Discussion in 'macOS' started by losingground, May 25, 2005.

  1. losingground macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2003
    I installed Tiger the day it was released and arrived, and ever since then my Powerbook has been a complete disaster area. Safari feels like I'm using narrowband, I cannot restart or shutdown my computer without the system locking at my wallpaper, application and finder freezes are inescapable, and weirdest of all my machine suffers from a magical shrinking hard drive!

    Allow me to explain...

    I log in with (regrettably) 2GB of HD space and after about half an hour of usage I get this: "Warning! Your start up disk is almost full!"

    I check my finder to find out I now have 135MB of space left. Mysterious.

    Screensaver lockups and ever-lasting beachballs are also not uncommon...

    ( ...iChat just crashed and won't force quit completely, time for a power-button restart... )

    I'll cut it short, If anyone can help me out it would mean a lot :(
  2. ac2102 macrumors member


    May 12, 2003
    Bristol - England
    OK first off, running any system with only 2GB free space is a bad idea. Any less than about 5GB is pushing the limit i guess. How much ram do you have in you powerbook?

    When the operating system needs to load a new program, it needs to free up space in memory. To do this it moves some of the information onto the hard drive so that it can be retrieved when needed again. This is particularly noticeable when you invoke Dashboard after a long period of not using it. The hard drive goes nuts for a second or two while it reloads all of the widget memory back from the hard drive in to memory.

    Is there any way you could free up a little more space on the drive?

    Also, have you done all the simple things like repair permissions? Make sure you have installed 10.4.1 as well, that may solve some of the problems.

    If you find that some programs do not quit completely, you can always remove them using the terminal. Open up the terminal and type
    killall nameofapp
    . That should get rid of it nicely.

    Hope that has helped a little,

  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    2GB of free hard drive space is not enough... You should be aiming for a minimum of 5GB free particularly if you don't have lots of RAM and OS X is having to use a lot of virtual memory. This is most likely what's causing your problem...

    Have you tried getting rid of some of the printer drivers you don't need? And using a delocaliser to get rid of some of the languages that you're not using? That should clear up a little space. You might also consider archiving some stuff to CD/DVD if you're not using it.

    Do a search for any large files - over 100MB say, and see if there's anything there that's unexpected or that you no longer need.
  4. dirtymatt macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2005
    A friend of mine has the shrinking hard drive problem. Tiger is gobbling up his hard drive with swap files. In terminal go to /var/vm and type "du -h" (no quotes). That should tell you how much space you're using with swap files. Now reboot and try it again. My guess is there will be more free disk space after the reboot and fewer swap files. Unfortunately I think the only real way to fix that problem is either delete files, or get a bigger hard drive. My G5 with 2Gigs of ram is using 2Gigs of swap files, so I don't think adding more ram will help.
  5. noht* macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    * hidden between worlds
    5% of your startup disk is reserved for the superuser, so that no user can trash the system by using up all available disk space. in your case however, even those 5% are not enough. get a bigger disk!
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    Omni Disksweeper is a great program that lists all the files on your hard drive, biggest to smallest. The free version will scan for you, but you'll have to find the files in Finder (or Spotlight it!) so you can delete them. It might be helpful for you.
  7. fishcalmer macrumors member


    May 2, 2005
    Are you using Photoshop? Or any other app which uses hard disk space as a scratch disk?

    Either way, as others have said you still need to free up as much space on your HD as possible (min 5Gb) or risk damaging crashes and panics and slowing your system to a crawl.

    Back up your entire system (Firewire drive/DVD's etc), clean install of the OS and only load back on things you need on a day-to-day basis should sort out your problem...good luck.
  8. paulypants macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    Back up all your stuff to an external drive and delete all the stuff to free up the space on your HD. If you didn't the first time, this would be the perfect opportunity to do a clean install of Tiger. Afterwards install your third party apps and system updates, remember to repair permissions afterward, it may be a good idea to repair the HD too using the install disk. 2GB is NOT enough to run the OS, I never allow a HD to go under 10GB, thats personal preference of course.

  9. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
  10. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    OK, a bit of a nag here. When I see the words "Tiger is a disaster area" or similar (also applies to Windows or any other platform) I have to point out a simple fact.

    There are many thousands (millions?) of people successfully using Tiger (and WinXP) with no problems at all. And there are many like you that have a lot of problems. But it's the same code running on the systems - the same freaking code! Except of course for the applications, utilities, plug-ins and other stuff that users install, that is beyond the control of Apple (or Microsoft). I accept that there are bugs that some users run into that others won't, but the level of problems you are experiencing here are beyond bugs. The finger points at you and your machine. As others have said, running with 2Gb free is asking, no begging, for trouble, and guess what? That's what you got. So don't blame Tiger, look at your system management practices.

    End nag
  11. BenAKL macrumors member


    Mar 27, 2005
    Tiger Upgrade

    Got my upgrade disc yesterday and upgraded my iMac. No problems so far, everything seems to be going OK :D
  12. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    Actually, the system was your only problem. OS X (any version of it, not just Tiger) makes extensive use of your HD for its virtual memory needs.
  13. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
  14. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    Back up your stuff on an external HD and do a clean install.
    I'm running tiger on a 10GB HD simply because it doesn't have all the trash that I accumulated (like my iMac HD does - and that's 70GB!)
  15. tehiv macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    I am having the same disappearing hd space issue on both of my machines.
    After reading up on it, I have dl'd WhatSize and discovered this file: HD>private>var>log>system.log

    It is 22.3 Gb.

    This happened overnight, with only Dashboard (no widgets running) and Suitcase X1 running.

    What gives? And how do I delete it? It won't allow me to delete it from WhatSize and it's invisible in Finder.

    UPDATE: Sorry... rebooted twice after I posted this and my space is back. Anyone got a clue why it happened in the first place? system.log is only 2.3Gb now.


    TiBook 400Mhz 10.4.1 1Gb RAM
    G5 Dual2.0 10.4.1 3.5Gb RAM

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