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Author Topic: HD Bloat
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 10:26      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jonathan and I are absolutely stymied. He has a 60Gb HD on his iBook G4 running Mac OS 10.3.9. For the past several months we've received all sorts of warnings that our startup disk is too full.

We deleted practically all of the music we had, which cleared out 4Gb of space. We were good for a few weeks.

Now we're getting error messages again; Mail won't work properly because there's not enough space on the HD. I've culled the pictures in iPhoto, of which there weren't many to begin with. We've deleted everything else that we can think of, but we still only have less than 1Gb free on the HD.

I restored permissions, used the disk utility, and we hadn't downloaded any big programs before this happened. I'm hoping someone here can help because I'm leery of the teenyboppers at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store at the mall. Plus, I'm afraid it'll be a sky-high bill for something I could do myself if I just knew what to do. Do you think the HD is dying?

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 10:57      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It could sound ridiculously stupid, but have you tried rebooting?

I've seen swap files get increasingly big due to memory leaks, and this exact same problem manifests itself. On a Mac, the swap file is apparently cleaned up on reboot - it can't be cleared any other way (unlike Linux or Windows).

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted February 20, 2009 11:09      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
also do a search based on file size... sometimes there will be a big file hidden away somewhere that you forgot about.


(like Jonathan's porn folder) hee hee just kidding. [Razz]

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 11:53      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Have you emptied the trash?
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 12:44      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know what program is best on a Mac, but something like this will help you sort out where your hard drive space has gone. Google has a large list of similar programs, although most on the list are not for OS X.

WinDirStat is the one I usually use on Windows systems, but that's partly 'cause it's pretty and has cute little pac-men in it in addition to being functional.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 13:12      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try going to the terminal and using
code:
sudo du -ah

It will give you a nice long readout of what is eating up drive space, but it may give you an idea where to start prowling.

And also check for any leftover files from old programs. Mac is really no better about cleanup than any other OS.

Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 14:22      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
Try going to the terminal and using
code:
sudo du -ah

It will give you a nice long readout of what is eating up drive space, but it may give you an idea where to start prowling.

And also check for any leftover files from old programs. Mac is really no better about cleanup than any other OS.

Thanks for reminding me about du -a!
After I realized how handy it was, I realized that I set it up in a cron job that runs everyday for a report I compile...but I had technically forgotten about it! (I wrote the job in Oct '06.)

My personal preference is for: du -h --max-depth=1
On a Mac, that's du -d 1 -h

(Or set the depth to suit personal needs, but I find much over 1 to be too much to digest.)

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 15:53      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OTOH if you suffer from terminal phobia, you could try this.

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Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 17:25      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, guys. I knew you'd come through!

dman: Yeah, we've rebooted many, many times.

Snaggy: not sure how to search based on file size - can I do that in Sherlock?

Commander: Heading to do that now. I'll let you know what happens.

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 17:48      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK, so I ran both scripts that were suggested. Shroom, your command turned up a list of items in caches that I'd like to delete, but they aren't there when I try to find them through the GUI. How do I delete items in Terminal?

Dman, your command gave the following:

  • 8.0K ./.Trash
    0B ./.wapi
    188M ./Desktop
    43M ./Documents
    705M ./Library
    8.0K ./Movies
    599M ./Music
    964M ./Pictures
    0B ./Public
    2.4G .

I'm guessing that's to be a total of everything within those folders? How does that add up to 60Gb?

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Snaggy

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 17:49      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Command F in the Finder, then search (this Mac), (contents),

then select...
[Size] [is greater than] [100] [MB] (as an example)

it may be different depending on your OS, (I'm using Leopard now) but something like that.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 9 posted February 20, 2009 18:54      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm, OK. I'll give that a try, Snaggy.

In the meantime, I've deleted 1.000s of files, but I'm still only at ~1Gb free. This is SOOO frustrating!

EDIT: Dman, I used your command to go down three levels. Jonathan added up the size of the directory - only 4.86Gb. I am soooo confused!!! [Confused]

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2009 20:46      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Assuming you simply fired up Terminal and ran "du -d 1 -h" then you only got info on the folders under your user folder. Most of the system lives above that.

Try this set of steps instead:
1. Start Terminal
2.
code:
cd /

3.
code:
sudo du -d 1 -h

That should take much a much longer time and produce a longer list of folders and account for all of the space used.

As a side note, I'm also running 10.3.9 on this machine. Since when does it have Spotlight? I thought that was introduced in 10.4?

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2009 04:01      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did you try Callipygous's link? I just did; it's really cool and perfect for what you want.
Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2009 06:06      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
Did you try Callipygous's link? I just did; it's really cool and perfect for what you want.

Hehe... no, I didn't. I was trying to be a good geek and use Terminal. I'll go try the link now. [Big Grin]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2009 06:32      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow! Max, you were right. Calli, thanks for that program. It totally did what I needed.

I've totally freed up the space. Practically the entire HD was consumed by private/var/tmp. Over 200,000 files!! [Eek!] ETA: Make that over 300,000!!

Now I wish I hadn't completely removed GarageBand. I really had wanted to learn how to use it sometime.

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted February 21, 2009 10:33      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yay Rhon!

Cali, great little program that is!
http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

Rhon, you may want to run a little maintenance program occasionally..

Tweek Freak is one...
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff.ulicny/software/utils.html
bottom of page.

For Leopard:
MainMenu is one...
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/25902


Run those UNIX cleaning programs if you don't leave the computer on all night. (they are scheduled to run at 3am I think normally)

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted February 22, 2009 08:21      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Glad you wound up finding the stuff.

A big gripe I do have about Mac and the OS is the difficulty in getting to the true root of the drive. While you can do some good digging in the depths using a terminal, I do wish it was a bit easier to get to it using a GUI.

Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted February 23, 2009 01:36      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
yay Rhon!
Rhon, you may want to run a little maintenance program occasionally..

Tweek Freak is one...
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff.ulicny/software/utils.html
bottom of page.

For Leopard:
MainMenu is one...
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/25902


Run those UNIX cleaning programs if you don't leave the computer on all night. (they are scheduled to run at 3am I think normally)

An alternative to running the UNIX housekeeping routines manually is to install Anacron (Panther version for Rhonnie here), which checks to see if these scripts have run every time you restart your Mac. Note that this is not useful for Leopard, as it is now built in, using launchd.

OnyX is a good free general purpose tweaking tool which does cache cleaning among other things, and for those times when you need to run fsck in single user, I install the Applejack script which also cleans caches and deletes swap files.

[EDIT] Shortly after this discussion closed the Omni Group made OmniDiskSweeper freeware, and personally I think it is the best (if not the flashiest) of all these utilities for finding where your HD space went.

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Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged


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