Hard drive completely full with "Other"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by knwood, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. knwood macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #1
    Yesterday my 2009 Macbook Pro started behaving erratically - I stopped being able to save anything, I had to force quit programs to get them to shut down, and other apps didn't want to open at all.

    After turning off the computer, I couldn't get it to boot again. In recovery mode, my HD is now completely full with "Other" - it was maybe half full previously with my normal files. It's a new SSD, only a few months old so I don't think it's the drive itself (I hope).

    Has anyone seen this before? Is any of my data still recoverable?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Download and use OmniDiskSweeper. It will provide a sorted list of what's consuming your space.

    If you run it with sudo (As shown below), it will include some system files that it woud not normally have access to scan. That is a more accurate representation of what's consuming your drive.
    Code:
    sudo /Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper
    Another option is to use this terminal command
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /

    I prefer to redirect it to a text file (this puts it in your Documents folder
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g / > ~/Documents/du.txt

    Like the sudo /Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper command, it will scan all directories, but produce a text file as opposed to showing the results in a window
     
  3. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for replying maflynn.

    If I can't boot my computer, how do I download OmniDiskSweeper?
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Do'h,

    I missed that.

    I believe your only option is to try to boot it from an external drive
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    It does sound unusual. Does the First Aid option in DU identify any issues?

    I would recommend getting a USB stick and then installing macOS directly to that. You can do that through the recovery partition. Then boot into that USB stick and you should be able to see what's taking up the space.

    Once you've booted into the USB, you can run some diagnostics within that: such as use OmniDiskSweeper, check SSD SMART health, see what data is recoverable, run volume repairs through DiskWarrior, etc. But with regards to your original problem, it's not something I've encountered, so we'll need to start with installing macOS to USB and muddle through from there.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #6
    Also the internet recovery may work (booting up, hold the cmd, option and R keys)
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    Have you tried to auto reinstall OS X?? This should keep your data and may fix everything, it may well not of course and a dead SSD is usually a complete data loss to be honest.


    Yeah that was what I was inelegantly trying to get across.
     
  8. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #8
    In recovery mode, can you actually browse / see the contents of the drive or does it not mount?
     
  9. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #9
    No worries :)

    I have a USB with my OSX on it. But I am unsure how to boot from it and see my current HD contents.

    The drive will not mount.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2017 ---
    As far as I know, my Macbook is too old and doesn't support Internet recovery.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2017 ---
    I've run First Aid on the HD and it comes back as fine and no problems.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    Hold Alt on startup and it should be visible there. :)

    Once you're booted into that, we should hopefully be able to access the internal drive through Finder and see what's what!
     
  11. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #11
    I've attached screensshots of what I've done. I assume you choose the start up disk? Nothing is available to select.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2017 ---
    BTW thanks hugely everyone for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    oohhhhh I see, that's an installer rather than the actual OS.

    Basically if you hold CMD+R on startup, or CMD+ALT+R for Internet Recovery, this will boot into macOS Utilities. Then select Disk Utility and wipe your USB drive. Close Disk Utility and select Reinstall macOS. Point it to the USB drive.

    This will then install an OS directly to your USB, which you can run from that. This should enable us to then boot into an OS and run some additional diagnostics to see what we can do with that internal drive.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    You may need to reformat and reinstall OS X on your internal drive at this point
     
  14. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #14
    Ah! Okay, i'll give that a go. I have to go out for a bit, so i'll attempt this later today - will reply with how I get on.

    Super duper thanks for the help.
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    I'm guessing you have already tried the PRAM/SMC reset and safe boot, so...

    Do you have any files on the SSD that are not backed up?


    Do you have access to another Mac?

    If yes,
    Have you tried removing the SSD, putting it in a USB enclosure, and then plugging it into the other Mac to see if it mounts?

    If no,
    Have you tried removing the SSD, putting it in a USB enclosure, and then trying to boot from the enclosure?

    (this will help rule out the possibility that there is a problem with the cable)
     
  16. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #16
    I've erased the USB, but can't partition it (tab is greyed out), which is what the OS installer needs me to do (screenshot attached).
     

    Attached Files:

  17. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #17
    Try the erase option instead
    1.png
    and ensure it looks like this, with GUID partition and macOS Extended Journaled:

    2.png
    then you should be able to install macOS to the drive. :)
     
  18. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #18
    Turns out my USB isn't big enough (needed about 8GB more).

    I have a Time Machine backup from December so decided to just restore from that.

    However, when I go to erase my HD I get an error. So It might be the SSD after all?

    I'm not sure what else to do :(
     

    Attached Files:

  19. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #19
    I/O issue and you recently replaced the HDD with an SSD, so more likely the SATA cable than the drive. Hopefully.

    13" or 15" 2009 MBP? Also are you in the US or elsewhere? I'm sure we'll find you a link for a new cable. Should be a simple repair.

    You can 100% verify if it's the HDD cable by taking out the SSD and plugging it in via USB SATA. If it works/boots through that, it's gotta be the SATA cable.

    Of course, the problem with the drive showing as being completely full as 'other' is a mystery to me... but with fingers and toes crossed, it's just a case of the cable giving a false reading or something. But not to worry, we've still got a few options available to diagnose where the problem lies.
     
  20. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #20
    Yes, new SSD (since Dec). 13" 2009 MBP.

    I'm in Spain for the year. Maybe iFixit EU?

    I have previously replaced the hard drive cable (maybe a little over a year ago). Is that the same as a SATA?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2017 ---
    So it's not the cable. I put my drive into another MBP and the same problem is happening :/
     
  21. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #21
    Yeah the HDD cable is the SATA cable. Oh dear, it must be the SSD if the issue occurs in another machine :(

    Very unusual for them to fail so soon. What brand was it please? It should still have warranty so at least you can get it sorted for free.

    Hopefully your time machine backup is quite recent, so you can restore directly to your new SSD :)
     
  22. knwood thread starter macrumors newbie

    knwood

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #22
    Samsung 850 EVO :(

    Should still be under warranty, so i'll investigate.

    Thanks again for all the help. Really appreciated.
     
  23. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #23
    Oh boy, must have been a lemon. Very unusual for them to die. Doubtful that TRIM would have contributed to the issue, but if you didn't have it enabled before, you can do so by typing sudo trimforce enable in Terminal after installing the OS on your new SSD.

    You can try to erase the SSD on your other Mac to 100% check it's the drive. On a very, very rare day, a faulty cable could cause unfixable volume corruptions. But we're just crossing fingers and toes at this point.

    Hope the replacement drive and subsequent OS restore goes smoothly. Best wishes! :)
     

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