Space on hard drive disappears after delete of files / no start up disk space

Discussion in 'macOS' started by AlakaDan, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. AlakaDan, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    AlakaDan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #1
    So, firstly I'd like to stress that I am a first time poster on MacRumors, a 'newbie' if you will - so please be patient with me if I don't get all my terminology right and repeat myself a but :) Also, I know that the problems I am about to list are nothing new - however there appear to be SO many variants as to how these issues can be resolved (some of which I have tried, others just confuse me) that I'd hope someone could pinpoint how to resolve my conundrum more accurately.

    Basically my issues began about 2 weeks ago when I tried to copy some pictures over from my camera to my desktop only to be met with numerous error messages followed by a 'your startup disk memory is running low' warning. Surprised, I checked my available memory and, sure enough, I only had something like 300MB of my hard drive (500GB capacity) left. I found this odd as I don't really have THAT much stuff on my laptop and last time I checked I had around 250GB of free space. I deleted a few movies, emptied my trash, got rid of some pictures and my available space shot up to 10GB - great, until it slowly began to diminish right in front of my eyes back to the 300MB that I started with.

    Confused, I began the research which lead me to this forum and lead me to try a few options. I searched on my Disk Utility and saw that it stated I had 146GB of free space which totally contradicted the 300MB I was seeing at the bottom of my Finder window. I read something about doing the 'erase free space' thing which has (apparently) cured people's Mac's who are suffering similar problems - only for my DU to then tell me that I had 300MB available and the other 145.7GB had vanished.

    I did some more research and found that using 'GrandPerspective' would help me understand more about where my memory was being used which indicated a solid 80GB was tied up in iMovie projects which I swiftly deleted only to watch, over the next 30 minutes or so, all 80GB of free space get slowly eaten by the invisible worms hiding in my hard drive to leave me with just over 300MB again.

    I have NO idea what is causing these problems - all I know is that it's very, very frustrating.

    Some key points that may (or may not) be important:

    - I do not have Time Machine active on my MacBook
    - I'm using OSX 10.6 (I think?!)
    - I have a 2008 MacBook Aluminum
    - My battery life has become very tempremental since the issues started (I'm assuming it's nothing more than a coinsidence)
    - I don't like making lists

    Any help would be massively appreciated and, if possible, could you speak to me in baby talk as I struggle to keep up with a lot of the posts due to the abbreviations people use etc. ;)

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    wondering if you have some progra running away and filling a log file?

    Try to reboot in safe mode...

    then see what processes are running..
     
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #3
    First of all, if you don't have a backup strategy in place: get one. Trouble with disks and one copy of your files is not a good recipe.
    Secondly, the high battery consumption may well be linked to the excessive disk filling.

    Make sure you haven't got any third-party software running in the background. Check System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items.

    Open Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder. This will show you what processes use the most CPU and Memory (you can sort the columns by those fields), and will also provide info about Disk Activity.

    Next, download OmniDiskSweeper. This is an app that shows you all the files in your hard drive, sorted by size. It makes it very easy to find out where the large chunks of stuff are that you don't want.
     
  4. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #4
    Update

    Thanks both for your replies :)

    I have done as advised, despite not really knowing what to look for, and have taken pictures of the information I was presented with. Does it all look normal to you?

    Also, I downloaded OmniDiskSweeper - deleted a few unneeded files only to watch my hard drive memory go from 12GB back down to 200MB in a matter of minutes.

    Any more advice would be hugely appreciated!
     

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  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #5
    I would try boot, check space..then do nothing..don't run Chrome, don't run any of your usual apps, just bring up activity monitor and see what is going on. Something is running amok. Are you using any kind of utube downloader? or downloading anything at all?
     
  6. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #6
    I don't have any downloaders running at all - I have VUZE installed but I haven't used it for months. I have recently installed a massive Adobe Package (Photoshop, After Effects, Audition etc) but I don't know if that is having any effect?!

    This is what I got when I rebooted without opening anything - again, I have NO idea what I'm looking for..
     

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  7. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #7
    Ideally, you need to select All Processes at the top, not just My Processes. And sort the other way up! :D
    Your user Library is quite large at 140Gb. (Mine is only 10Gb!)
    I would drill down into the Library folder in OmniDiskSweeper, and see what the big folders are in your user Library.

    Your Desktop folder has got 41Gb in it. I only use the Desktop for temp storage and try not to have too much there, but if that seems right, then ok.
    Your Movies folder is 168Gb, which is large, but not unreasonable if you've got a large collection.
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    I was wondering about seeing processes "sleep" and "sh" makes me think there is a shell script running that is doing something then sleeping...could be what's eating your disk space.

    I would look at the system log - maybe your new adobe package has something wrong and is running amok
     
  9. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #9
    Thanks again for your recommendations :)

    Here is the screen shot of my Activity Monitor with 'All Processes' selected. Any thoughts?
     

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  10. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #10
    And the 'System Log' is VERY alien to me - does it look normal?
     

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  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
  12. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #12
    How do I stop it doing so? I searched for 'mackeeper' on Finder but nothing came up..?
     
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #13
    Im really not sure how you get rid of mackeeper - it's more malware than anything useful. there are threads on the forum about it. iirc you need to go back to their installer - supposedly it has an uninstall option.
     
  14. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #14
  15. AlakaDan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    #15
    Thanks again for your help and patients :)

    So, according to my 'Finder' I didn't even have MacKeeper installed! Bizarre, I know. So I thought if I reinstall it then uninstall it, hopefully it'll rid any other traces of it on my system.

    I installed MacKeeper from fresh, opened it up and it started scanning my system and showed that my 'Mail' folder was harboring 125GB of old mail spread across a few different folders. I decided to delete all the folders/files associated with the 'Mail' folder which immediately free'd up the 125GB of space; I then uninstalled MacKeeper and everything seems to be stable. YAY! :D

    I will keep you posted if anything changes but I've got everything crossed that it stays this way!
     
  16. GGJstudios, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #16
    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
     

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