This is not the behavior of any virus I know of (and not the behavior of the current flashback trojan that everyone is worried about). I ran into this same problem myself the other day, and while I'm still diagnosing, I suspect it has something to do with a build up of old cache files. At least, something had made about 15 gigabytes of hard drive space disappear, all of which came back after a restart.
If you haven't restarted your computer and the Finder is still reporting very low levels of disk space, try to see if you can figure out where the disk space has gone. an app like GrandPerspective or OmniDiskSweeper that shows directory sizes might be helpful. then restart and see if you recover the lost disk space.
Addendum: HP Device Monitor.
Over the course of this day my system lost 30 gigabytes of drive space. I did some investigation and found that it was all eaten up by swapfiles; the system seemed to be creating 1 Gb swapfiles at a rate of about 1 an hour. I looked in Activity Monitor and got suspicious about the HP Device Monitor app (I recently added an HP network printer, and activity monitor showed it taking up an inordinate amount of cpu and virtual memory for an app that supposedly just monitors a single printer). I force-quit HP Device Monitor, and all of my disk space came back over the next 5 minutes as swapfiles were released.
Note that the Device Monitor is launched by a launchd plist at
/Library/LaunchAgents/com.hp.devicemonitor.plist, and that this launchd job has KeepAlive set to true. This means that as soon as you quit the Device Monitor it will start right back up. That's fine (it will still release the swapfiles), but If you want to quash the app completely you'll have to disable or remove that plist file, and then restart your computer or disable the currently running launchd job using launchctl. This should have no impact whatsoever on your ability to print.
I have had this problem. I thought that this was caused by not having enough space on my startup disk for swap files (<30G). I went to the extent of replaceing my hard drive and restoring and setting up everything.
With 300G free now. I still have the problem?!? If I leave my computer running, I will come back to the same OSX message about "no more space." This is very concerning like r_nadeemahmed about virus, intruder, trojan, etc. The operating system or other program should be that inefficient on the use of diskspace to take 300 G. When it returns the space the system is usually running slow and multiple programs are not responding.
I have a Mac Book Pro with Core i7, 8G and 750G startup disk and 2TB external. What gives??
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'd give apple a call if you are still under applecare. A year with a new comptuer I think.
AppleCare Support Phone Number: 1-800-275-2273
open 6am to 6pm Pacific Time
Apple Phone Sales 1-800-692-7753
International Technical Support Numbers
Run activity monitor.
Look at what is happening with your Mac when you run Activity Monitor.
Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor
1) Be sure you select all processes in the double arrow selection just be low the window title line.
2) Click on the CPU tab on the lower half of the window to see how much time you are using and if any applications are hogging the CPU.
3) Be sure the triangle in the CPU title is in the down position. This will list the processes from high to low.
You can gain some understanding of Activity Monitor by looking at it every once in a while. Look at the small graph.
Here is how I have my CPU display set up:
Do you need more cpu memory.
Click on System Memory to get statistics on memory usage. You should have some free memory.
The number to look at is page outs.
Mine is 13397. This means that some of my programs and data had to be written to disk because cpu memory filled up for a time. It means my programs ran a little slower than they could have. I could run fewer programs, deal with the slowness, or buy more memory. I'd say you want at least 512meg of memory for 10.4.
If the entry for entry for Page ins/outs is:
Page ins/outs: 29163/0
Notice I have 0 pageouts which says that I am not using my harddrive for extra memory space. Thus, I have enough memory.
Activity Monitor has a neat feature where it can display a dynamic dock icon. In Activity Monitor View > Dock icon > Show cpu history.
"Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor :"
Problems from insufficient RAM and free hard disk space
I havn't figured out a good way to see which program is writing out big files.
Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
sudo du -cxsPh /Users/*
8.6M /Users/Deleted Users 24K /Users/Shared 1.5M /Users/a (Deleted) 3.9M /Users/filev 49M /Users/filevault 126M /Users/ftp
# press contro + c to stop as I did
sudo du -cxsPh /
# will be slow
The sudo command will ask for your administration password. No characters will appear when typing your password. Press return when done typing. sudo stands for super user do. It's just like root. Be careful.