Powerbook Hard Drive Issues

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hey all,



I'm hoping you can help me with a hard drive problem I'm having.



Recently, I was confronted with a warning message telling me my Powerbook 12" Rev B. hard drive was out of space. Not knowing whether it was my fault for this problem or a faulty HD, I went about clearing 800mb of free space from the HD. I watched finder for about 30 minutes, without saving anything, and everything seemed fine, until I restarted the finder... I now have only 400mb of free space, after only 30 minutes of deleting 800mb worth of stuff, and it keeps declining. After doing some rough calculations, I seem to be missing 6gb of HD space!



After classes today I plan on doing a backup of the drive onto two external HD's, however it would be great to know what the problem is. Obviously, if its a faulty HD, I'm going to have to have a new one installed, and then copy back over the backup, however that might not leave me with any free space based on what has happened.



Does anyone have any advice/ideas/experience with this? I don't have Applecare but do have a couple of weeks left on the initial year warranty. I plan on selling the Powerbook at Xmas so want it to be in good condition to sell on.



Please help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Anyone...?
  • Reply 2 of 10
    are you using FileVault? Try logging out and logging back in.



    I would also search google and these forums for "finder memory leaks" IIRC, there was a thread about memory leaks a while back. I know that this is not a memory leak (its not RAM) but i think there was something about this issue.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    I'm not using Filevault...



    It seems that my free hard drive space deteriorates while the comp is in use, yet when i restart, i get the space back (at least some of it!). Anyone familar with this? I'm mostly using Safari, itunes, ical, ichat, adium and microsoft in that order...



    Thanks.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Quote:

    Originally posted by your_ad_here

    I'm not using Filevault...



    It seems that my free hard drive space deteriorates while the comp is in use, yet when i restart, i get the space back (at least some of it!). Anyone familar with this? I'm mostly using Safari, itunes, ical, ichat, adium and microsoft in that order...



    Thanks.




    Could it be that Virtual Memory is eating around ~5 GB of your hard drive?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I guess it could be, but how do I check/resolve the issue if it is?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by your_ad_here

    I guess it could be, but how do I check/resolve the issue if it is?



    First, type "top" in the Terminal and see what it says for VM allocation - it's the last line before the list of processes begins.



    Next we'll track the disk I/O to see what is running wild writing to the hard drive. Open Activity Monitor and click Disk Activity. See if there is something doing continual disk writes.



    Next check off all the "memory" columns in Activity Monitor's "View->Columns" menu item. Click on the header of the Virtual Memory column and see what is using the most VM.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Hey Lundy,



    Thanks for your reply. Sorry i haven't followed up on it, however i think i have found the problem.



    I ran Omnidisksweeper looking for large files that shouldn't be there, and found that on the Macintosh HD, under Volumes, there was a folder called Backup. It was nearly 11gb, and looked to be a backup of my hd - apps, user files etc. The only explanation is that somehow during one of my backups i backed up to the hd rather than my external.



    Figuring that folder was the reason i'd lost 10gb or so of space, i backed up the drive to my external just in case, and then went about deleting the Backup volume.



    Strange thing is, the majority of the files were deleted, except for about 1.1gb of files within the volume. i tried deleting the volume again, to get rid of the remaining gig, but it wouldn't let me delete it. so i went into the volume, and deleted the files individually. This worked... for a second! Suddenly, like some kind of possessed folder, it began growing, until it reached that 1.1gb again!



    So, unless i'm wildly off, i'm guessing that is the explanation for why i kept losing my remaining 500mb of hd space. Everytime i restarted the comp, it would clear, and then repopulate, until my hd was full again.



    I am now trying to figure out how to get rid of that volume completely, so it stops spawning. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm going to try booting off my external, then searching the macintosh hd again and see if it will delete that time. I'll try and keep you updated...



    Again, thanks for the advice though!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,694member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by your_ad_here

    I ran Omnidisksweeper looking for large files that shouldn't be there, and found that on the Macintosh HD, under Volumes, there was a folder called Backup. It was nearly 11gb, and looked to be a backup of my hd - apps, user files etc. The only explanation is that somehow during one of my backups i backed up to the hd rather than my external.



    Er... is your external hard drive labelled "Backup" by any chance?



    /Volumes/ is the mount point for all your volumes. Assuming your laptop has one internal hard drive with one partition, if you reboot your computer with no external devices attached, launch terminal and type "cd /volumes" (without the quotes) and then "ls", it should say "Macintosh HD". Now, if you connect your external hard drive and wait for it to mount in the finder, and type "ls" again in the terminal, it should say "Macintosh HD" and "NameOfYourExternalHardDrive".



    IMHO, your problem is probably with Virtual Memory.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Yes, my external is called 'Backup' but when its not attached the backup volume still appears when i run the Omnidisk sweeper. Also, when i run Super Duper to back up, the external drive comes up as Backup1 instead of just Backup.



    If it's virtual memory, what do i do?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,694member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by your_ad_here

    Yes, my external is called 'Backup' but when its not attached the backup volume still appears when i run the Omnidisk sweeper.



    That's odd. I'm pretty sure that if there is no file-system mounted, there shouldn't be anything in the /volumes/ directory.



    Perhaps it is your backup software doing something funny.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by your_ad_here

    If it's virtual memory, what do i do?



    What lundy said.



    Also, I suggest heading over to the OSXfaq forums to resolve the strangeness going on in /volumes/
Sign In or Register to comment.