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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Incredible Shrinking Hard Drive

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Hey all,

Anyone have an idea what could be causing me to be adding scores of MB of "something" to my hard drive every day, whether I create new files or not?

For the past several months, the space remaining on my hard drive has been shrinking. At first, I thought that I just was, in fact, using it up, although it seemed to be moving pretty fast. A few months ago, I deleted all my music (7 GB), but now it's back to nearly full.

It seems to be phantom files. My hard drive has 37.13 GB of capacity, and according to "get info" on the hard drive itself, I have used 36.23 GB.

But the hard drive has 12 folders on it. According to "get info" on those 12 folders, they sum together to 9.36 GB. That's a number that is more in line with how much space I would expect to be using.

Could it be spyware or something? I estimate that one day of use on the machine creates about 100 MB of "something" that uses up hard drive space. I saw reference in the archives to a problem with File Vault being on, but my system says it is off.

Any suggestions?

I have a G4 PowerBook, 40G hard drive, OS 10.3.7.
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Macman's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 30, 2004
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have you recently installed any peer to peer apps such as poisoned or similar? these apps often create reserve files to take up space so that you can download, or have you installed any new software? you should try an app called WhatSize , it will tell you how big every file is, including invisible ones. also, are you by chance using a swap partition system?
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try also to index your drive (get info>index). sometimes it helps.
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Do you have the file vault enabled. When used to have the file vaull enabled I used to have the same problem. The way I was able to resolve this problem was to log out (in which case a blurb would come up saying that the HD was being organized) and then log back in. Once I read that this can be fairly common I just disabled the filevault and have never had the problem since.

Woops. My bad. I just read that your filevault is turned off. My next bet would be what MacMan said earlier. Programs such as LimeWire will store 'unfinished' files in a seperate folder. Over enough time, and given a large number of cancelling partially completed downloads, and the space this folder eats up can become quite large.
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Probably a log file which keeps on growing. You cannot see those files from the Finder : they are in /var/log.
Check this out with the Terminal.
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I don't think it's big enough, but have you run crons to rotate out logs (cocktail, Mac Janitor etc?) Or:
1. Close all apps 2. Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities).
2. Type: sudo sh /etc/daily
Note: Typing "daily" runs tasks normally scheduled for a daily interval. Type "monthly" or "weekly" in place of "daily" to runs tasks scheduled for those intervals.
3. Press Return.
4. Enter your Admin password when prompted, then press Return.
5. Quit Terminal when the task is complete. weekly tasks usually require a longer time to run than monthly or daily
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