Mysterious problem - free space disappearing

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Meecrob, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Meecrob macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    For some unknown reason, my hard drive is filling until no space is left. I have no programs open, and I just sit there watching the free space in finder slowly go down. If I delete something to free up space, it is eaten up right away. I can't find any process in activity monitor that might be responsible and a reboot does nothing. I have zero kb free space right now and no way to change it.

    What could be causing this? Can anyone figure out the problem?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
  3. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    Give this a shot:

    http://www.daisydiskapp.com/

    That will let you know what file is taking up the space.

    You said you don't see anything in Activity Monitor. But what are you looking for? I would check virtual memory.
     
  5. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Thanks for your reply.

    Virtual memory is holding steady. I can't pinpoint one exceptionally huge file that is growing. Is there any software that will log filesystem activity in real-time?
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  7. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    fs_usage doesn't point anything out right away.

    Now, free space will go up to about 600mb for a few hours and then reduce back to zero.

    Totally baffling.
     
  8. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Just cleaned and maintained with Onyx - disk space holding steady at 2.91gb. We'll see what happens.
     
  9. bikracer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    #9
    Hard Drive Space disappearing as well

    I have tried everything I can think of and am having the same problem. My hard drive has gone from 33 GB free to zero free space and I don't know why. I was finally able to regain some of it by deleting files (about a Gig) but this morning it was all gone again. :eek:
     
  10. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    I just noticed that swap files seem to expand the longer you run. It will make a new one each time it gets to a certain size, e.g. swapfile0, swapfile1... swapfile7. Not sure this accounts for all the missing space though.

    Seemed OK for a while, but the problem is back. Now when I leave my computer for a few hours and return all my programs are "frozen" due to lack of space for virtual memory - it's incredibly frustrating.
     
  11. gusxavier macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #11
    The same problem

    I'm figuring out the same problem. In this afternoon, I left my office and the harddrive has 75GB free. When I came back the space was zero! I restarted and now only 6GB is free.
     
  12. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #12
    I would suggest using "Instruments" from the dev tools
    to monitor disk activity.
     
  13. SLCS4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #13
    I've had the same problem and just discovered it is TechTool Pro 5 doing a directory backup. So if you have TechTool Pro, I would check the TechTool Protection system preferences.
     
  14. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    download and run omnidisk sweeper That will scan your HD and display a report of usage. You'll see the largest folders/files right at the top. You can then see what the cause is.
     
  16. j.coley43, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011

    j.coley43 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    tennessee
    #16
    try this worked for me

    i had this same problem i would delete all my cache and history and i even deleted 50 gig of data from my computer and i left my comp ONLINE and connected to the MAIL app. when i checked it again i had lost an un believable 20 gig in 8 hours. now if you go to your system files you will probably find that all your sent received and trashed mail is still on your hard drive if you have your email linked to this app. GO AND DELETE ALL OF IT IT WILL REMAIN ONLINE IN YOUR REAL EMAIL ACCOUNT this freed up 79 GIG on my computer. after that go into your mail settings and set it up not to save any attachments the actual mail is very small once again all of your data will remain on gmail or yahoo or hotmail servers whatever you use.

    MAC HD
    USERS
    (COMP USERNAME)
    LIBRARY
    MAIL
    MAILBOXES

    inside this folder is all your saved outbox inbox sent deleted mail and if u never have told it not to save it will continuously save mail to this folder. for a delete it will take a while mine took a good 9 hours hope this helps
     

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