My hard drive is full!

mikecwest

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2013
1,026
379
Try various things like:

1. EMTPY trash
2. Open your DOWNLOADS folder, look for incomplete downloads, or un-needed downloads. Drag them to the trash. You might want to Sort by Size, so the largest ones will go on top.
3. You might run a tool such as CleanMyMac (I know a lot of users here will advise against that, but it is an easy way to free up some space.)
4. Check the root of your drive for PREVIOUS SYSTEM FOLDER....If you think you don't need it, then drag that to the trash as well.
5. Check your desktop for stuff you don't want or need. Drag those items to the trash.
6. Check your documents folder for stuff you don't want or need, drag them to the trash.
7. Check your user directory for un-wanted items, drag them to the trash.
8. EMTPY trash again.

Did that help?
 
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Stupotpot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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I probably should have said, but this can't be accurate - I hardly have any large files stored on my Mac so I've no idea what this "other" could be!

I've got a time machine, but not sure how I'll know when this other appeared so don't know how far back to back up to if that makes sense?! Could this be linked to installing El Capitan?
 

mikecwest

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2013
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379
I probably should have said, but this can't be accurate - I hardly have any large files stored on my Mac so I've no idea what this "other" could be!

I've got a time machine, but not sure how I'll know when this other appeared so don't know how far back to back up to if that makes sense?! Could this be linked to installing El Capitan?
You can also use Disk Inventory X to see what is taking up space. You can find Disk Inventory X on MacUpdate.com


You might also be using "local time machine backups," this can add up fast if you make frequent changes, or large changes such as updating your OS. It basically will "cache" your time machine backups, until you connect your Time Machine, and sync that data to your time machine drive.

Here is some more info on that.... https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3825195?tstart=0
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,437
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California
So I installed El Capitan last week and since then, I've got 136GB off "other" and my hard drive is full!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xw70qqxsa4tv2xj/Screenshot 2015-10-07 16.45.14.png?dl=0

Not sure what do do...any suggestions anyone?!
Try the command-r boot to recovery and disk repair from there like Morpheo suggested. If that does not work, run the command below in Terminal to show us what each of the base folders is using then paste the results up here for us to take a look.

Some of the GUI disk space tools may help, but most of them won't show hidden and some system files like this command will.

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,116
2,321
Nobody is asking how big an HDD the OP has? Or maybe suggesting he get a bigger drive?

On thing I noticed, is that when you open Disk utility and click on a drive the first time, it will display all contents as "Other". If you then click on something else and return to the same drive it will show the contents correctly.

Lou
 

thekayman

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
290
47
This is definitely a bug. On my Mac, "other" was close to 90GB yesterday, but somehow it didn't count towards used space (in Disk Util, the disk looked almost full, but free space was still reported >100GB). Today, "other" is only 35GB -- which is about what my docs, system and library are taking up.

Also, since installing El Cap my free space (as reported in both Finder and Disk Util) has varied widely between 105-145GB -- without me doing anything.
 

Stupotpot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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Newcastle Upon Tyne
Thanks for the reply guys! I've not used my Mac much this week (due to playing with my new iPhone!) so I'm in the process of restoring a time machine backup to see if that helps. If not, I'll give the above a go!
 

mikecwest

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2013
1,026
379
I probably should have said, but this can't be accurate - I hardly have any large files stored on my Mac so I've no idea what this "other" could be!

I've got a time machine, but not sure how I'll know when this other appeared so don't know how far back to back up to if that makes sense?! Could this be linked to installing El Capitan?
You can also use Disk Inventory X to see what is taking up space. You can find Disk Inventory X on MacUpdate.com

You might also be using "local time machine backups," this can add up fast if you make frequent changes, or large changes such as updating your OS. It basically will "cache" your time machine backups, until you connect your Time Machine, and sync that data to your time machine drive.

Here is some more info on that.... https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3825195?tstart=0

This is definitely a bug. On my Mac, "other" was close to 90GB yesterday, but somehow it didn't count towards used space (in Disk Util, the disk looked almost full, but free space was still reported >100GB). Today, "other" is only 35GB -- which is about what my docs, system and library are taking up.

Also, since installing El Cap my free space (as reported in both Finder and Disk Util) has varied widely between 105-145GB -- without me doing anything.
Also...If you have files linked "symbolically" it may count those items twice. Just so you know, the local time machine backup, links symbolically.
 
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mikecwest

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2013
1,026
379
Try the command-r boot to recovery and disk repair from there like Morpheo suggested. If that does not work, run the command below in Terminal to show us what each of the base folders is using then paste the results up here for us to take a look.

Some of the GUI disk space tools may help, but most of them won't show hidden and some system files like this command will.

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
Disk Inventory X will show hidden files, even DS STORE files (they don't take much space).
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,573
760
Yes
I'd bet one of the "ever growing error log" issues.
A few hundred bytes every 10 seconds, and pretty soon your HD is full.
Onyx will clean out cache, log and temp files for you.
Version for el Capitan isn't out yet, so a little manual labor might be needed to tide you over.
Do not use an older version, it'll do bad things for you.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,437
10,243
California
Disk Inventory X will show hidden files, even DS STORE files (they don't take much space).
It does not show the hidden system files I am talking about. I just installed it and scanned my disk and you can see all the folders with the red dash show zero where the Terminal command shows the actual space used by those folders.

None of these apps I have seen show the size of these hidden system folders because they do not have proper permissions. Running the Terminal command with sudo allows those folders to be viewed.

Screen_Shot_2015-10-07_at_4_23_18_PM.png
 

mikecwest

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2013
1,026
379
It does not show the hidden system files I am talking about. I just installed it and scanned my disk and you can see all the folders with the red dash show zero where the Terminal command shows the actual space used by those folders.

None of these apps I have seen show the size of these hidden system folders because they do not have proper permissions. Running the Terminal command with sudo allows those folders to be viewed.

View attachment 590585
I see what you mean. The hidden folders that I was looking at were ones that I made hidden by adding a . in front of the name, and were not system folders. In case you didn't know, adding a . in front of a filename will make the file hidden like .TEMP or .nudeKITTINS for example. (Note: those are not real files on my computer.)
 

edjusted

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2010
48
2
After you reboot, did you get any space back? El Capitan seems to have a problem/leak with virtual memory, especially if you have a lot of Youtube videos open and it could use up a lot of disk space very quickly. I used to restart Yosemite maybe once every two weeks. With El Capitan, I've been having to do it every day.
 

Stupotpot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
323
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Newcastle Upon Tyne
The size of the 'other' dropped from 135GB to 105GB, so a slight improvement, but still not ideal. I'll try some of the terminal commands, but not too confident. May have to suck it up and ring Apple Support and pay them £20!
 

dsemf

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2014
375
83
It's not my files etc. Causing this though! I've got a 256GB hard drive and probably only use about 40% of it for storage. This "other" is a mystery that's only just appeared!
Have you had a chance to run the terminal command that Weaselboy posted?

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
Copy the results from the terminal window and paste them in a reply.

DS
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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It's not my files etc. Causing this though! I've got a 256GB hard drive and probably only use about 40% of it for storage. This "other" is a mystery that's only just appeared!
The size of the 'other' dropped from 135GB to 105GB, so a slight improvement, but still not ideal. I'll try some of the terminal commands, but not too confident. May have to suck it up and ring Apple Support and pay them £20!
What is you are not confident about? That command will show us exactly what is going on. If you are concerned about running that command, just search the forums for the exact text of the command, and you will see many others here have used that to successfully diagnose drive space issues. Nothing bad will happen if you run that command.

It's not my files etc. Causing this though! I've got a 256GB hard drive and probably only use about 40% of it for storage. This "other" is a mystery that's only just appeared!
Earlier you said your drive was almost full. Is that no longer the case and now you have only 40% used? Does that sound about correct based on what you have stored on there? If it does, just ignore what "Other" says and forget about this. That Other storage readout is notoriously messed up and inaccurate. That storage graphic will show the correct total, but most of the categories are wrong. For example I have an 8GB Photos library and that readout shows I have 1.2GB of Photos.
 

pat500000

Suspended
Jun 3, 2015
8,523
7,512
It's not my files etc. Causing this though! I've got a 256GB hard drive and probably only use about 40% of it for storage. This "other" is a mystery that's only just appeared!
I can't deny...i get that too. Hmm...
 

Stupotpot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
323
301
Newcastle Upon Tyne
What is you are not confident about? That command will show us exactly what is going on. If you are concerned about running that command, just search the forums for the exact text of the command, and you will see many others here have used that to successfully diagnose drive space issues. Nothing bad will happen if you run that command.



Earlier you said your drive was almost full. Is that no longer the case and now you have only 40% used? Does that sound about correct based on what you have stored on there? If it does, just ignore what "Other" says and forget about this. That Other storage readout is notoriously messed up and inaccurate. That storage graphic will show the correct total, but most of the categories are wrong. For example I have an 8GB Photos library and that readout shows I have 1.2GB of Photos.
It was full yesterday so I restored a Yosemite backup. I used chat to talk to Apple Support who suggested I reindex Spotlight and delete old, unused apps etc. which I have done. I've upgraded back to El Capitan, and in the process of transferring my iTunes library to my Time Capsule. I've run the terminal command and got the following:

1 /.DocumentRevisions-V100

1 /.fseventsd

44 /.MobileBackups

1 /.Spotlight-V100

0 /.Trashes

0 /.vol

20 /Applications

1 /bin

0 /cores

1 /dev

1 /home

4 /Library

5 /lost+found

1 /net

0 /Network

4 /private

1 /sbin

5 /System

124 /Users

1 /usr

1 /Volumes

205 /

205 total

As to what it means, I have no clue!! Thanks for all the help everyone though!


Here is the storage screenshot too.

I'm starting to think this may be normal now and I need to accept it, unless someone tells me otherwise of course!
 

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