Mac Hard Drive Suddenly full

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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.
 

bobtomay

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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).
 
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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.
 

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Do you have the WD software installed or did you format the drive. The WD software might be the problem.
 

bobtomay

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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.
 
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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?
 

Slydude

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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.
 

bobtomay

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No - TM on desktop Macs do not create those local snapshots - so that would not be what is filling your drive.
 
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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?
 

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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.
 
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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. :)
 

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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
 

chscag

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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! O:)
 

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