Hard drive suddenly full; usual suspects don't help. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by rafatmit, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. rafatmit macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I woke up today with my MacBook Pro's (internal, boot) hard drive completely full. It should have about 100 GB free (out of 500).

    So I searched around and tried some of the common solutions: removing the sleep image; trying Omni Disk Sweeper and DaisyDisk; emptying the trash; rebooting a couple of times. They didn't help.

    The really strange thing is that Omni Disk Sweeper and DaisyDisk don't see the extra space: once Omni Disk Sweeper sizes my disk, for instance, it sees a total of 388.8 GB of data, while "get info" on my hard drive says I have 497.2 GB used. But if I look at the four folders at my root level (Applications, Users, System, and Library), their reported sizes add up to 409 GB, not 497 GB.

    The triggering event was likely an effort to update a SuperDuper! backup overnight: it failed after about an hour. I see entries in my Console logs for SuperDuper! and a few background processes running into trouble because of a lack of disk space, but I don't see any entry that screams "I will now create an 80-gig log file." And if there is such a file, I can't find it.

    I'm running 10.6.6 and SuperDuper! 2.6.2 (v87), which is the latest version, on a recent MacBook Pro.

    Any ideas? :confused:
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
  3. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Like Omni Disk Sweeper and DaisyDisk, Disk Inventory X is missing 80 GB or so of space: it just doesn't show up in its view.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    Have you tried repairing permissions or using Disk Utility to verify or repair the disk?
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    Boot from your OS X install DVD and do both of these things then come back to it. Doing it within the running OS sometimes can't do what it needs to do.

    Then, if you still have space missing, make sure you've got your GB and GiB straight. That could add up to ~ 35 GB on a 500 GB disc.

    B
     
  6. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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  7. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Yes, and it did not seem to make a difference.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    From the OS X install disc?

    B
     
  9. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Good point on running them from another disk. I will have to do that tonight.

    Definitely not a GB/GiB problem - yesterday the disk had 80 GiB free under Apple's new counting methods in 10.6, and today it has none.
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #10
    Also try a little utility called GrandPerspective. It graphically shows the relative sized of all the files on a HD (or a folder, depending on what you choose to scan). Any big files will pop out at you, and you can then identify what and where. It's free, and I've used it in the past to find large files I couldn't easily track down.

    Just Google it, it's on SourceForge I think.

    Good Luck.
     
  11. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    You dont read do you?
     
  12. dvh13 macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I've seen this exact problem twice before and I think I know the solution. I'm a bit clueless as to the cause, but what I think happens is somehow SuperDuper gets confused and ends up cloning the drive to itself. If you go to the /Volumes folder on your HD you will see aliases to all of your physical drives (this is normal), in your case you will probably also see a folder (I don't remember what it will be called). This folder will be about the 100GB you are missing. Delete the folder and reclaim your space. If you are denied access to remove the files you can use the "rm" command from the terminal to remove the folder.

    In case you don't know how to access the /Volumes folder simply choose Go from the menu bar in Finder and choose Go to Folder... Then type the path of the folder which is simply /Volumes
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    Why run GrandPerspective when the OP already stated he used many similar apps?
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    If Disk Inventory X, DaisyDisk and Omni Disk Sweeper couldn't find it, why would you expect GrandPerspective to? :p

    (It seems a bit more actively developed than Disk Inventory X, so it may take its place in my toolkit, thanks).

    B
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #15
    I will second Disk Inventory X. Runaway logs or something /tmp might cover some more bases. /tmp should be clear though.
     
  16. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Turns out I have a boot disk here after all. Repairing permissions and repairing the volume don't seem to have done anything.

    Trying dvh13's theory now.
     
  17. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    You can't seem to read either can you? Read the whole thread instead of the thread title...
     
  18. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    That did it! Thank you very much. /Volumes had a folder in it with the same name as my clone, which was about 80 GB. Deleted it and now I have 80 GB free.

    Thanks! Now off to submit a SuperDuper! bug report.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    ... and perhaps to download Carbon Copy Cloner!

    Glad you got it sorted out!
     
  20. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #20
    Disk Inventory X appears to still be quite dead after getting a Universal Binary beta but I prefer the interface. It is getting quite old though compared to its siblings though.
     
  21. dvh13 macrumors newbie

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    #21
    +1
    This has happened to my father twice (the solution took me hours to find the first time). One time using SuperDuper and once using WD backup software. I suggested that he switch to Carbon Copy Cloner and he has had no issues since.
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #22
    I do, thank you very much. I'm also polite.

    Because every utility does things slightly differently, and therefore it might have dredged up something. Because GP is being actively developed. Because it's free and easy, and when I posted my message, the advice from dvh13 - with specific experience of the problem - hadn't been posted yet. In my experience on these boards if dvh13 hadn't solved the problem (big cheer from here) the next pieces of advice would have been to reinstall the OS. Which may or may not have solved the problem, but are certainly much more intrusive than running another file utility that might have calculated space differently and might have, at a minimum, indicated some new and useful information.
     
  23. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

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    #23
    That's really good to know. I use Super Duper--no problems--but I can see how that could happen--maybe something preventing write to external--who knows--but that /Volumes tip is something I will keep just in case. :)
     
  24. rafatmit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    I sent the SuperDuper! folks an email letting them know about my experience, and got a response nine minutes later. It's a known issue that arises when the destination drive unmounts itself in the middle of some system calls. The destination volume disappears from /Volumes, and SuperDuper! keeps on copying data to a folder there instead. They're working on a way to detect the problem without slowing the program down too much.

    The worst part of this whole experience: now I have Rosetta installed. Ah well.
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #25
    I take it you didn't see the Universal Binary version of Disk Inventory X?

    Any clue why those tools didn't see it, or did you just filter it out in your head because it was in /Volumes?

    B
     

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