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"Startup disk has no more space available" yet it has 60GB free..

16057 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2009 10:26 AM by Spence RSS
Jon Milan Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 8, 2009 8:02 PM
"Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory."

This error has started since making an upgrade to 10.5.6 on my Dual 2GHz G5 with 3GB memory.

I'm not doing anything particularly taxing on the computer at the time this error pops up. It's not like I'm running Google Earth, Photoshop, Lightroom, Safari, Firefox, Mail, Word, Excel, MySQL, Apache, etc with more than one user logged in -- though I've done that in the past with no problems. This can happen with Safari, iTunes, Mail and a couple small apps running such as TextWrangler. No consistency I can see as to the source of the problem.

The computer's been restarted a few times to no avail.

I reset the "Startup Disk" per a recommendation in the Macosxhints forum given to another with a similar problem. No difference.

The console log is showing a bunch of strange and apparently unrelated messages I'd never noticed before, though this one looks suspicious:

1/7/09 8:57:30 PM[47] Notice dynamic_pager: cannot extend paging file size /private/var/vm/swapfile0 to 67108864!
1/7/09 8:57:30 PM[1] Warning ([47]) Exited with exit code: 1

G5 Dual-2GHz; eMac G4-1GHz; Pismo G3; iMac (Intel); 2 MBPs, tv, ..., Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,120 points)
    yes, those console entries look mighty suspicious.
    run this in terminal and post the results

    defaults read /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

    also, look at the activity monitor->system memory tab when you are seeing these messages. do you have a lot of pageouts? is all RAM being used up? what's the reported swap file size?
    btw, are you using secure virtual memory?

    Message was edited by: V.K.
    Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Mac Pro 2.66GHz, powerbook G4 1.5GHz
  • KJK555 Level 4 Level 4 (2,895 points)
    sounds like a corrupt swapfile or maybe a corrupt file that is of
    course assuming you are not running out of disk space. namic_pager.html
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), , Win XP  "Did You Back It Up?"  "Save your Bacon, Clone it!" 
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,120 points)
    Jon Milan wrote:
    defaults read /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
    Label = "";
    OnDemand = 0;
    ProgramArguments = (

    this looks ok.

    Interestingly, here's the vm directory:

    sh-3.2# ls -la /private/var/vm
    total 131072
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 Jan 8 19:40 .
    drwxr-xr-x 27 root wheel 918 Mar 2 2008 ..
    drwx--x--x 26 root wheel 884 Feb 21 2008 app_profile
    -rw------T 1 root wheel 67108864 Jan 7 21:35 swapfile0

    I don't have app_profile (don't know what that is) in my /private/var/vm but everything else is the same. How much free space do you have on your hard drive?

    Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Mac Pro 2.66GHz, powerbook G4 1.5GHz
  • adhuston Calculating status...
    Definitely sounds like a swap file problem to me. You might want to try downloading applejack, . Reboot your machine and at the apple startup screen hold down command s to get into single user mode. Type applejack and run the swap file clear command. I have had to do that a couple times. Hope that helps!!
    Tangerine Imac, Snow Imac, Emac, MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Tangerine Imac, Snow Imac, Emac
  • adhuston Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    To get a sense of what may be happening try opening the terminal and type the top command. That will show you a detailed list of what is running, your memory status, and the swap file pages.
    Tangerine Imac, Snow Imac, Emac, MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Tangerine Imac, Snow Imac, Emac
  • KJK555 Level 4 Level 4 (2,895 points)
    "Isn't it odd the plist says swapfile and the real name is swapfile0 ?"

    Maybe, but that is normal. the dynamic_pager daemon does name the swapfile with a number at the
    end because it may create more than one swapfile in normal use. The next swapfile in line of course
    would be named "swapfile1".

    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), , Win XP  "Did You Back It Up?"  "Save your Bacon, Clone it!" 
  • Spence Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am working on an iMac G5 that has the same issue, 120GB disk, approximately 80GB free.

    Frequent "Startup disk has no more space available" messages.

    Activity Monitor starts with 1/3 of the disk available. 2GB RAM, swap space of 40GB.

    Once the disk message shows up, Activity monitor shows 75% of the disk used and then it bounces between 100% and 75% within the span of a few seconds. I will try the Applejack solution and see if that works.

    Very Funky.
    Imac G5, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 120GB Drive, 40GB Used, 2GB RAM


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