How can this be? Startup Disk Full?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by whoami99, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. whoami99 macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I recently came to know that my fiance's Air hdd is already full. All 120GB is used up. That's really strange because here are the list of programs installed other than the 'out of the box' software

    Microsoft Office
    600 Songs in iTunes
    300 Photos in iPhoto

    Her Air is only 2 weeks old. Don't know how can it fill up so fast? Any ideas?
  2. AlecEdworthy macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2007
    Leicestershire, UK

    If I were you I'd grab myself a copy of OmniDiskSweeper (Free from OmniGroup) and run it to find out what's taking up all the space.
  3. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Or DaisyDisk or DiskWave or GrandPerspective.
  4. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Move those photos to an external hard drive. Then if you want to do the same for the songs then do so, or subscribe to a cloud based music program such as Spotify and you will suddenly have the majority of your space back.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I think he needs to find out what is taking up the space before he goes through this trouble. Those songs and pics shouldnt be eating up that much space.
  6. macfly4 macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2011
    check to see if there are photos in the TRASH in iPhoto. lots of people delete photos and don't realize that you have to specifically empty the trash in iPhoto or else they are all stored there and quickly take up space.
  7. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    Is the computer syncing with any iPhones/iPod touches/iPads?
    iTunes periodically makes backups of them and these can add up quickly. At one point I had nearly 100gb of backups. 32gb iPhone and 64gb iPad, maybe 2-3 backups of each.

    Omni disk sweeper is absolutely worth the download. One of my most used utilities.
  8. litchblade macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011

    I would also consider to use OmniDiskSweeper, I noticed with that tool that I have 50gb of iPhone4 Backups on my 256GB SSD... Also deleted some apps like Photoshop which I never use and are really big.
  9. aaronpeh macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    I have 70gb of data in my trash with my 3 weeks old mba....
  10. litchblade macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Mba 256 ssd

    I got on my 256 SSD:

    125 GB free
    65 GB used
    45 GB Bootcamp for Windows 7
  11. Jamie37211 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Do any of you with this issue currently have Time Machine on in Lion? If so, when you have TM on without an external HD hooked up, it'll "cache" all backups on your local drive until the next time you connect the external drive. It'll keep doing it until all of your local drive space is gone. I know this because it happened to me.

    What I did to free up the space was turn off Time Machine and shut down the computer. After I restarted it, all of that space was free.

    This may not be any of your issues, but if it is, I hope this helps.
  12. whoami99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I used OmniDiskSweeper (thanks AlecEdworthy) to figure out the folder sizes. It turns out the her Mail seems to have stored all the emails in the hard drive and apparently eating up about 100GB.

    It's stores eveything as .emix format and IMAP settings were used for her Mail. I have the same settings on my Macbook Pro (also using Lion) but I don't have same problem.

    Anyone else is also facing this issue? I guess I have to delete the account and try again?

    Thanks again.
  13. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    That doesn't sound right, I receive multiple emails per day on various different email accounts and it totals at well less then 1 GB. Unless you have emails that have many large pictures in them it shouldn't be a problem. Not quite sure what you should do right now, there is definitely some file corruption or something of the sort as 100GB for emails is absurd.
  14. crspechicn macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2011
    My advisor had installed thunderbird on his new Dell 500 GB desktop computer and about 2 weeks later he emailed me and said his HD was full. I came in and took a look at it -- it had downloaded all of his email (including 20,000 unread messages -- don't ask) including all archive folders and everything, which added up to 465 GB. Needless to say he's received a few emails from IT asking him to delete some email. He hasn't deleted a message since the mid 90's I'm sure, and receives 20 MB PPT files daily. There is no hard quota on email at our school (for the engineering school) so I had to tell the mail program to not save or download attachments.

    It's not unheard of to have that much email. If she only has a 1GB email folder, of course there's a problem somewhere.
  15. sibradbury macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2011
    I'm struggling a bit with my Mac Mini. I got the startup disk full message recently and saw that I had around only 1gb left. Now, I only use my mac for photos and music and i've transferred that to an external drive.

    After looking on this forum I deleted all my .dmg files that i'd left (total rookie!) and also downloaded Omni Disk Sweeper to see where all my memory was being taken up.

    A bit of poking around showed that I had loads of OS9 'Classic Applications' on my mac mini! OS9!!!!!! This must have been from when I first got it and plugged it into the family G4 to transfer all my user account info etc over.

    Can i just use something such as AppZapper to remove all this? Is there other os9 stuff that will be clogging up my hard drive? Is it even advisable to remove all the old apps??

    Thanks in advance!
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In most cases, app removal software such as AppZapper doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this.

    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
  17. ekivemark macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2006
    Washington DC Metro Area
    I am currently using TimeMachine and have been having problems with TimeMachine Backups completing. I have just switched to a new TimeMachine backup disk and will see if the problem goes away if I complete the backup.

    I currently have 143GB of 256GB SSD free yet Terminal reports that my startup drive is almost full. This causes Spotlight to erase the index and rebuild itself.
  18. ekivemark, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    ekivemark macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2006
    Washington DC Metro Area
    MacBook Air - Lion - StartUP Disk Full - With 140GB free

    I am still trying to diagnose this. Erasing files in Trash seems to take forever. I have just uninstalled Adobe CS4 to push free space up to 158GB - I am off to the Apple Store tomorrow for some expert assistance. Therefore I unregistered and uninstalled CS$. The problem is the machine froze in the middle of uninstalling. I also have kept finder open and have seen the startup disk full message and switched to finder to see My disk free space drop to 50GB and 80GB and then back up to 140GB in a matter of seconds. Very weird.

    This message seems to trigger spotlight to erase it's index and rebuild. But Spotlight shouldn't be taking 140GB to index 110GB of files (including the OS) but the machine seems in a vicious cycle. The error comes up. The index is deleted. It immediately reindexes for 8-10 hours. The message comes up again and it repeats the cycle.

    I did go in to Terminal and check preferences because one of the errors referred to the scroll back buffers in Terminal. These were set to use available memory. I have changed this initially to 1,000 lines and then to 200 lines but this doesn't seem to have made a difference.

    I am wondering if there is a bug in the code that is looking at Disks03 - the pseudo recovery CD which is 650MB and is basically full.

    I have also looked at the disk volumes and see that the time machine backup is attached via localhost. But it is connected to /Volumes. The /.MobileBackups folder seems to store lots of copies of backups. However, my backup to TimeCapsule is now working and my MacBook Air is backed up over the network. So there shouldn't be files hanging around waiting to be backed up.

    Sorry for the rambling but I figure there are a number of people suffering with this weird error where they have plenty of diskspace so the more information shared - the more likely we are to close in on the real culprit.

    Is it something in the 10.7.2 LION Update since this condition is only a recent phenomenon.
  19. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
  20. ekivemark macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2006
    Washington DC Metro Area

    The interesting thing is that the local backups for time machine are NOT consuming disk space according to the space available value in Finder.

    I also suspect that when TimeMachine attempts to connect to the remote disk for backup and it fails - because I am not at home with access to the network - Time Machine Errors and then I get the Low Disk Space warning and if I can get to Finder I see the disk space available value drop by 70-80GB and then return to prior levels.

    I have erased the volume, reinitialized and re-installed the OS and now restored my data from Time Machine. I will be watching my laptop for the next week to see if the problems return.
  21. jcssj macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2012
    Startup disk full

    I don't know if this is relevant to your problem but today I had my corsair ssd that has 40gb free on it do the same thing. 0bytes free. I couldn't save anything. I tried moving some stuff to a jump drive but the os locked up during transfer. I had to hard reset and after booting the 40gb was free again. I have nothing that could have legitimately used the space. OS error? SSD mis report or fail? I'll report if it happens agian.
  22. lukiluke macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2013
    similar problem

    I often get the same message and as soon as I restart my macbook I suddenly have 30 gb free again. I really can't think of any reason why something like that would happen.
  23. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    iTunes. If you are auto-downloading a lot of different video podcasts and you never delete them, it adds up quickly.

    Also Chrome browser is a pig. I love it - puts Safari to shame - but if I have many tabs open, over time Chrome eats up RAM, sometimes seem to eat up to almost 10Gb.
  24. bellatrixr809 macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2013
    "Other" = 16gb

    Having the same startup disk full message as described & now trying to free up space.

    About This Mac shows I nearly have 5gb free, but I'm puzzled by the largest space hog designated as "Other." How can I find out more about that & free up space w/out deleting something essential?

    Downloaded Omnisweep & need some schooling before I delete something necessary. Thx.

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