Tiger eating HD space?

spacehog371

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2003
231
0
So I noticed awhile ago that my mac was starting to run low on HD space, and I thought this was due to normal usage. After downloading some lost episodes I was down to 500 megabytes and I knew I had to clean off my HD, and planned to do it within a week. The next day I start getting warnings that my HD space is running low and that I need to make room...So I look to see how much there is and I'm shocked to see that 12.8mb is all thats remaining. At this point safari, itunes, and adium are running...nothing is downloading. A few seconds later I get a warning that I have under 10mb, so once again I look, and there is 8mb left. I didn't download anything. I deleted 3 lost episodes (roughly 600mb) and then restarted my computer. I checked my HD space, and it says 6GB... I deleted 600 megabytes worth of data and my computer comes up with 5.4GB of extra space out of nowhere? its been a couple days and i've noticed that without downloading anything my HD is starting to lose space again. Anyone know what the issue is?
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
I use MovieGrab to record my screen to make instructional videos for people and when I record around a 20 minute video, my HD space goes down about 10GB until I restart. After restarting, it all comes back.

Maybe you should try a clean Tiger install and start writing down how big certain folders within your HD are, this way you can keep track.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
At first I thought it might be a corrupt LOG file. There's a known issue in some versions of Panther (and it's occurred once or twice in Tiger too) where a LOG will grow until it has filled the hard drive. However, the only solution as far as I know was to delete that file which is why I don't think it's your problem.

More likely, it is what ITASOR is getting at. It sounds like your Virtual RAM is kinda getting out of hand. The good news is that restarting clears that RAM. The bad news is that it's not really normal for it to ever get so high so quickly. Try to keep at least 8GB of free space on your start up drive (the one with the Virtual RAM) to keep a smooth running machine.

Now, why would your Virtual RAM be growing so rapidly? Well, Virtual RAM is used when actual RAM is insufficient so you may need more actual RAM. Is there a chance that a stick isn't being recognised? Go to About This Mac from the Apple menu and make sure it says the correct amount of RAM. How much does it say you have? How much do you know you have?
 

spacehog371

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2003
231
0
I've got 1gb of RAM, and the computer is recognizing it. I can't clean install for about 3 weeks, which is when I get back home and I will have access to my install disc and also an external HD to back my computer up.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
1GB should be okay for most uses. What are you doing on it at? Are you doing a lot of video editing, Garageband stuff, or hard core photo work?
 

RatVega

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2005
77
0
Southern California
I don't recall the details, but there was a rash of this sort of thing on PowerBooks shortly after Tiger was introduced. I ran across it at the LA Final Cut Pro User Group, where there were several reports of the PBs taking off and filling up the disk.

Maybe a call to Apple Tech is in order, it should be a known issue with them.
 

spacehog371

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2003
231
0
I occasionally use FCP, i.e. once every couple months, but surely that is not enough to cause the problems. It seems like I'm losing a few hundred mb of space every 24 hours the computer is running...which is rediculous. I will be calling apple on monday.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
A clean install is the last thing you should try. If the disk space comes back after a reboot, then you know that some application is creating large virtual memory swap files. It shouldn't be difficult to figure out which one.
 

steelfist

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2005
577
0
i don't think it's a good idea to only take note of hard disk space alone. one thing i do is open "macintosh HD" and select EVERYTHING in that folder. then, if possible, try to find out how all those stuff in your macintosh HD take up space. i do this on my Windows XP to find out how much "tangable" stuff is using up my Hard disk and how much useless "untangable" stuff is using up. you find out how much "untangable" is taking up space by Macintosh HD - everything selected in Macintosh HD. if you can only find out one object or folder at a time, then add them all manualy.

if there is very low untangable stuff on your HD, then you CAN delete some useless stuff on your HD and can do somehting about this problem. look at each stuff on your Macintosh HD like Libary, User, and stuff and try to find any odd huge stuff on your HD.

once i was at 3 % on my HD and when i did C drive- contents i had 20 GB of "stuff" that are not in folders or anything, it just sits there! i hope somebody can clarify what i am talking about.
 

iEdd

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2005
1,956
4
Try omni disksweeper if you know that there is a large, useless file using up heaps of your HDD. It will make a list of largest to smallest files on your hard disk.
 

Harthansen

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2002
43
0
Problems with drivers

spacehog371 said:
I've got 1gb of RAM, and the computer is recognizing it. I can't clean install for about 3 weeks, which is when I get back home and I will have access to my install disc and also an external HD to back my computer up.
Have you upgraded to tiger from panther?
I had the same problem I had a gamepad driver installed. It worked with 10.3.9 fine but with tiger it would fill up the log file with errors over and over again. So the file size would grow and grow until the hard disk would be filled. I had to uninstall the driver, then wait for them to put out a new driver for tiger. It took 3 weeks but, they have an updated driver on their website now so it was fixed. You could also have this problem if you always had tiger, and installed the old driver into tiger. I forget the name of the gamepad, but it happens with 3 party drivers that were meant for Panther and you install them into Tiger. If you have any drivers that put a control in system prefs. Then goto their website and download the tiger driver or uninstall the driver. Using the disk it come with or do a search with spotlight and remove the pref pane, and everything with the name of the device or the name of the company of the device. By now anything made for mac will have a new driver on their website.
-Hart
 

stoid

macrumors 601
Yeah, it's the Mac OS X swapfile. Try this (works on any OS X machine):

In Finder hit Apple-N to create a new Finder window. Check the available space on your drive. Create several dozen new Finder windows, eventually, you'll notice that the amount of free space shown at the bottom of the window starts to shrink.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
stoid said:
Yeah, it's the Mac OS X swapfile. Try this (works on any OS X machine):

In Finder hit Apple-N to create a new Finder window. Check the available space on your drive. Create several dozen new Finder windows, eventually, you'll notice that the amount of free space shown at the bottom of the window starts to shrink.
The simplest things make me happiest in life. :)
 

spacehog371

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2003
231
0
I used what size which didn't show anything out of the ordinary as far as stuff taking up size. However, on the list it compiled, it only added up to a little over 17gb...on an 80gb hd...where is the rest of the HD space going?
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
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københavn
IJ Reilly said:
Well, that's nice -- but how do you decide which of these large files are "useless"?
Oh yes, this is the difficult part - that's where you'll have to start thinking ;) Well, seriously, all it can do is give you an overview of where the big (and small) chunks of bytes are located. And that is a rather important first step.

spacehog371 said:
I used what size which didn't show anything out of the ordinary as far as stuff taking up size. However, on the list it compiled, it only added up to a little over 17gb...on an 80gb hd...where is the rest of the HD space going?
- that sounds rather strange...

A
 

swimmingnyc

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2005
1
0
Tiger eating HD space?

I've had exactly the same thing happen to me where invisible files were gradualy eating up my available hard drive space --- the only way to regain the hard disc space was by rebooting several times a day. In the end I was only able to get rid of the problem by doing a clean install. Not fun!!

Frustratingly enough the problem came back eight months later and I had to do another clean install.

I think its a bug it Mac OS X that affects only a few people. If you google a description of this problem you will find others with the same issue.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
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Palookaville
mcadam said:
Oh yes, this is the difficult part - that's where you'll have to start thinking ;)
Surely you meant guessing?

We'd get back more of our hard disk space much more efficiently, not to mention, far more safely, by cleaning out unused applications, and all that chaff in our iPhoto and iTunes libraries.
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
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IJ Reilly said:
Surely you meant guessing?

We'd get back more of our hard disk space much more efficiently, not to mention, far more safely, by cleaning out unused applications, and all that chaff in our iPhoto and iTunes libraries.
- not to forget the 1.5 Gb (!!!) of printer drivers we'll never use.

A
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
mcadam said:
- not to forget the 1.5 Gb (!!!) of printer drivers we'll never use.

A
Sure, you could delete some of these, if you were sure you wouldn't need them later. Remarkably, nearly half of that total is Epson drivers. So let's say you can save an entire GB of hard drive space, or maybe even two. How many megapixel images does that equal? How many unused applications? What I'm trying to get across here is that there are a lot of places to go to free up hard drive space (assuming you really need it) before taking the relatively drastic measure of pruning system files, even if they're just printer drivers.

Maybe I'm atypical, but my HD represents essentially ten years of accumulation. I don't throw hardly anything away and I empty the trash only about three times a year. But all of this still amounts to only around half of my 80 gb HD and I could clear out a couple of gigs right now without touching a single system file, if I had any incentive to do it.
 

mcadam

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Apr 3, 2004
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IJ Reilly said:
Sure, you could delete some of these, if you were sure you wouldn't need them later. Remarkably, nearly half of that total is Epson drivers. So let's say you can save an entire GB of hard drive space, or maybe even two. How many megapixel images does that equal? How many unused applications? What I'm trying to get across here is that there are a lot of places to go to free up hard drive space (assuming you really need it) before taking the relatively drastic measure of pruning system files, even if they're just printer drivers.
Which places would that be... old pictures of friends and family you've never really liked anyway ;) Seriously thouhg, I think very few people see it as a practical solution to just get rid of half their music or pictures or whatever. In my case the only proper solution has been to get an external hard drive where I put all ( :rolleyes: ) the stuff I don't use on a regular basis.


IJ Reilly said:
Maybe Im atypical, but my HD represents essentially ten years of accumulation. I don't throw hardly anything away and I empty the trash only about three times a year. But all of this still amounts to only around half of my 80 gb HD and I could clear out a couple of gigs right now without touching a single system file, if I had any incentive to do it.
Less than 40 Gb in 10 years, wow. Atypical might be the word. You certainly seem to be a lot more disciplined than most people. Being picky (quality conscious you might say) about what you get into the computer in the first place is rather difficult. At least as hard as throwing stuff out. Cheers to you.

A
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
I just found a brilliant little piece of freeware, Disk Inventory X, which gives you a graphical (a socalled "treemap" - it's something mathematical) overview of how space is allocated on your harddrive. A function which has been on my wishlist for a long time. It even shows, through colors, the filetypes...

Via coolosxapps.net/ - nice place.

A