Strange 10.4.11 disk usage issue

Discussion in 'macOS' started by abc123, May 1, 2010.

  1. abc123 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    I've noticed in the last few days that my remaining hard drive capacity in the finder is fluctuating dramatically. So much so that the operating system has occasionally altered me to the fact that I only have a few hundred mb available.

    When this has happened I have deleted a few files and upon emptying the trash I find my disk usage starts to reduce again. Over the next few hours it slowly starts showing 2.xgb, 5.xgb, 9.xgb, etc up until 20.xgb (which is around what I believe to be accurate). Once the finder reports this number it starts to slowly decrease again.

    I've repaired permissions and run a disk verification and everything came back fine. I've not installed any applications requesting passwords, etc many months and doubt that it would be a virus anyway?

    Any ideas?

    edit: running on a macbook pro 2.2GHz Core 2. 2GB memory.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can use Disk Inventory X to scan your HDD for big files and folders to find the culprit.

    It may be the swap files, if you have not enough RAM left, data from the RAM gets copied to the HDD into swap files to temporarily store the information and access it at a later time. Have a look at Applications / Utilities / Activity Monitor > System Memory > Swap used: .
  3. mrchinchilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    My immediate guess would be that it's virtual memory or swap. My other concern is the system you're running, Tiger is great for older Macs (PPC), but for a machine like yours, you should have 10.6 to ensure you get the best performance.
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Does it get left on overnight so that the Daily, Weekly, Monthly tasks get automatically run? If not get yourself a copy of something like OnyX and manually run them.
  5. abc123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    I've run the tasks and it isn't jumping around like mad, it does appear to be about 8GB lower than it should be though, based on what it was last week and the fact that I've downloaded/created nothing more than a small word document since.

    I couldn't see swap memory listed in my activity monitor? Could it be due to tiger, perhaps the activity monitor is a little different for me? I'm not really sure why I'd be running out of memory eithrt, I'm only really running mail and firefox, and even then with limited tabs, etc. I've never noticed the issue before when I've had multitudes of intensive programs open.

    Most definitely will be updating to 10.6 but not until the semester is over unfortunately.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Hopefully I've at least managed to put an end to the pop up warnings.
  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Glad to hear that OnyX has helped. I believe that swap memory is referred to as Virtual Memory (VM) in OS 10.4.11 Tiger. To see what your VM is, launch Activity Monitor, at the bottom of the window click on the System Memory tab, the second entry in the right column should be labeled VM size, mine is currently at 3.84 GB. HTH.
  7. Ice Cream Man macrumors member

    Ice Cream Man

    Jan 1, 2003
    Clear Caches, and run scripts with OnyX

    Oh, ha, i see someone else recommended it too. :)
  8. abc123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    Ok thanks.

    My virtual memory is being reported as 9.68GB.

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