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what is classed as 'other' on lion about this mac storage?

126691 Views 134 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2014 6:49 PM by schwoosh RSS
  • sn315on Calculating status...

    Thank you so much for the OmniDisk Sweeper info. It helped me see that there were files on the h/d I had forgotten about. I moved them to an external h/d and freed up a lot of space, 30GB so far!

  • aghatak Calculating status...

    was getting the same mysterious 'other' that was eating up 80GB of my disk.

     

    did all the usual disk inventory / grand perspective, verify/repair on the disk etc but got nothing

     

    For some reason, whenever I deleted anything, I was prompted for the admin pw and but it didnt appear in the trash. the trash was always empty

     

    found a users/<myusername>/.trash directory thru WhatSize (admin mode) that contained all the stuff I'd deleted. deleted the entire contents, emptied the trash (strangely), and rebooted.

     

    Voila! 80 GB extra space

     

    thanks to pondini for all the tips...

  • kmsoc16 Calculating status...

    Screen Shot 2012-08-17 at 11.44.21 AM.pngScreen Shot 2012-08-17 at 11.47.57 AM.pngI too am having the same issue here. It looks like my private folder is the largest when using WhatSize. Clicking through the var folder, it seems to be archived files from previous large files I have edited/used in the past. This folder alone is 9 GB. Can I delete this? Assuming it may relate to the large size of my other category.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Have you done a Restart lately?  If not, that should clear out most of the private/var/folders folder.

     

    If that doesn't help, take a look at the creation and modification dates (select the folders folder and WhatSize > Tools > Reveal in Finder from the menubar).

     

    If they're not current, you're probably safe deleting them.

     

    For more info on what's in Other, see The Storage Display

  • kmsoc16 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After a restart and deleting some unwanted files, I am back to a bit larger free space. Will continue to play with it to see if there is anything else that may change this but definitely helped.

     

    Thank you so much.

  • Liz0202 Calculating status...

    Hi guys,

     

    I'm having the same problem as everyone else here. I noticed yesterday I only had 13GB of free space left on my Macbook Pro. Had the shock of my life when I discovered 109GB was filled by a mysterious 'Other'! After spending the entire day reading up on this issue on blogs, forums and websites, I've managed to free up 88GB (in total), with 'only' 88GB of 'Other' left. I deleted all the caches. I installed OmniDiskSweeper and couldn't find anything weird. I downloaded MainMenu and had a minor panic attack when I thought the 'secure erase free space' process I'd started was going to destroy my laptop (yeah...). I downloaded Onyx but it said my disk had to be repaired and I should restart the computer. Not understanding what this meant, I removed Onyx completely and rededicated myself to reading those websites, forums, etc.

    Reading here, the Verify Disk and Repair Disk thing on Disk Utility might actually be useful, but I'm worried something'll go wrong. Mostly because I have no idea what these things do.

     

    I have my Mac OSX Install DVD right here next to me for if/when I need to repair my Disk (after I'd Verified it, right?). It says Mac OS Version 10.5.7. I also have an Applications Install DVD. Do I need this one too? Will I lose any of my stuff (games, etc) if I do this? What about the fact that I'm running Lion..where's that gonna go? Will I need to reinstall it, and if so, how?

     

    Sorry about the twenty questions, especially the probably very basic, pretty stupid ones. I'd appreciate any advice/assurances before I start this process!

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Liz0202 wrote:

    . . .

    I downloaded Onyx but it said my disk had to be repaired and I should restart the computer.

    . . .

    Reading here, the Verify Disk and Repair Disk thing on Disk Utility might actually be useful, but I'm worried something'll go wrong. Mostly because I have no idea what these things do.

    Repair Disk is what you need.  There's a problem with the directory structure on your internal HD -- that's all the indexes to where files and free space are, among other things.  If something is damaged there, OSX may report inaccurate sizes, and/or in some cases you may have corrupted file(s).

     

     

    I have my Mac OSX Install DVD right here next to me for if/when I need to repair my Disk (after I'd Verified it, right?). It says Mac OS Version 10.5.7.

    No, do NOT use that -- it's for an earlier version of OSX, not Lion.  (But don't throw it away --  you may need the disc that came with your Mac, to run the Apple Hardware Test).

     

    Ordinarily, we'd recommend running Verify Disk using the copy of Disk Utility on your system; but since OnyX has already done that, and found problems, there's no point to doing it again.

     

    You can't repair the disk you're running from (just as a brain surgeon can't operate on him/her self).  You'll need to start from the Recovery HD that's on your internal HD, and run Repair Disk.  See #6 in Using Disk Utility, especially the yellow box.

     

    That will attempt to fix the problem(s).  Usually, it will.   If not, you may need stronger stuff, or to erase your Mac and restore from your backups.  

     

    You do have backups, right?  If not, do that first (you should always have backups).  You'll need an external HD (or Time Capsule), preferably 2-3 times the size of the data on your system.  You can use Time Machine (built-in to OSX) or a 3rd-party app.  

     

    For info on Time Machine, you might want to review the Time Machine Tutorial, and perhaps browse Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.

     

    For some 3rd-party apps, see the green box in #27 of the FAQ link.


  • Liz0202 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I really appreciate the help!! Thank you so much! I definitely have a backup, I updated time machine yesterday before I started all this just in case I inadvertently brought on the apocalypse.I'll update again before running the repair disk.

    One last question, your website very helpfully indicates all the options after you've rebooted the system. The one I'll have to pick will be called Recovery 10-7, (blue arrow) right?

     

    Thanks again!

  • Liz0202 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It worked!!!!! I now have 161 blessed GB of free space! Couldn't be happier (or more relieve). Thank you again so much!

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Great!  Glad it's sorted out, and thanks for the feedback.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    I neglected to mention . . .

     

    Usually, this is a one-time thing.  But it might be an indication of some sort of problem, so run Verify Disk from the copy of Disk Utility on your Mac (or OnyX if you prefer it) in a week or so.  If there's no problem, run it again in a month or so.   If it reoccurs, you'll need to figure out why.   

     

    If it doesn't happen again, then you should be fine, especially as long as you run regular backups.

  • divemaster32 Calculating status...

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

     

    it is to do with time machine and the new local snapshots it takes.
    they delete when space is needed.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    No, Time Machine's Local Snapshots are not included in the "Other" category.  They're shown separately as "Backups," as shown in the link you posted.

  • divemaster32 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    On my Mac, I currently have 143gb in other, the "other" value swaps between other and backups depending on whether or not time machine is turned on or not.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    When you turn Time Machine OFF, it begins deleting Snapshots.  That can take some time -- while that's in progress, the ones that haven't actually been deleted yet will be shown in the "Other" category.

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