Available HD Space Inaccurate

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Cavara34, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Cavara34 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #1
    So both the report of free space given with I right click he drive icon check through 'About this Mac' is wrong given that I repeatedly run out of disk space despite x GB being listed as free.

    Time Machine automatic backups are off, if that matters, and the method of adding the HD to the Spotify privacy list and then removing it in order to reindex isn't working.

    This never happened prior to upgrading to Sierra. My HD reports back as 'verified', so I don't know what to attribute this to.

    Any solutions would be greatly appreciated.

    _________

    I'd like to ask another question about Firefox since the quality of feedback on their forum isn't good.

    Is there a way to create a new recovery.js file at will? I'm dangerously low on disk space at the moment and have an active session I can't safely close because the last backup is from too long ago.
     
  2. dsemf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #2
    I prefer to go to the real source using Terminal.

    Display the disk utilization:
    Code:
    df -g
    Display a summary of the usage by directory:
    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
    You can extend the analysis by adding on to the slash at the end, for example summary by user:
    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /Users
    With luck you may find some large files that are no longer needed.

    DS
     
  3. Cavara34 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #3
    Thanks very much, I'll keep that in mind, though it should be the case that simply clicking on the HD icon yields the right amount. That it isn't makes me wonder whether the problem with Sierra, in which case someone must have a solution, or there's something wrong with my hard drive, in which case it's probably important for me to know that.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    How large is your hard drive (Capacity that shows in the Get Info window
    Your first post said that you have "x" GB listed as free, without telling us what "x" really is.
    How much free space do you really have, right now?
    That will show at the bottom of a Finder window, in the status bar, or in the list in a Get Info window for your hard drive.
    Your Activity Monitor is also a good place to look. Memory tab, then the Memory window at the bottom.
    How much Physical Memory is installed?
    How much is used by Swap (Swap used?) Is the Memory Pressure green, and fairly low on the graph?

    Finally, how often do you restart your Mac?
     
  5. Cavara34 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #5

    Thanks.

    Well, the free space varies, of course. In 'HD info' it lists 5.14 GB available at the moment, with 4.29 purgeable (I assume this doesn't mean I can delete it at will). Yet it will list about that amount and I'll be unable to create new files and will receive a notice that the disk is full. I probably restart it a couple of times per day. I don't know the answer to the Swap question.

    To reiterate, the problem isn't the lack of space itself, it's that I can't monitor it through 'HD info' as has never been a problem until recently.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    The answer to the "swap" question can be found in your Activity Monitor, as that will tell you that in the "Memory" tab.
    Space Available is the number that shows in the Status bar of any finder window.
    You can Get Info on your hard drive, which will tell you (among other things) the Capacity of your hard drive, the space Available, and how much is Used. Used and Available should sum up to approximately the Capacity.
    It's very common to have some performance impact if you start to run out of space, which can also be impacted more easily if you have a lot of RAM. For example, if your free space is less than your installed RAM, you can experience issues.
    You may show 5GB free, but if you have 8GB of RAM, and you begin to swap out to the hard drive, you can quickly run out of space, sometimes within seconds. A restart makes things better, temporarily, but doesn't really solve your issue (running out of space) It's one of adjustments that you have to keep in mind if you have a lot of RAM available. It can impact the free space needed by your system on the hard drive.
     
  7. bcave098 macrumors 6502a

    bcave098

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Location:
    Northern British Columbia
    #7
    "Purgeable" is still data on the volume. So 5.14GB is really 0.85GB (or ~850MB) which can be used pretty quickly. So if something is trying to write to more space than that, you may get a message that it's full. You could delete the "purgeable" data to free up that space completely, but you should try to keep more free space on your volume.
     
  8. Cavara34 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #8
    Thanks.

    I just don't know why, even long after there's no free, usable space, the report from 'get info' doesn't reflect that as it's done for all of the years I've used a mac (including my current one) all of a sudden. Something has changed, whether it's related to Sierra or a failure with my mac.

    How can purgeable data be identified and purged?
     
  9. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #9
    As far as I can see you still haven't mentioned how big your HDD is. Despite that 5 gigs of free space is really nothing. Free up some space on that drive. Put music, photos etc. on an external drive or whatever. Seriously.
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    The space may also be being used by Time Machine snapshots - if you use Time Machine but don't have it automatically run, MacOS will store backups locally on the Mac's drive until they can be copied over to the TM volume.
     
  11. Cavara34 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #11
    Thanks. Can you tell me where these are located?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 14, 2016 ---
    Seriously? It's seriously 250 GB. Does that now tell you why right-clicking on the desktop icon doesn't yield an accurate measure of free space any more than if it were 150 GB or 300 GB?
     
  12. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #12
    They're not accessible through the GUI, but you can google some tips on removing them with Terminal commands.

    And if you want to spend a dollar or two, the app Daisy Disk (available in the App Store) will help you see where your space is being used. Perhaps there's some log file that's gone crazy and is using up all your free space.
     
  13. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #13
    I always turn off local Timemachine backups as they are not necessary for me. Follow these steps to disable them:

    • Launch Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
    • Enter the following command:

      Code:
      sudo tmutil disablelocal
    • Enter the admin password when requested to disable local backups
    Reboot the machine.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Time Machine's local snapshots are stored in a hidden folder. You can see how much space that folder is using by running the command below in Terminal.

    Code:
    sudo du -hs /.MobileBackups
    But in an earlier post you said you do not have Time Machine turned on. If that is true, you should not have that folder at all.

    Try running this command in Terminal and tell us the output. It will show all the base folders and their size in GB.

    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
     
  15. Cavara34 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #15
    Thanks for the help.
     
  16. mjohansen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #16
    Weaselboy, I seem to have a similar issue as OP (Whats taking up storage).

    Do you know if the storage in "About this Mac" or above terminal command is correct?

    On my iMac they don't quite agree. For example "applications" is 18 gb in "About this Mac" and 87 gb using the terminal command. Total usage is 316 vs 293.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    The Terminal command will be correct. Try running this to reindex Spotlight and it can help fix that storage readout being off.

    Code:
    sudo mdutil -E /
     

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