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OSX Lion: Backups/Other Disk Space

93505 Views 94 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2014 4:06 PM by Barney-15E RSS
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skitzogreg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jul 22, 2011 8:49 AM

After installing Lion, my disk space dropped to a new low. After pulling the hard drive "inventory" report, I noticed that I had a substantial "other" category, and even more confusing was a "Backups" category. I decided to turn Time Machine off to see if that would alleviate the "Backups" issue, and all it did was add the previous disk space into the "Other" category. I now do not have enough disk space to utilize my Parallels VM for XP. Please help.

 

This is a picture of before turning Time Machine off. Note the "Backups" and "Other" categores:

/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/156/15695991-1.png

 

 

This is a picture of after turning Time Machine off. Note that the "Backups" combined with "Other", creating one random space eater:

/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/156/15695991-2.png

  • tylermwait Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 22, 2011 9:48 PM (in response to skitzogreg)

    I'm having this same problem. "About This Mac | Storage" is showing that I have 49.31 GB in the "Other" category. I have no idea what is taking up this much space, but I do know that this amount of data keeps getting larger. I've lost approximately 10 GB since installing Lion on the release date.

  • Georg Grütter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 23, 2011 1:41 PM (in response to skitzogreg)

    Same thing here. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the new mobile backup feature introduced in Lion. Those are stored in /Volumes/MobileBackups and have the same structure as TM backups.Not much help when they block the disk. Does anyone know how to turn this feature off?

  • Georg Grütter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 23, 2011 1:51 PM (in response to skitzogreg)

    Jan-Kaspar Münnich found a solution. See http://www.jan-muennich.de/lion-mobile-backup-lokale-time-machine-abschalten

     

    For those not speaking german. The solution is to turn off the mobile backup feature by executing the following command in the terminal:

     

    sudo tmutil disablelocal

  • AMMOCAN Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
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    Jul 28, 2011 3:59 AM (in response to Georg Grütter)

    Or you can go into TM and just switch it to Off and restart.

  • tylermwait Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 28, 2011 10:15 AM (in response to AMMOCAN)

    I've already tried that with no success. I reinstalled Lion, so far so good. I'll update if I continue to lose disk space.

  • AMMOCAN Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
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    Jul 28, 2011 11:24 AM (in response to tylermwait)

    I personally haven't been able to confirm if the three suggestions below actually does anything to stop the free space from filling up because I personally don't have this issue with TM turned off, but I guess it is worth a shot:

     

    System Preferences > TimeMachine > Options > Change Lock documents to 1 day

     

    OR

     

    System Preferences > General > Number of recent items > Change Applications, Documents, & Servers to None

     

    OR

     

    Open Terminal and type: sudo tmutil disablelocal

  • merouan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 30, 2011 8:58 PM (in response to skitzogreg)

    I have the exact same problem on my new Air (Lion). I have been able to recover some data space by turning off Time Machine but I was not able to get rid of the "other" section which takes almost 1/3rd of my storage. I have no idea what all of this space is used for - especially given the fact that my computer is only 10 days old and that I have not downloaded any heavy application (except for MS office). I suspect it has something to do with Lion duplicating files but I don't know what to do about it. I have tried the suggestions listed above but it didn't work for me ...

     

    Help anyone?

  • miami486 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 4:35 AM (in response to skitzogreg)

    I had exactly the same issue...

    tried all three options above but did not work.

    I ended up switching off TM and rebooted.

    My "backup" component went from a whopping 218.11Gig back to zero. (I've had my machine for 3 days!!!)

    The "other" I suspect is all the documents etc. (I have a couple of VMware virtual machines) held in the documents folder taking up about 150Gig and my other is approximately 160Gid

     

    I reckon Lion must cache the Time machine data locally before flushing to external time machine disk hence why its becomes zero after the TM is turned off.

    My "Other" component did not increase once the TM was turned off.

     

    I do need TM running so I guess I might have to just live with the extra disk being used.

    Interesting though.. when you check the disk info of Mac HD, the "Backup component" did not seem to be part of the disk utilization, OMNIdisksweeper did not pick it up either...

     

    Hope that Helps

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,270 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 4:42 AM (in response to skitzogreg)

    You don't mention if you are using a mobile computer.

    If so, those are local snapshots.

    If you have TM on, but no backup drive connected, it will make local snapshots until you connect the TM drive back up.

     

    From the picture you posted, when you turned TM off, the local snapshots went away and you picked up about 39GB of free space. They weren't combined with Other.

  • merouan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 5:46 AM (in response to skitzogreg)

    Thank you for your quick answers guys! Turning off TM does free the "backup" section so no problem with that. However, my main concern has to do with the "other" section which takes a little bit under 1/3rd of my space and does not disappear even after a reboot. In my case, I just don't see what all this data is used for!!!

     

    I am using a 10 days old new macbook air (2011) with Lion.

  • mikeyllorin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 8:09 AM (in response to merouan)

    Having the same problem. Am even more concerned now that I turned on Time Machine again and the "Other" space did not remerge with the "Backups" space, so now I have a growing "Backups" space while my "Other" remains exactly the same--27+GB of unknown, undeleteable data.

     

    Help please?

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,270 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 1:01 PM (in response to merouan)

    merouan wrote:

     

    However, my main concern has to do with the "other" section which takes a little bit under 1/3rd of my space and does not disappear even after a reboot. In my case, I just don't see what all this data is used for!!!

    Other is everything that is not Audio, Movies, Photos, Apps, or Backups. That leaves system files, documents, support files, databases, preferences, etc.

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,270 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 1:04 PM (in response to mikeyllorin)

    mikeyllorin wrote:

     

    my "Other" remains exactly the same--27+GB of unknown, undeleteable data.

     

    Help please?

    Why do you want to delete the system files, your documents, application support files, etc?

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Jul 31, 2011 1:35 PM (in response to Barney-15E)

    Barney-15E wrote:

    . . .

    If you have TM on, but no backup drive connected, it will make local snapshots until you connect the TM drive back up.

    Time Machine doesn't stop making Local snapshots when your TM drive is connected; they continue. See #30 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.


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