36 GB gone in 9 hours!

thewhitehart

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 9, 2005
920
114
The town without George Bailey
I last used my computer at 10:30 pm last night, and was at 116 GB hard drive capacity. All of a sudden, I'm at 80 GB! How did all this space suddenly disappear? I haven't downloaded anything huge, and neither has my brother, who also uses the imac. I know for sure I had 116 GB, and that I haven't used even 30 GB... I have the same stuff almost mirrored on an ibook with a 60 GB drive, and I still have 37 GB left on that computer.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,032
649
Pennsylvania
Try rebooting, maybe there's a memory leak? I really can't think of anything that would cause that, off the top of my head. Perhaps spotlight's index files if it's a brand new machine.. but even then it wouldn't take up that much space.
 

thewhitehart

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 9, 2005
920
114
The town without George Bailey
Following the advice of another thread, I tried erasing the free space on the drive while booted in safe mode. All of a sudden, whilst creating a temporary file after doing a one pass erase, I got a popup message that said there was zero space on my harddrive!

I logged back in normally after resetting. I found an EFI sparse image created as a result of the erasing free space, and it was approx 72 GB big. I deleted it. Now I'm back to where I started, 80 GB, and 36 GB missing! :mad:

Then, at the same time, expose started acting up, having a mind of it's own. Now I'm scared, I haven't done anything abusive to this machine, haven't downloaded anything big :(
 

thewhitehart

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 9, 2005
920
114
The town without George Bailey
On the advice of Mitthrawnuruodo in another thread, I have downloaded OmniDiskSweeper, and found the culprit.

It is /private/var/log/windowserver_last.log

What the #$%^ is this file, and can I delete it? How did it do this?
 

Little Endian

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2003
677
31
Honolulu
Just delete the file it's just an error log. It would appear that something happened that caused a repeating error that caused the log to swell like that. I have had this problem at least twice before. OSX keeps logs of all kernel tasks and occasionally crap happens. "Crap" could be due to a software glitch, bug, or something even more malicious like someone looking for open ports on your network.
 

thewhitehart

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 9, 2005
920
114
The town without George Bailey
I squashed the little $%^!! I was getting scared for a while, especially when it said I had 'zero' space left. I even went through attempting to repair the disk and doing a hardware check.

OmniDiskSweeper is a cool program. Finder wouldn't search the 'var' folder it was in, only my own folders and the shared folders. I never would've found it otherwise.

Speaking of errors, I download this anime .avi, and as soon as it's done downloading, quicktime cannot play it after it tries to open it. Quicktime doesn't unexpectedly quit, though - I quit it manually. I play the file with VLC, which did quit unexpectedly at some point yesterday, but long before the time of 9:44 pm when the file was created. Perhaps it was VLC?