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  1. #1
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    Good Day to All!
    I've got an interesting, yet frustrating problem that I'm hoping you all can help me with- Before I do the dreaded Nuke & Restore!

    I am using an Intel MacBook Pro, running OS X 10.4.11 The hard drive is partitioned into two bootable volumes. The main volume is one that I use everyday and is operating fine. It is 91.5 gb with 59.2 free.

    The other volume is 21 gb and 742.3 are (were) free. I say "were" because I deleted a bunch of stuff and the number dropped to 550.6 free. Huh?

    Volume Two, which I call "Fallout Shelter" has only the operating system and three Windows hdd images I use with Parallels. One is XP Pro, one's W-98SE and one is MS-Dos 6.22 Dos & W-98 start & work fine, but XP refuses. It says the host disk if full. Parallels itself is on the other volume. The only programs on the subject partition are the ones that came with OS X & Windows.

    I deleted several things & moved W-98 and DOS off the drive. No help. Still disk full error. I went to Disk Utility & it showed 742 mb free. (As it usually did- Always in the neighborhood of 700)

    I don't have Windows connected to the internet, so I know there's no stealth stuff junking up the drive. OS X isn't connected either. (Just the other partition is on-line)

    The only files I've added are, perhaps, a dozen .txt files and two .bmp desktop photos. Oh yes- the six million Windows updates.

    I only use this volume to open documents that won't open in OS X & I use DOS for playing old games from floppies (I meant to say "Working very hard from floppy disk programs") 98 is for one cd based program that won't work in XP.

    I tired this stuff also: (Restarting the computer after each)
    Apple Software Update: Would not work- Disk Full Message
    Empty Trash: No increase in free space
    Dump Caches, Empty Trash, Restart (Both HD & User): Free space actually dropped to 550.6 I don't understand that one
    Disk Utility: Verified & Repaired Permissions: Nothing to repair showed up
    Disk Utility: Verify Disk: It came out fine.
    File System Check: (Apple Key-S /sbin/fsck -f): No Help, but fun to watch.
    Reset pram: No Help
    Took Windows 98 & DOS disk images off the drive: No Increase in free space
    Searched every forum I could find & tried lots of stuff (trash empty, plist dumps, etc)
    Scoured the hard drive, file-by-file looking for giant files.
    Had "Disk X" look, but Windows only showed up as one file.
    Searched Apple Support: Came up with the same suggestions.

    I'm guessing the problem has nothing to do with Parallels nor Windows XP. I based this on software update saying the disk is full & the fact that I can dump large files with no increase in disk free space (i.e. Windows 98SE). Also, the cache file dump caused the opposite effect- A drop in free space even after trash was emptied & computer re-booted.

    The original "free space" is (was) about the same as it has been since day one- In the area of 700 mb. Everything used to work. I added no new programs or files. (The word 'Was' means it used to be ca 700 until I dumped the cache files when it shrunk to 550.6)

    Before I erase the volume & re-load OS X and all three Microsoft operating systems (a task I dread- mostly due to the endless updates)- Is there anything I missed? I'm willing to try crazy stuff if necessary, as this volume is, indeed, my Fallout Shelter with no critical stuff on it.

    Thank you all very much for your help & ideas!
    Paul

  2. #2
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    My most immediate concern is that your hard drive is crashing. This is a stab in the dark, but perhaps when you deleted those files, a bunch of sectors got flagged as bad. If you don't have external backups, do so NOW while you can.

    Once done, you need to test your drive. The very simplest thing to do is use something like Onyx to check the SMART status. If it fails, that means your drive is literally on its last legs. However if it passes, don't rely on that. A tool that does a more thorough analysis of the SMART data is SMART Utility. It has a free trial, so by all means take advantage of it.

    If all that checks out, then I'm a bit hard pressed to say what to do next. You can use tools like DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro to try repairing the directory. Barring that, clone your contents to a backup drive, delete your partitions on the internal drive and re-create/reformat it all, then clone your contents back. SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner both are highly recommended here.

  3. #3
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    PGB1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2008
    Location
    Detroit
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    Specs:
    Mac Book Pro 2.2 Ghz 2 GB RAM Running OSX 10.6.8
    Thank You! You Solved The Problem For Me!
    Thank You Lifeisabeach for your ideas. You solved the problem (or at least for now).

    No offense is intended, but I hope you are wrong about the hard drive failing. But, somehow it makes perfect sense. I think I will pre-shop and figure out which one I'll buy. Preemptive shopping? Are the solid state drive worth having?

    I do keep clones (repeated fairly often) of the real hard drive volume- the one where I do grown up stuff like work. I make daily backups of documents to an external drive. For this volume, I haven't backed up anything. (Yet)

    I tired Tech Tool after I wrote the question. It showed no problems. (Not the Pro version, just the deluxe version I had)

    I ran Onyx, primarily for what you suggested- checking the SMART status. It passed. I like Onyx, I use it often.

    Interestingly, while I was with Onyx-at your suggestion, I ran all of the maintenance & clean up operations that I had done from OS X already. All of a sudden, the problem vanished. Now I have 3+ gb free & Windows XP starts fine. Goofy, huh? Scary!

    I do plan to clone the volume on your suggestion. It will make the project of re-installing on a new hard drive much simpler than a total start over. I downloaded the trial of SMART Utility. I look forward to using it- on BOTH volumes!

    Thank you again,
    Paul

  4. #4
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Hmmmm… I'm a bit surprised that Onyx repaired that, but hey, so much the better. As for the possibility your drive is failing, if it's checking out fine, especially if it passed TechTool's surface scan, then it probably isn't. Still, best to keep a current backup available no matter what. Drives can and do fail without warning, but I wouldn't go replacing it simply as a preventative measure, especially if the drive's health is proven to be good.

  5. #5
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    PGB1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2008
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    Detroit
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    Specs:
    Mac Book Pro 2.2 Ghz 2 GB RAM Running OSX 10.6.8
    Yup, it was goofy that Onxy repaired what OS X didn't. Who knows?
    You're right, I won't rush out & buy a HDD, especially since the prices are falling relatively fast. But, I'm sure going to "pre-shop" (as in do my homework).

    I ran SMART Utility, as you suggested. that is a very nice program. I came up with "Pre-Fail" or "Old Age" on every item. But, the bottom line passed the disk.

    I do keep clones of the important volume, but will clone the Fallout Shelter volume form now on, simply because when I couldn't get it to act properly I realized how huge a task it would be to reinstall everything!

    Thank you again for your help. I'm now on the path toward 'making life easy when things go wrong'!
    Paul

  6. #6
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    With that Pre-Fail warning, I would definitely plan on replacing the drive soon. That's the great thing about SMART Utility… it serves as an early warning system so you can make plans to avoid an outright crash and data loss. Anywho… glad it's turning out good.

  7. #7
    Hard Drive Full Message- But It Isn't! Yikes
    PGB1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2008
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    217
    Specs:
    Mac Book Pro 2.2 Ghz 2 GB RAM Running OSX 10.6.8
    Thank You again!
    I really like the Smart Utility you suggested. It shows a fantastic amount of detail. (in plain non-techno language, too!).
    Paul

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