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Thread: iTunes eating my hard drive

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 08, 2009
    Cambridge, UK
    iTunes eating my hard drive
    I have a Mac Mini, (2GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB Memory, about 3 years old, running current up-to-date Snow Leopard) which I use for playing music through iTunes pretty much constantly.

    I recently noticed an odd glitch, whereby my machine would slow down hugely, and the available hard-drive space appeared to be going down dramatically (gigs and gigs dramatically, from about 10 GB down to zero if I let it run.

    After some mild panic, I ran disc utility (both from inside the OS, and from my startup disc) and nothing flagged up as problematic. The problem simply disappears with a re-start, and the disc space comes back.

    I have since located the source of this problem to iTunes. It only occurs when iTunes is running, and if I simply close iTunes, the problem goes away, the disc space returns, and I can then reopen it and continue with my day.

    Is this portentious of gathering doom for my hard-drive? Is iTunes having a tantrum? Or is it simply that it's trying to do something clever, and I am not letting it complete? Should I just let it eat the hard-drive for a bit, and see what happens?

  2. #2
    The problem you are having is that Mac OS X needs room to work. In other words, your hard drive is too full.

    When OS X runs out of "real" RAM, it starts using disc space for virtual RAM. This is about when your machine will slow down dramatically.

    Adding more RAM will help, but the real problem is that your hard drive is WAY over-full. I'd suggest keeping at a dead minimum 12-20GB of hard drive space free at all times for the OS's (and applications) use.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Feb 08, 2009
    Cambridge, UK
    Thanks for the input chas. I had a go at what you suggested, used disk inventory x, and managed to find quite a large quantity of rubbish on my hard-drive, and am now sitting at about 17 GB free.

    The problem still persists...

  4. #4

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
    What does Activity Monitor > System Memory show when iTunes is running?

    I'm trying to replicate what you're experiencing, albeit with a much older Mac and iTunes. %CPU being used by iTunes is consistently under 10%. Whilst that's not related directly to drive capacity and available space, it does indicate how the system is being used, ie. Virtual Memory.

    What size hard drive does your Mini have?

    You can go to 3 Gb RAM, which will almost certainly improve performance

    In the meantime, I'd suggest doing some serious maintenance with OnyX Titanium's Software • Download. I'm not familiar with SLpd OS, but I'm guessing the Repair Permissions and Run Maintenance Scripts parts of OnyX are still available. You might want to Optimise the OS as well (update only).
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  5. #5
    I would look at replacing the hard drive in the mini with a bigger one to suit your needs of space. That or look into an external drive and move stuff over to it that you don't use as much.

    If your not comfortable opening up your mini, try keeping your iTunes on an external drive

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