Time Machine has eaten all start-up HDD space!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Karvel, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Karvel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I've bought a new WD My Passport Essential 500GB a couple of days ago and after reformating it I set about it backing up my data using Time Machine. I left it on overnight to come back to it "Stopping back up...", and left it a few more hours but it still had the same status. I then restarted my iMac and noticed the main start-up drive inside the iMac now has 3.9GB which is way less than it was before I started using Time Machine.

    Anyone know what this is? It's almost as if it made a replica of itself both on the external and the internal although I don't think there would be enough space on the internal to do a full replica, so I'm puzzled...

    The back-up seems to have silently corrected itself though as the Time Machine System Preferences lists an earliest and latest back-up!
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
  3. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #3
    From GrandPerspective;

    What is "Miscellaneous used space"?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    I don't have a clue.
    I use OmniDiskSweeper, as it sorts by biggest folder and so forth.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    There are a few things you can try:
    • Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
      [​IMG]
    • For Time Machine users on Lion, Time Machine local snapshots may be consuming space.
    • Use DiskInventory X (pre-Lion), OmniDiskSweeper, JDisk Report or GrandPerspective to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.
     
  6. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #6
    I'm on Snow Leopard btw. :) Nothing appears for a search for size bigger than 50GB or 20GB strangely.

    From DiskInventoryX;

    [​IMG]

    And OmniDiskSweeper finishes sizing at 37.9GB;

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SplicedBanjo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #7
    I had some hard drive disk space "disappear" on me recently, and using Disk Utility to repair the hard drive (after booting from an external drive) fixed it.

    This would generally only be a possible solution if space is just missing and there simply aren't any files taking up the space. If you can find the files, then it is not a disk repair issue (although there's no harm in maintaining your hard disk anyway).
     
  8. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Which leads me to wonder how doing a Time Machine back-up for the first time has caused Finder to report this? Has Time Machine caused it, or has there been a niggling problem with my drive that's only come to light upon doing a Time Machine back-up?

    Regarding booting from my external HDD - how would I go about putting Snow Leopard on it in order to back-up from it?

    Many thanks all
     
  9. SplicedBanjo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #9
    Why don't you just boot from your Snow Leopard DVD?

    I don't know really the technical explanation behind what causes disk space to disappear, other than the fact that sectors on the disk that have been deleted somehow don't get reported to the volume "map" as being available. But it recently happened to me a second time, so there may be bugs in OS X that cause this. (I'm running 10.7.2 Lion.)
     

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