Disappearing Memory on Macbook Air 2011

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by erictsang, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. erictsang macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    #1
    I have Lion installed, and as I use the computer my SSD memory slowly decreases without downloading anything.

    I tried doing some googling and the only thing I could find was that I have 5 swap files each one about doubled in size and the biggest is 1GB. I also have a 4GB sleep image.

    I'm pretty sure I have enough RAM, is there another issue, how can I find it?

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  2. Madd the Sane macrumors 6502

    Madd the Sane

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    Utah
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    How big is your SSD? The OS uses swap files when there isn't space in RAM. It's Virtual Memory. The OS should remove the swap files when memory frees. You can restarts the computer to clear out the swap.

    The sleep image is used when your computer goes into deep sleep/hibernation mode; it stores the contents of the RAM to the hard drive and shuts the computer down. When you open the lid/press the power button, it loads info from the sleep image directly into RAM.

    As to these things taking up SSD space, you can't really do anything to change that. They're integral parts of the OS. Always have some space free on your hard drive just in case.
     
  3. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Apart from swap and sleep image, Lion also creates local Time Machine backups on you drive which my result in noticeable changes in free disk space.
     
  4. erictsang thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    #4
    Okay, I guess that's what the issue is then.

    I guess there's nothing wrong with my computer (128GB)... I hope

    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #5
    If you are keep running low on space it may be worth using MacKeeper or a similar utility to have a clear out - you can free up a surprising amount of room by killing unused language files, caches etc.

    I reviewed MacKeeper on my blog a couple of weeks back (link below)

    B
     
  6. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #6
    OP, just an FYI....your SSD is not memory but storage space.
     
  7. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    Here
    #7
    Depends on your native language

    In German it's memory..

    RAM is working memory..
     
  8. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #8
    This is most likely the culprit.
     
  9. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #9
    No, it does not. The above is wrong.
     
  10. cookie109 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #10
    Disappearing Hard Drive space

    Found this thread as it is very similar to the problem I'm having with my Macbook Air. I have lost a large amount of hard drive capacity and I can't work out how to get it back. I was moving a lot of large music files and the computer started warning me of low start up disk capacity which alerted me to the problem.

    The MBA has a 250GB SSD HD and if I do a "Get Info" on the Mac HD it shows I have only used 53GB and 196GB is available. However if I run disk utility it says that 147GB has been used and only 102GB is available. Examining the storage tab under About This Mac it agrees with this figure and shows that 94GB has been used up in Backups.

    Has anybody got any idea where these backups are and how to get rid of them? I have attempted verifying and repairing permissions as well as repairing disk to no avail and trash is empty.

    Many thanks

    Cookie
     
  11. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #11
    First make sure that you really are getting some kind of backups taken regularly.

    You can disable time machine from taking local backups on your laptop by using this command ( in terminal app ) sudo tmutil disable local ( time machine utility disable local backups ). It will prompt for an admin password.

    Make sure that you understand the implications of disabling local backups.
     
  12. cookie109 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 26, 2011
  13. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #13
    RAM is usually called "Arbeitsspeicher" or "Hauptspeicher" in German. In the context of computers, of course it translates to memory, but without that context, I would translate Speicher as storage.

    Permanent storage/memory has the same name confusion as in english. Usually it is referred to as "Festplatte", i.e. hard disc, even if it's a solid state drive.

    Also in english memory and storage are sometimes mixed up. For example, the english wikipedia entry for "computer data storage" defines "primary storage (or main memory or internal memory)" and "secondary storage (also known as external memory or auxiliary storage)." Primary storage is defined as the storage that the CPU has direct access to.
     
  14. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #14
    I would translate as memory..
    Thats all I was getting at..

    If you don't know the native language of the person typing don't point out the word usage
     
  15. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #15
    True.

    I think the term SSD memory is not technically wrong, just unusual.
     
  16. cookie109 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 26, 2011
    #16
    Disabling time machine from taking local backups sorted out the memory problems I was having, so thanks very much for that suggestion.

    Now I've got everything where I want it on my MBA it is probably a good idea to turn the local backups back on. Does anyone know the command to do this?

    C
     
  17. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
  18. cookie109 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 26, 2011

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