Where's all my space gone?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LastLine, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. LastLine macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #1
    Ok, quick thought - my hard disk seems to have been eaten latley but I don't kjnow what by. Are there any utilities out there that will rapidly identify what might be taking my space up?
     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    Before you do anything else, try rebooting the Mac, or at least logging out and back in. OSX creates virtual memory swap files on the disk. They can get quite huge over time and aren't deleted until you reboot or log out.
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Actually.. only rebooting will remove them (unless you remove them by hand or 3rd party util). Logging out/in won't do a thing. They are removed as part of the startup script, /etc/rc
     
  4. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #5
    I thought both worked (not trying to confuse anyone)

    I thought I read on OSX hints that logging out and in would remove some of the User VM Cache, and rebooting would take care of both user and system VM cache.

    anybody know for sure?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Can you provide a link to that on OSXHints? I'd be quite surprised that logging out would do anything to /var/vm. And where is there a user vm cache? Is this new to Tiger? Because this was not the case in previous iterations of OS X.
     
  6. carpe diem macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    #7
    I used omnidisk sweeper before Tiger now i use Spotlight you can search for files larger than a predetermined size it is reaaly good.
     
  7. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #8
    Like I said, I am not exactly sure and was looking for clarification of that myself. I vaguely remember reading something like that when i was researching how to get spotlight to index network volumes.

    I will try to repeat my steps and see if I can "stumble" across that post again.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    If there was user-specific virtual memory swap files created, following all other logic for OS X, it should be created in ~/Library/foo, but I cannot find any indication of anything to that effect. Nor is there any deliniation between "system" and "user" in /var/vm/.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    I used to check my /vm directory for the accumulation of swap files, and I distinctly recall seeing some if not all of the swap files being deleted after a log out. Sorry, I know this is a completely non-technical explanation, but I did see it with my own peepers a few times.
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Well, I've experimented quite heavily with this now.

    I believe that what you have seen (I too have now seen this with Tiger, but not Panther) is better memory management in Tiger. I'm thinking that the logout causes all your apps to be quit. When they are quit, their demand for RAM (or swap) is removed, and the OS frees up the RAM (or swap) very quickly. So, technically, you wouldn't need to logout, simply quitting your apps would accomplish the same thing. Which I have just tested and confirmed.

    However, you're right with the 'shotgun approach', logging out may remove some of swap files because all the demanding apps are quitting and the memory management is superior in Tiger then those of it's predecessors..

    I would advise the original poster to use reboots to remove swap files if (s)he is running Panther or before.

    EDIT: I should also note that rebooting is far more complete at removing ALL swap files, rather then memory management clean up that quitting all apps would do. In the case of the OP, using OmniDiskSweeper after a reboot would be the BEST bet on finding where your missing disk space is, with the caveat of NOT removing anything that you're not 100% familiar with.
     
  11. LastLine thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #12
    How do I set file sizes?
     

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