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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Hard drive storage 'Other' in OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9


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bobtomay

 
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Opening up 'About This Mac' is not the place to see what you have stored on your drive. Mimicking the iOS view (iPhone, iPad) is someone's idea of a sick twisted joke and should never be used as the way to look at how space is being used on a computer's drive. Looking at the Storage tab there is good for nothing except seeing how much used vs free space you have.

"Other" is everything that is not in one of those categories, including:

the operating system and all system files
documents
email
zip
rar & tar
dmg & iso files
mkv
swap space - this could equal the amount of RAM in your machine
sleep image - this one also could equal the amount of RAM in your machine
Parallels or VM Ware & Windows, Linux, etc.
Applications - yes indeed - currently 10 GB worth of apps in my Applications folder does not register as Apps in About this Mac
Steam Games - all the applications and game data you have from Steam are included in 'Other' - 28 GB worth for 3 games on my current Mac
and a ton of "other" stuff

For those really interested in knowing what data and where that data is being stored on their drive:

WhatSize - my personal recommendation
DaisyDisk
DiskInventoryX - the free alternative

Everyone should be keeping track of the used vs free space - the following are my suggested rule of thumb for hard drives - percentages listed do not really apply to SSDs.

If you have:
  1. more than 50% free space - you do not need a separate application unless you just want to. You can view About this Mac or open up Finder, right click on your MacIntosh HD partition and select Get Info. That will give you the totals for Disk Size, Available (free), and Used space on your drive.
  2. less than 40% free space - it is time for you to start paying attention to what data you are storing on the drive. It may be getting close to time for you to put a larger drive in your machine, learn to store some of your data on an external drive and at least learning what type of large bits of data you are storing on your computer.

If you really would like to see what I think about the use of this term "Other", have a read of post # 5 in this thread.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

Last edited by bobtomay; 02-20-2014 at 07:13 AM.
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bobtomay

 
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Before you start using any of these file browser applications - you need to have a current backup of your drive.

(You need to realize that the above recommended apps will show you everything - that means all hidden and system files will be shown. Don't touch them.
In fact, don't touch anything that you are not 100% sure what it is.
)

Using WhatSize

...
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 7.04.19 AM.png (348.0 KB, 160 views)
File Type: png Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 8.08.43 AM.png (358.1 KB, 158 views)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

Last edited by bobtomay; 01-05-2014 at 09:26 AM.
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harryb2448

 
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Have you downloaded Disk inventoryX as suggested and run it as yet? This is what it looks like when running:-


http://www.derlien.com/screenshots/index.html

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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chscag

 
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WhatSize and Daisy Disk are much easier to use than Disk Inventory X, but neither of them are free. I use WhatSize.
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harryb2448

 
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Ahh well Charlie that is the Scrooge in me. At my age one considers why purchase for possibly short time use?

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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sryoder

 
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I just ran Disk Inventory X for the first time. I DID read the admonishment above about staying out of certain folders. On my MacBook, some of these folders seem to be hidden. My questions:

1.) How do I view hidden folders/files?
2.) What is this 13.5 GB "sleepimage" file? (the attachment shows it's 2 GB but the Disk Inventory X shows 13.5 GB
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sleepimage.jpg (32.5 KB, 64 views)

-Steve
"The road goes on forever and the party never ends"

Last edited by sryoder; 05-29-2014 at 07:37 PM. Reason: left out some info
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TattooedMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
WhatSize and Daisy Disk are much easier to use than Disk Inventory X, but neither of them are free. I use WhatSize.
I use and love Daisy Disk, as its easy to use, and lovely to look at and dig down through the file structure. If you pay for it, it opens up Scanning by Administrator and you can trash stuff straight from the App, which is a bonus.
And I'm no scrooge but got it in a Bundle ways back

Quote:
Originally Posted by sryoder View Post
I just ran Disk Inventory X for the first time. I DID read the admonishment above about staying out of certain folders. On my MacBook, some of these folders seem to be hidden. My questions:

1.) How do I view hidden folders/files?
2.) What is this 13.5 GB "sleepimage" file? (the attachment shows it's 2 GB but the Disk Inventory X shows 13.5 GB
The ‘sleepimage’ file is just what it sounds like, it’s what your Mac had in it’s memory when the machine went to sleep, creating an image of your Mac’s previous memory state, so its basically a "SwapFile".
The sleepimage file is generally the exact same size as the amount of physical RAM your Mac has. If your Mac has 2GB of RAM, the sleepimage file will also be 2GB because there are 2GB of data that need to be stored when your Mac is put to sleep. You can check the size of your sleepimage file by typing the following command into the Terminal:

Copy and paste into Terminal and hit 'Return'
Code:
ls -lh /private/var/vm/sleepimage
EDIT: You can safely delete the SleepImage, and it will create another one when needed. Either drag and drop into trash, or to rid the whole thing copy and paste into Terminal and hit 'Return'
Code:
sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage

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Last edited by TattooedMac; 05-29-2014 at 08:58 PM.
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sryoder

 
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Thank you, TattooedMac. Just the info I needed. Guess I'll just leave it alone since it sounds like nothing would be gained by deleting it. Thanks, again

-Steve
"The road goes on forever and the party never ends"
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