Why is free space on MacBook Air SSD disappearing?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Minxy, May 18, 2016.

  1. Minxy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I have a Macbook Air mid 2012 8GB with 128 Gb SSD and it's a good able system that has served me well. I'm a participant in the OSX public beta test. To manage space I just store programs and some media. On average I have between 10 -20 Gb free space. But lately I have removed multiple programs and have free space of between 6-10 GB then it just seems to disappear and I'm constantly seeing lack of space error messages when I know I am using less storage then before. A couple of days I installed the latest OSX update and i had 9GB free, then yesterday i am back to seeing no storage space!

    Is OSX misreading or just eating up everything I've got deliberately?!
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Three things you can try, in the order listed if possible:

    1) Run a volume verification in Disk Utility -- if there are any corruptions, these sometimes cause the problems you're encountering. Please quote this if there is an issue and we'll take you through how to run the repair.

    2) Disable local Time Machine backups. To do this, open Terminal and type in sudo tmutil disablelocal, then press Enter. This will then prompt you for your computer password. You must have a password set in order for this to work. Please be aware that when you type it in, it will not be visible, so you'll have to type it in blind and then press OK.

    3) Restart your machine with reopen windows when logging back in disabled (unticked).

    I'm hoping this should fix the issue -- please let me know how you get on :)
     
  3. Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #3

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm just backing up my Mac and will try that.

    What I will add is that when I go into Apple-About This Mac-Storage it says that I have used 12GB of Audio when my music folder is only using 2GB. And that I have 8GB of Photos when my pictures folder only is using 3GB.
     
  4. Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

    Erdbeertorte

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    Castle Grayskull, Eternia
    #4
    You can't rely on that. It never works correctly. Reindexing Spotlight could fix it for a short while but even if it works it gets messed up again. Same for Disk Utility.

    That Window isn't resizable too like Disk Utility. :mad:

    Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.25.11.png Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.25.16.png
    --- Post Merged, May 18, 2016 ---
    There are two ways to rebuild the Spotlight index:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201716

    Or in the Teminal:

    sudo mdutil -E /

    @Weaselboy knows much about that issue. Maybe he sees it now.
     
  5. Minxy, May 18, 2016
    Last edited: May 18, 2016

    Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #5
    keysofanxiety, I tried what you said. First used Disk Utility to do a First Aid on the SSD which was fine. Then disabled the time machine back ups the way you said. I've just restarted and have just 319mb of free space. :(


    Erdbeertorte I've tried the reindexing, but no major difference.


    I'm wondering if my only option is to back up all my files and programs and wipe and reinstall OSX?
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    DaisyDisk is a good tool to find out what occupy the missing space, and delete them.

    Anyway, what's the size of this folder?

    /Users/[your account]/Library/Caches/
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    What I would do (and yes, I've already done these things on my own MacBook):

    - Turn off Time Machine's local backup. Better yet, turn off TM entirely and use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper instead.

    - Disable the "sleep image".

    - Disable Spotlight and delete the index file.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Before you go full nuclear with a reinstall, let's try something.

    Run the command below in Terminal and it will list all the base folders and their size in GB. Perhaps that will show us something off. This will show hidden and system folders not shown by these GUI apps mentioned. You will be asked for your password after you enter the command, and the command takes a minute or so to complete. Post the results here for us to have a look.

    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /
    Like Erdbeertorte mentioned, you can pretty much ignore that storage readout as it seems to be perennially screwed up.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #9
    Do you use Dropbox or iCloud for storing anything? Something which I had not realized for a long time is that Dropbox isn't like an external drive which is totally separate from what's on my SSD; if I have 200 GB of something stashed on Dropbox it is also going to be still stored on my computer's hard drive as well. Ditto for iCloud.
     
  10. Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #10
    Thanks for your suggestions everyone, very much appreciated and have helped me to hold back from punching the screen.

    1.23GB

    Time Machine in System Preferences is set to OFF. I entered these commands into Terminal -which I found on the MacRumors forums.

    Code:
    disable sleep image
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    
    remove sleep image
    sudo rm -f /var/vm/sleepimage
    
    Disable spotlight
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist



     
  11. Weaselboy, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 19, 2016

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I'm not seeing anything off at all here, and it shows you are using only 104GB of storage, so you should still have over 100GB of free space. Are you still seeing error message?

    Edit: I missed that you are on a 128GB. Let's drill down a little more in these folders.

    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /Library
    
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /System
    
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g ~/
     
  12. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #12
    OO said his SSD is 128G in the 1st post. To make it simple, that should be around 20G free space.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Gah!! I can't read to save my life. I was seeing 256GB SSD in my pea brain. :oops:
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #14
    No worries, I back you up. :D
     
  15. Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #15

    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /Library
    
    10    /Library/Application Support
    2    /Library/Audio
    1    /Library/Automator
    1    /Library/Bundles
    1    /Library/Caches
    0    /Library/ColorPickers
    1    /Library/ColorSync
    0    /Library/Components
    0    /Library/Compositions
    0    /Library/Contextual Menu Items
    1    /Library/CoreMediaIO
    1    /Library/Desktop Pictures
    1    /Library/Dictionaries
    0    /Library/DirectoryServices
    1    /Library/Documentation
    1    /Library/DropboxHelperTools
    1    /Library/Extensions
    0    /Library/Filesystems
    1    /Library/Fonts
    1    /Library/Fonts Disabled
    1    /Library/Frameworks
    0    /Library/Graphics
    1    /Library/Image Capture
    0    /Library/Input Methods
    1    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins
    1    /Library/iTunes
    0    /Library/Java
    0    /Library/Keyboard Layouts
    1    /Library/Keychains
    1    /Library/LaunchAgents
    1    /Library/LaunchDaemons
    1    /Library/Logs
    1    /Library/Mail
    1    /Library/Messages
    1    /Library/Modem Scripts
    0    /Library/offsync
    0    /Library/OpenDirectory
    1    /Library/PDF Services
    1    /Library/Perl
    1    /Library/PreferencePanes
    1    /Library/Preferences
    1    /Library/Printers
    1    /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
    0    /Library/Python
    1    /Library/QuickLook
    1    /Library/QuickTime
    1    /Library/Receipts
    0    /Library/Ruby
    0    /Library/Sandbox
    1    /Library/Screen Savers
    1    /Library/ScriptingAdditions
    1    /Library/Scripts
    1    /Library/Security
    0    /Library/Speech
    1    /Library/Spotlight
    1    /Library/StartupItems
    1    /Library/SystemMigration
    0    /Library/SystemProfiler
    1    /Library/Updates
    1    /Library/User Pictures
    1    /Library/Video
    1    /Library/WebServer
    1    /Library/Widgets
    16    /Library
    16    total
    
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /System
    26    /System/Library
    26    /System
    26    total
    
    
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g ~/
    
    1    /Users/username//.adobe
    1    /Users/username//.android
    1    /Users/username//.bash_sessions
    0    /Users/username//.config
    1    /Users/username//.cups
    1    /Users/username//.dropbox
    1    /Users/username//.dropbox-master
    1    /Users/username//.filezilla
    1    /Users/username//.itmstransporter
    1    /Users/username//.kindle
    1    /Users/username//.local
    1    /Users/username//.mono
    1    /Users/username//.mplayer
    1    /Users/username//.oracle_jre_usage
    1    /Users/username//.putty
    0    /Users/username//.Trash
    1    /Users/username//Applications
    1    /Users/username//Calibre Library
    1    /Users/username//Desktop
    5    /Users/username//Documents
    1    /Users/username//Downloads
    1    /Users/username//dwhelper
    1    /Users/username//FrostWire
    1    /Users/username//Google Drive
    29    /Users/username//Library
    2    /Users/username//Movies
    3    /Users/username//Music
    3    /Users/username//Pictures
    0    /Users/username//Public
    0    /Users/username//Sites
    41    /Users/username/
    41    total
    
    
    thanks for looking into this!
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #16
    You have quit a bit of space used by the user library at ~/Library. Nothing else looks really off.

    Try...

    Code:
    sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g ~/Library
     
  17. Minxy, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016

    Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    #17
    I discovered I had an iPhone backup on my system so I deleted it and freed up about 7GB of space. 15 minutes later and it has disappeared and I'm having to close applications just to keep Safari working so I can post this.

    EDIT: Since doing this I decided to do a reinstall. So I started purging programs to make space, restarted Mac, pressed CMD + R and went into option to reinstall, but it said there was a problem connecting to store so couldn't download. I restarted the machine and all the space I made had gone.
    I want to download OSX from store, but cannot as I don't have enough space. I do have an external HDD but don't know if it is possible to download from store to HDD. :confused:
     

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