok, my brother has an iMac Dv running Jaguar, and hes got the same problem, hes down to like 2 gigs. When he opens a new finder window to sort files by size, half or more of them do not present a filesize. They just show a "--" (without quotes) anyone knwo whats happening?
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Most applications and all folders do not show their size in list view, but this has nothing to do with the loss of disk space. See the advice on swap files, above. Just restart and see how much space comes back.

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