Startup disk is full...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by psywzrd, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. psywzrd, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    psywzrd macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #1
    So my 2008 MacBook was having trouble backing up to my Time Capsule recently and shortly thereafter I got a message saying that my startup disk was full (checked my Macintosh HD and it said that I had no free space).

    I booted into safe mode and deleted some files and I also ran Onyx to clean up other unnecessary files - that freed up about 8GB. Rebooted the computer and it ran ok for a few minutes before I saw the same message about the startup disk being full.

    Checked the Macintosh HD and it indicated that I had no free space again. Tried booting into safe mode again and I can't even get it to load my desktop and dock now.

    Any idea what I can try? I don't know if there's some sort of process going on that's taking up all of my free space or if it's a log file gone crazy or what.

    I'm on Snow Leopard by the way - should have mentioned that.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion/ML storage tab is about, this may help explain:
    For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
    Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:
    Freeing up space in Mac OS X

    How OS X and iOS report storage capacity
     
  3. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the reply but I can't even get my desktop and dock to load so I can't try any of that stuff you posted.
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Might be time to reinstall OSX & restore from TM.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    Boot from your SL install disc by holding the Option key down while you boot your Mac. Then inspect your drive.
     
  6. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    When you say "insepct your drive", do you mean run the disk utility and verify and repair the disk?
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    Yes, you can do that, but you can also search your drive to see what's consuming the space.
     
  8. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Ah - so you're saying to use my SL disk as my startup disk and then going through the steps you outlined above. I misunderstood you.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    Yes, that's what I meant by "Boot from your SL install disc by holding the Option key down while you boot your Mac."
     
  10. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #10
    I must be doing something wrong here. When I boot up my computer while holding down the option key with my SL disc in, I get the prompt to select my language. Then I get the "Install Mac OS X" screen and I select "Startup Disk" from the Utilities window. I then have to choose my startup disk and I select my SL disc and click restart. The computer restarts and I'm right back where I started with the screen to select my language and then the "Install Mac OS X" screen. What am I doing wrong?
     
  11. GGJstudios, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    After you select your language and you're presented with the next screen, click on "Utilities" on your Menu Bar to select Disk Utility to repair your disk.

    This may help: "Your Startup Disk is full": Apple Support Communities
     
  12. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #12
    So I managed to free up almost 30GB on my Macintosh HD and my computer ran great for a day or two; however, I just got the "startup disk is full" message again today and now my HD only has about 200MB free. Something is clearly filling up my HD but I can't figure out what it is. I haven't downloaded anything so I'm thinking that maybe it's a log file of some sort. Any ideas?
     
  13. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Ok - so it's gets a little more weird. I restarted my computer in safe mode and it said that I had 38.6GB free on my Macintosh HD. Restarted the computer again into normal mode and now it says 38.6GB free. How could it show 200MB free and then 38.6GB free after a reboot?
     
  14. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I'm thinking that this may have something to do with my Time Machine backups. I noticed that all of my backups are failing so maybe the backups are somehow being cached on my HD and filling it up? Any suggestions? I back up to a Time Capsule.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    Read my first post in this thread for information on TM backups, as well as other possible causes for your problem.
     
  16. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #16
    As I said, if all else fails; reformat & reinstall OSX & restore from TM.

    It'll go much faster from a USB flash drive ML installer.
     
  17. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #17
    I'm a little scared to try that when it looks like my Time Capsule may be failing. I don't have much faith that I'll be able to restore from TM.
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Location:
    California
    #18
    There was a thread here a couple days ago where a users TM backup got sideways and somehow started doing backups to the internal drive. I wonder if that is happening with you. Try starting Finder and look at the root of the HD and see if it looks like a TM backup file resides there.

    You also might try installing something like OmniDisksweeper to look at your drive graphically to find large files that look out of place.
     
  19. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I have a feeling my TC's hard drive may be shot but I'm hoping I'm wrong about that. It should show up in Disk Utility, right?
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    Just to clarify, I meant use Omni on your main, internal drive.

    But no, by default the TC drive won't show in Disk Util. You can get the sparse bundle on the TC to show in Disk Util by mounting it.

    [​IMG]

    Select the TC on the left there under shared, then double click the folder I marked. Yours will be named differently.

    [​IMG]

    You will get this in Finder. Now double click the sparse bundle like I marked. That will mount the sparse bundle and you can see it in Finder and Disk Util.
     
  21. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    So I got the sparsebundle to mount and attempted to repair the disk via disk utility and it failed. It told me to back everything up and try to erase the disk. I'm wondering if I should just try to erase it and see what happens. I don't necessarily need anything that's on the drive right now since I also use CrashPlan but I'm not sure if it's just going to be a waste of time. It seems like the drive is shot at this point.
     
  22. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #22
    It just takes a few seconds to erase the disk in Airport Utility. It sure seems worth a shot.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Thanks Weaselboy. I was able to erase the disk but my time machine backups are still failing. I'm going to try to repair the disk again via disk utility and see what happens.
     
  24. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #24
    All I'm getting now is error messages:

    "Time Machine could not complete the backup. The backup disk image "/Volumes/Myname-1/MyName'sMacBook.sparsebundle" could not be created (error -1)."

    Kind of lost at this point. Can't even get the Time Capsule to show up in Disk Utility anymore either.
     
  25. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #25
    Ouch... sounds like the TC drive is toast. :(

    I have not done it myself, but if you search around there are some walkthroughs how to crack the TC open and replace it yourself.
     

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