Macbook hard drive space inaccurate

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rumblemonkey, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. rumblemonkey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #1
    Hello.

    I made an account for this forum site just because of this issue I am going through. I have a 2006 MacBook with a hard drive of 160gb.

    The problem is that "get info" of Macintosh HD indicates that there is 75gb of space left, whereas if I preview the Macintosh HD it says 32gb of space left. Also the Widget called istat Nano indicates 29gb of free space.

    I have tried repairing permissions and repairing disk through Disk Utility.
     
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #2
    Repairing permissions absolutely will not fix your problem. I wish people would stop spreading this superstition that repairing permissions is something you should do for every issue. Will it hurt your machine? No, but it wastes a lot of your time doing something that's not going to fix anything.

    That being said, check out DiskInventory X. It doesn't ask for root access, so there's the possibility it still won't find what's taking up your HD space. If so, there's a way to run it as root.
     
  3. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #3
    I am sorry, but I have not much knowledge and experience with Mac OSX troubleshooting. I just felt that indicating any troubleshooting steps that I have taken may narrow down the search for a solution.

    I have also tried an application called Onyx, tried the "maintenance", "cleaning", and "automation" executions, but still the issue persists.

    I will try DiskInventory X and update this thread accordingly.

    I am still open for more suggestions, however.

    Thanks!
     
  4. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #4
    Okay, so I tried using DiskInventory X. I used sudo command in terminal to enable root access while running DiskInventory X and still could not find the "hidden" file thats taking up space in my hard drive. I also tried running Onyx with root access enabled, but the issue still persists.

    What did I do wrong? What else can I do?
     
  5. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #5
    Here is a screen shot of the issue I am having. Take a look at the attached screen shot!
     

    Attached Files:

  6. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #6
    I starting to think my only option to clear this issue is to completely wipe my hard drive, and restore my system from a time machine backup. Would this solve the problem?
     
  7. Detrius macrumors 68000

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    Sep 10, 2008
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    Asheville, NC
    #7
    Onyx just does the same stuff you listed that you've already done.

    From the screenshot, it looks like what you're seeing is two different reports that should never disagree under any circumstances... but they are. I suspect, therefore that it would either be a bug or directory structure corruption. For the latter, either running Disk Warrior or reformatting would fix it. For the former, running Software Update could fix it.
     
  8. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #8

    Thank you for your reply. I will try disk warrior application and then update this thread accordingly.

    However if this does not work, I think my last resort would be to reformat my drive and then restore everything from Time Machine backup.
     
  9. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a

    dlimes13

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Perrysburg, OH
    #9
    I had the exact same issue happen to me on my MBP. However, a few restarts resolved the problem itself. Try that.
     
  10. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    #10
    I also read on a different thread that you want to be sure to empty your trash to make sure there is nothing taking up space in there, then restart. Just my $.02
     
  11. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for the input! Unfortunately restarting my MacBook did not provide relief. I think I have restarted my computer 5 or 6 times since this issue has started.

    Also, an update on Disk Warrior: I haven't tried it yet because I found out it is not freeware. I think my only option is to wipe out my drive and restore it from a time machine backup.. Unless there is another possible work-around???

    It seems that this issue happens to quite a few people, after doing a quick google search. It would be great if we can get a solid resolution for future reference.
     
  12. gyorpb, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011

    gyorpb macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #12
    It's the local backups. Do you use your MacBook away from your Time Machine backup a lot?

    I have the same issue, however since I only have a few GB of local backups on my drive, the difference is much smaller. Look under the storage tab in the more info panel of "About this Mac", the amount of space listed under backup is most likely the difference you are seeing.

    [​IMG]

    This new local backup mechanism seems a little rough around the edges.

    .tsooJ
     
  13. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #13
    Yes I do use my MacBook away from my Time Machine Backup. I basically am away for the whole week and when I come home, I back up to my external HD using Time Machine. So how can we fix this?
     
  14. gyorpb macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #14
    You could turn off local backups, there's a few articles floating about on the internet telling you how.

    Or you could ignore it; older backups will be deleted as space is required. That is probably the root of the discrepancy in reporting free space, to begin with.

    .tsooJ
     
  15. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2011
    #15
    I want to confirm with anyone here that IF I completely wipe out my macbook hard drive, and then restore from time machine backup, will this problem be eliminated?
     
  16. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16
    Only if you turn off the mobile backups as described above.

    As long as you are using Time Machine and not backing up regularly you will always have this discrepancy.

    There is no point at all in wiping everything and restoring from Time machine - it will not achieve anything......
     
  17. gyorpb macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #17
    What surprises me is the enormous amount of backup space some people seem to need. Do you run VM's and not have them excluded from Time Machine?

    .tsooJ
     
  18. rumblemonkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #18
    Can you please give me a walkthrough of how to turn off the mobile backups?

    I would like to recover the missing hard drive space so I can proceed and install Windows 7 via Boot Camp.

    ----------

    I do not use VM (Virtual Macine?). The only folders that I exclude from backup is my desktop and downloads folder. I think what triggered the issue was when I deleted a large folder on my desktop that was around 30GB. After that I noticed that emptying the recycling bin did not free up any space on my hard drive.

    Would you agree that this may be the cause of the issue?
     
  19. alexpja, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

    alexpja macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #19
    I believe the local backups still have that 30GB of the desktop items, and will hold on to them until you either disable backups or wait for the backups to delete themselves.

    Here is how to delete them and prevent them from happening again:

    Go to Terminal, and type in:
    Code:
    sudo tmutil disablelocal
    and enter your password when requested.

    Hope that helps :)

    Edit: I also did this, before I had 2.49GB of backups, now I have 0. (I am currently installing the GM seed of Xcode, so I had 63GB, deleted 2.5GB, have 60GB of the installation :p [and I have free space on the HDD, 60GB according to the Sys. Info, it was on purpose])
     

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