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  1. #1
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    Hi, this is my first post on this forum and I look forward to being a part of this community.

    I have a late 2009 iMac that I upgraded to Yosemite a couple months ago. I've had several problems with OEM apps not working etc. and a lack of memory (RAM) for some reason as I had 8GB. Anyway, my most recent problem has been a sudden increase in, or lack there of, hard drive space. Literally over night 100GB nearly appeared and almost maxed out my 500GB HD.

    I've used "Disk Doctor" to analyze and remove stuff from my HD and I am now about 35GB from the max. I've also used a couple of "disk analysis" apps and have done some rough calculations that show I have about 120GB occupied on my HD, no where near the number that Disk Doctor is showing.

    I'm trying to find out what is cluttering up my HD but haven't had any success. The only thing I've recently done (in the last few days) is increase my RAM from 8GB to 16GB. Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,572
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Rep Power
    37
    Is Time Machine turned on and not connected to an external drive to make the backups? If so, it's filling your drive with local backups (or snapshots) until it gets connected. You can turn off those local backups via a terminal command - link. Disabling them will delete all the current local backups.

    Really want to see what is taking space on your drive, grab an app like Disk Inventory X (free) or WhatSize (I highly recommend this one, although they may be pricing themselves out of the market at their current price point).
    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.

  3. #3
    That may be the issue. Ever since upgrading to Yosemite, my external HD and continually been "ejected" by the computer. There would be several attempts to eject it the next day. Apparently, there is not Yosemite upgrade for my WD external HD. I did mess with settings in time machine and deleted it from the options. At this point it's unplugged until I can figure out how to get the two to play together. I believe I tried a free version of WhatSize, but it only went up to 20GB (which I couldn't understand. I'll give Disk Inventory X a try.

    ETA, I did try Disk Inventory X and it as well didn't show the missing hard drive space.

  4. #4
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,520
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    25
    Do you have the WD software installed or did you format the drive. The WD software might be the problem.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  5. #5
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,572
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Rep Power
    37
    nvm - I'm going senile - local snapshots are not a feature with an iMac - only with notebook Macs...


    There are no additional drivers required, unless as Slydude noted, you've been using WD's software - which can be a problem.
    Last edited by bobtomay; 01-02-2015 at 01:35 PM.
    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.

  6. #6
    I'm "Assuming" I am using the WD My Book For Mac software. It's been a while as this HD has been working non stop without a problem for me since Snow Leopard. I'm still perplexed as to why I can't see what's on the rest of the Mac's HD. I did run a scan with ClamXav and somehow came across hidden files? but I can't find them now. There was a check box to see these files. One was a volume folder that i was attempting to find out what it was however in trying to find info. on the folder I couldn't get it to open.

    So Bobtomay, I shouldn't try disabling time machine via the article you linked to?

  7. #7
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,520
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    25
    Do you remember what some of those invisible files were? Some of them are there purposefully by OS X. DS Store for example keeps track of the window positions.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  8. #8
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,572
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Rep Power
    37
    No - TM on desktop Macs do not create those local snapshots - so that would not be what is filling your drive.
    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.

  9. #9
    Just happened again overnight. Last night I had 32GB available on my hard drive and today I have less than 1GB. I cannot open "About This Mac" to see where my storage is and have been getting the "Startup Disk is almost full message" I use an app called Disk Doctor which is how I found out the status of my hard drive.

    I am currently doing nightly back ups to my external hard drive which seems to be working however the iMac does continue to try to eject the HD when in sleep mode over night.

    I'm about at my wits end with this computer. I cannot figure out how to identify the "other" part of the storage that I've identified as taking up the majority of my HD. The only thing I did last night was download the Fitbit program to the tune of 27MB.

    ETA: I just checked Time Machine and it was OFF! If TM is storing backups on my HD, where would they be?

  10. #10
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,520
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    25
    Time Machine won't do that on your Mac. It only stores backups on the main drive if you are using a Mac notebook not desktops such as the iMac.

    Did you ever run WhatSize or DiskInventory X as suggested? Either program will give you a better picture of what files are in the "Other" category than Disk Doctor.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  11. #11
    Well, I visited the Apple Genius Bar 60 miles and 6 hours of vacation time away. My fifteen minute appointment turned in to three-hours. Two Genius's were perplexed in that they had never seen this before. They called it "occupying free space" according to them they could not detect what was taking up the space that should be free. Free space was taking up about 430G of my 500G HD. They continued to consult one another and the internet to find an answer. Finally we just erased the HD and did a clean install of Yosemite and my time machine back up ( I brought my external HD with me).

    My computer is now almost screaming fast, with 430GB of available HD space. All of this was at no charge! It would have cost me at least $100.00 locally to have someone look at it. I also walked out with a 4TB external HD. I still think my western digital backup HD and a time machine conflict had something to do with this.

    I give a plug to the Apple store and their genius's. During my three hour tour at the bar, I was amazed at the variety of issues these people have to deal with from phones, iPads, to iMacs, apple tv to people who are just stupider than me.

  12. #12
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    41,362
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    43
    Congrats! Too bad your nearest Apple Store is 60 miles away...but it sounds like once you were there...you had a very positive experience!

    Keep an eye on things...just in case something in your daily activities/tasks was related to things.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #13
    Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    58,900
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Rep Power
    53
    During my three hour tour at the bar, I was amazed at the variety of issues these people have to deal with from phones, iPads, to iMacs, apple tv to people who are just stupider than me.
    LOL, we're glad everything turned out well. I can verify that Apple has the best customer support and great geniuses that work in their stores. And yes, those guys and gals have to put up with the likes of folks like us all the time!

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