System Storage in Mojave

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by bigdog5142, May 25, 2019.

  1. bigdog5142, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019

    bigdog5142 macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    MI
    #1
    I have a 2016 15" Macbook Pro with 512GB SSD. I was just told this morning that 345GB of SYSTEM STORAGE is normal by Apple engineers (via customer support). Their solution was to do a Time Machine backup, do a clean install of the OS and then use Migration Assistant to migrate all my files. I also attached a DaisyDisk screenshot of my drive. It indicates that 223GB is "hidden space." WOW!

    Has anyone else had this issue? 345GB seems ENORMOUS for system storage. I'm sure there are things that have "gummed" it up over the years...but SHEESH! I only use about 100GB of storage on the computer, the rest is on a 4TB external. TIA.

    Daisy
     

    Attached Files:

  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #2
    I had something similar, but it was only 43 GB of hidden space. I use Time machine and Carbon Copy Cloner and they like to save snapshots. The snapshots can get larger when doing TM backups after macOS upgrades.

    In Daisy Disk you can click on the "hidden space>purgeable space" it will display that it is Time Machine temporary files and you can remove them by dragging then to the Daisy Disk Collector & delete in the lower left hand corner of the window. I would strongly recommend having a fresh backup BEFORE performing something like this, just in case.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 09.27.25.jpg
     
  3. bigdog5142 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
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    MI
    #3
    Thanks for the advice. Did that before I contacted Apple...unfortunately DaisyDisc says that there is 223GB of hidden space that it can’t see.
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    I've seen similar in Windows and Mac OS. I'll just start at the root directory of the system volume. Then Get Info or Properties of the folders. Looking for the big one. Open it and work through the folders and levels until I zero in on the database to purge.

    Now I don't check every folder one at a time. I work through it as efficiently as possible by selecting half the folders and Get Info. If it is there. Then select half of those. Cutting it down by half each time until I find the culprit.

    Mac OS also has an option to show folder sizes in details view. Which makes it quicker. Usually it's something like an out of control mail database or iCloud photos cache (if you aren't downloading full size photos).

    To Get Info on a group of items. I believe you hold down the option key. Otherwise you'll get a ton of Get Info windows.
     
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    Try rescanning as Administrator under the Action menu.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 10.20.44.jpg
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6
    You do binary searches then. A runtime of O(log(n))
     
  7. bigdog5142 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    MI
    #7
    That’s what the original screenshot was done under. It still can’t see the 223GB when run as an administrator, unfortunately.
     
  8. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #8
    The only thing I can think of now, is that the Daisy Disk version from the Mac App Store does not allow reclaiming purgeable space.
    https://daisydiskapp.com/manual/4/en/Topics/PurgeableSpace.html
     
  9. nouveau_redneck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    #9
    Take a look at this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/solution-reclaim-storage-back-from-system.2073174/ The space may be used by snapshots. If so it can be easily recovered.

    FYI, you can also download a version of Daisy Disk from the developers website that will look at the system area in detail. It is outlined here: https://daisydiskapp.com/support.html
     
  10. bigdog5142 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    MI
    #10
    Thanks for the continued ideas/help. I ran into that same issue with DaisyDisk...and downloaded the version that is through their website, not the one through the App Store. So...I’ll look at that thread and check snapshots. I’d LOVE to do anything but nuke my SSD and restore...but I have time this weekend so I may have to resort to that.
     
  11. bigdog5142 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

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    #11
    Well...I nuked it...and it’s like having a new computer. It’s gonna take a bit to get everything back into place...but TONS of space now. Thanks for all the help!
     
  12. getrealbro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    #12
    Summarizing the thread linked by nouveau_redneck...

    For those who would prefer not to nuke their mac in order to remove any Time Machine Local Snapshots. You can use the TimeMachineUtility (tmutil) in the terminal to …

    List the existing Time Machine local snapshots — tmutil listlocalsnapshots /

    And you can pretty quickly “thin” them — tmutil thinlocalsnapshots / 9999999999 1

    Or if you prefer to avoid the terminal, you can follow Apple’s advise and temporarily turn off Time Machine —https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204015 — BUT… beware that after turning off Time Machine you may have to wait much longer than Apple's suggested “few minutes to allow the local snapshots to be deleted.” — more like several hours.

    After several hours of monitoring TM's progress of very slowly deleting less than half of the local snapshots I thinned the others down ot a single snapshot in roughly a minute, using the terminal which let me see a list of the remaining local snapshots and exactly which ones were removed during the "thinning".

    GetRealBro
     
  13. bigdog5142 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bigdog5142

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    MI
    #13
    I've read that works for many people in many different situations. However, I tried that multiple times and only gained about 20GB of space. After "nuking" my system and starting from scratch, I now have just under 400GB of free space on my machine.

    Now...this has caused me to evaluate what apps I truly used and my system had been updated since Lion on the top of other OS systems...so I'm sure it was "gunked" up pretty good. Running like a champ now.

    At the same point...it's taken about a day's worth of work to get everything back to where it should be, and I'm sure I'm going to come across some file somewhere that I missed. I am going to save ONE Time Machine back up to my archive external just in case...the Time Machine drive will be re-associated with this "new" machine. I even had to nuke my Backblaze to backup this current machine. I anticipate that my Time Machine backup will suffice. However, very nerve-wracking. So...go at your own risk.
     

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12 May 25, 2019