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Thread: Disappearing Hard Disk Space

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Disappearing Hard Disk Space
    Hello everyone, I am attempting to solve a problem regarding hard disk space on my Mothers MacBook Pro that has so far defeated me. When I look at her Hard Drive ( Apple 'I' ) it says that she has used 143 Gigs and has only 5 gigs available.

    All well and good except I know she doesn't use that much in the way of photos and music ( or video ) so I tried to identify where most of this space was coming from in the Finder. Strangely, it told she had only used approx 50 gigs ( roughly 30 gigs of music and photos, and teh rest on Applications and Libarary)
    So in theory she should still have 100 gigs available.

    After looking on some forums here I downloaded some of shareware progs to try and get to the bottom of it. I used three programme in all ( 'Whatsize', 'Disc Inventory' and' OmniDiskSWeep') , and they all agreed that approx 50 gigs of her hard drive has been used.

    The only clue I have as to what is going on is that she backs up her hard drive using WD Smart ware. When I opened this to check how 'full' it though her hard drive was, it told me that her 'system' file was about 100gigs! With all the other programmes ( mentioned above ) the system file is listed at a more realistic 4.6 gigs.

    It's a bit of a mystery , and if anyone has any idea what the problem might be I would be extremely grateful of a potential solution.


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    The WD Smart ware backup program may be doing incremental backups and over time it's built up to over 100 GB.

    You might try removing the WD backup program and switch your mother over to using Time Machine instead. In my experience with backup programs on the Mac, it's hard to beat Time Machine. You will need an external hard drive formatted to the Mac OS Extended Journaled file system in order to use TM.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestion. I did what you said, time-machine is great and I don't trust the WDsmartware. The problem still persists though...

  4. #4
    The most likely explanation I can come up with is that her external wasn't mounted during one or more of these scheduled backups so the WD "smart" ware dutifully backed it up on the same drive.

    Try this:

    1. In the Finder, choose the Go menu, select "Go to Folder" and type in (without quotes) "/Volumes" and press return. This will take you to an otherwise-hidden folder.

    2. In this folder, there should be an alias to your boot drive and any CURRENTLY connected/mounted drives. NOTHING ELSE.

    3. If there is anything else in there, don't do anything to it until you have come back here and posted what it is. We can advise you from there. If there's nothing else but the aliases I spoke of in there, that's not the problem.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2013
    That was the exact solution for me... Searched for it since long !!!!
    Big Thanks !

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