Disappearing Disk Space?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by roland.g, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I have a Mac Mini 1.66 with an 80GB HDD. That disk is nearly full. Need to move some stuff off of it. I woke it up and noticed a Startup Disk nearly full error message and checked my disk. 225 MB free space. The other day it had nearly 2GB. I haven't rebooted in a while. 1st thing I emptied Safari's cache. Launched activity monitor and watched my disk go back up to 257 MB and then slowly drop .2MB at a time back down to 205 or so over a 5 minute period. I can't figure out what is randomly filling up disk space like that. I checked the activity monitor for all processes and don't know what most are so I didn't know if I should quit any. I quit all open apps and rebooted and by disk space jumped back up to 1.37 GB. Activity monitor shows the space holding steady. One item in my processes that I found wierd was QuickBackBackgro, I searched the Apple site and google and no hits. Anyway, my disk hasn't changed since then. I had this issue once on my G4 and I remember that it was some enormous swp file that I had to dump. However I don't think Tiger has that issue. I remember the Applecare tech explaining at the time it was an OS issue that I would assume has been resolved.

    Any ideas on what might have done this. Is it just that I hadn't rebooted in so long. Or maybe other issues. I tried using the finder to search for all files greater than 100MB and it didn't return many results when I knew there were plenty more. Do I need to index my drive first or something. Any help would be great. Thanks.
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    I had a weird issue on my iMac G5 where for some reason everything was duplicated until there was no disk space left.

    Try using Disk Inventory X or Whatsize to see what is taking up your hdd space
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    2 GB is not enough free disk space...move some of that stuff off ASAP or you'll run increasing risk of system instability. The fluctuations in disk space you are seeing are likely swap files being generated as data from RAM is written out to disk.
  4. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I'm having the same problems. I have about 5 GB empty on my 100 GB drive which goes down pretty fast. Using Whatsize, my vm folder is 4.5 GB, with a good number of 512 MB swapfiles. Is it supposed to be that large? I'm going to delete stuff and get my free space up to 10 GB....
  5. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    That size VM is normal. I've heard that anywhere from 10-20% of your hard drive space should be free to allow the OS to operate efficiently.
  6. bodak3 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2007
    disappearing space

    hello guys,

    this is my very first post in this forum.
    I just acquired a 2nd-hand MBP(2.16 C2D, 2GB RAM, 160 GB) and the previous owner(a student leaving off college) has installed Windows XP on it.

    sadly enough i was duped into buying a non-working MBP, the first time i booted,it showed me the "blinking folder with question mark on it" icon.but luckily it came with the install cd 1&2. i did the installation and everything works fine.

    Just one small problem though, the Disk Utility shows that i have a 160gb HD capacity, but only 149gb of availability. and now, after the installation, i am left with 130gb. Do u think that there's a hidden partition somewhere in my HD, i've read somewhere that mac can't delete an NTFS partition, i was thinking that the missing space might have been NTFS partitioned.Please, any help would be extremely helpful. Thank u.:apple:

    also, the startup time for the MBP is ridiculously long, even my brother's black macbook starts up faster than mine. it's like the machine has to scan for the whole computer to locate the startup file.
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Nope, that's completely normal...a 160 GB hard drive is read as about 149 GB by your system. See here for more details.

    And about 20 GB for the default installation of OS X is the norm.

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