Did my mac delete my files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by swingerofbirch, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America

    I having recently learned that the reason I have been having computer problems is because I only had 1.3 GB of hard disk space left on my eMac which has an 80 gb drive.

    First off, I didnt know you had to leave a certain amount of space for your computer to function. As I now understand it my computer was crashing and causing me thus to lose unsaved documents because virtual memory was eating up some and apparently all of that 1.3 GB. Apple support was nice, but could not answer more technical questions for me--in fact one support agent had never heard of virtual memory.

    My first question is why virtual memory would use that much hard disk space, when I have 768 MB of physical RAM?

    Second, why did I not receive any warning messages? The people at Apple said I should have received warning messages about low hard disk space.

    Third, when I restarted my computer it had instead of 1.3 GB available, 2.23 GB available. Did it EAT my documents to make more room? I'll admit I am a digital packrat so it would take me a long time if ever to notice if certain things are missing. I have now gone through and made 8 GB left available until I can get another external hard disk to do more backup. However, can someone tell me how my computer magically made over 1 GB appear after a hard shutdown and restart? Thanks so much!!!!! You guys are geniuses.
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    You virtual ram is released on a restart. Keep using your computer and you'll notice the available space go down.

    Macs are RAM hungry. 768 MB is not considered a lot of RAM for OS X. It is a good amount to have a nice experience, but not enough to really make your Mac "scream".
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    Just note that the more applications you run the more VM you use. Here's an old, but relevant thread on the subject.

    When OS X finally gives you a warning then it's almost too late, that doesn't happen until you actually are about to damage the system.

    Probably freed up some VM files and some temp files... a restart every now and then is good for that when you're running out of HD space... ;)
  4. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    you can probably free up another gig with monolingual and you can probably free up at least another gig by trashing all your printer drivers at HD/Library/Printers and then redownloading the latest driver for your specific printer. Check out omnidisksweeper to help locate other big useless stuff.
  5. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Thanks guys.

    They should really warn people about this...I considered myself a fairly intermediate Mac user, but didn't comprehend exactly how much empty disk space is required.

    Oh boy have I had a day....working on a paper for finals..trying to move data off old hard disk back to my PC..so I could put old video on it from my Mac.......was not good times....have to get back to work, but the bottom line, as always, in my computer frustrations, was that Windows sucks ;)

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