All files on Macintosh HD listed as "Other"

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Fiestaman, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Fiestaman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #1
    I've been having some nasty beachballing that will then lead to nothing responding and then I have to force power down the computer. I still haven't found the root of those issues because nothing actually crashes so I can't find anything in the crash logs. I seem to have maybe fixed that issue with many different troubleshooting attempts, but my issue now is why my whole entire Macintosh HD partition is labelled as "Other" in Disk Utility and under Storage in About This Mac. I tried First Aid and repairing permissions, but it doesn't say there are any issues. Hardware testing also comes back clean. I know I have little space left currently, but I had to make a second backup while trying to troubleshoot the annoying "Last backup could not be completed" bug for my iPhone 6S. Anyone know how to fix this "Other" issue? I looked around and found people with problems with a large amount of space being taken up by the "Other" files, but didn't find anyone whose entire drive contents were marked as such.

    upload_2016-2-2_19-22-22.png
     
  2. rUmbuyGum macrumors newbie

    rUmbuyGum

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Location:
    North Bay California
    #2
     
  3. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #3
    With respect to the beach balling, open Activity Monitor and sort the columns by %CPU by clicking on that column header. When you get a beach ball, check Activity Monitor to see what app is hogging the CPU.

    Also, you seriously need to free up space on your hard drive. If you have only 3GB free, you may be running out of room for cache files and that might be causing the beach balling.

    Also it seems odd that your drive is showing only 215 GB. Do you have another partition? Boot Camp, maybe?
     
  4. rUmbuyGum macrumors newbie

    rUmbuyGum

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Location:
    North Bay California
    #4
     
  5. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #5
    Your problems are likely due to a lack of free disk space. Disk Utility can report the wrong available space if the Spotlight index has issues. It may have had issues because you had to force power off the computer. You can search "disk utility wrong free space spotlight" and see a lot of articles on this issue. The problem can be made worse if your computer is swapping memory to disk. If you go to the Activity Monitor app and press on the Memory tab, the last line is "Swap Used" - if it's anything other than 0, then your computer doesn't have enough memory and has to swap to disk. If you have disk-intensive applications, it's going to be even worse. If you can copy off some files to a external drive or delete files - I don't know what would be a good size - 10GB would be good, 20GB would be even better and then see if the computer stabilizes. If it does, then you can rebuild the Spotlight index. There's an Apple URL on that:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201716

    There are other ways to rebuild - you can search "rebuild spotlight index".

    For me, the incorrect reporting would be a minor annoyance - try to get some more free disk space and see if your other issues clear themselves up.
     
  6. rUmbuyGum macrumors newbie

    rUmbuyGum

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Location:
    North Bay California
    #6
    Yep.....I had exactly the same problem...."all files in hard drive sown as OTHER in disk utility......
    in my case, since I was in Disk Utility, I ran the First Aid choice at the top of the Disk Utility page, the various file types reappeared, closed Disk Utility and all files were shown as "Other" again. I'll try again in repair mode but prospects don't seem too bright.

    Illegitimi non carborundum
     
  7. Fiestaman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #7
    I have iStat Menus going and CPU usage does not go up when the beachballing occurs. That's what is strange. Typically, if something is hogging processor like that, I can at least force the app to close or do other things in the OS. However, in this case, the rest of the computer seems to be running okay, but anytime I click on anything, the app that belongs to what I clicked on will freeze. Then the computer will eventually completely lock up until I force power it off.

    As for the space, that's not an issue. That only started today because like I said, I created a second iPhone backup by suggestion of Apple tech support to try and troubleshoot my inability to backup to iCloud. I typically have around 30gigs free at least.

    I have also already rebuilt the spotlight index with no change in behavior. I have also tried disabling spotlight completely. Still same issue.
     
  8. rUmbuyGum macrumors newbie

    rUmbuyGum

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Location:
    North Bay California
    #8
    Oh....Also...I have 113 gigs of free space on this 750 gig drive.....hummmmm
     
  9. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #9
    I think that the categorization of files into apps/music/photos/other etc is done by Spotlight. If you have turned off Spotlight indexing or if the Spotlight index is corrupt, you won't get a proper report in Disk Utility. Also, if there is not enough room left on the hard drive for the Spotlight index file.

    If you have not deliberately turned off Spotlight (to save disk space, perhaps), I suggest you do the following:

    1. Free up space on your drive.
    2. Open your system prefs. Go to Spotlight prefs. Click on the Privacy tab. Add your hard drive to the Privacy tab. Close the system prefs. This will delete your existing Spotlight index.
    3. Reopen Spotlight prefs and remove your hard drive from the system prefs. It may take a few hours to re-index your drive.
    4 Once the drive is re-indexed, try Disk Utility again.
     
  10. rUmbuyGum macrumors newbie

    rUmbuyGum

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Location:
    North Bay California
    #10
    Ok...This worked for me...at least for now...

    I innocently, given my new status, decided to re-download the OS X 10.11.3 update ...right over my existing 10.11.3 operating system...... Not changing anything in the existing system....just did the entire update as though I never did it before.....update procedure was just like the first time.....EXCEPT....Disk Utility shows all the separations of Hard drive usage...AND Safari and Mail are now lightning fast and clean.. I don't know why....but this actually worked...So far...So good.

    Aloha
     

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