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OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory

127082 Views 129 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2014 5:36 AM by FruitbatFran RSS
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Andrew_OB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 18, 2011 10:53 AM
This message pops up when running the system for some time a day or 2. Full message
"Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory. To avoid problems with your computer, quit any applications you are not using, Closing windows and removing files from your startup disk will also help."
HD Space 361.27GB Free of 620
2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Dou
Memery 4 GB 1067MHz
iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • VahanA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the same problem while my HDD has a 25+GB of free space. Any ideas why I am getting this "Your Mac OS X startup disk has no more space available for application memory" message? Also, in that screen there is a button to resume paused application which never worked for me. I eventually have to force quit any paused application in order to use it again.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • StephenM Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    This answers both of your questions. The computer needs some hard drive space for swap files and for storing other information while the computer runs. You are getting a warning that there is limited hard drive space that is affecting the ability of the computer to run correctly. Note, that your hard drive it not completely full. It that where so, you would be seeing really weird behaviors and likely applications would be crashing right and left. If nothing is done to remedy the situation, you will likely start to see weird behaviors and unexpected crashes.

    Time for some clean up. Perhaps, there are some old files that can be trashed. Perhaps there are some old files that you want to save but don't use that often. Do you need instant access to old iMovie and iDVD projects? They take up a lot of space. These seldom used files could be moved to a secondary hard drive.

    Also, use a product like OmniSweeper by Omnigroup; It will help to find folders/files that are large. It helps me to find those "Ah-ha" files. Those are the large files that I forgot I had on my hard drives that I don't need anymore yet are using GB of space. BTW, OmniSweeper is free!

    Best of luck in cleaning up.
    various, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)
    The original poster has 361g of free space on a 620g drive (according to the post) so I very much doubt that 'cleaning up' has anything to do with the problem.
    Unibody MBP, 13", Mac OS X (10.6.6), Hybrid HD
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)
    You have 25g free you stated, what is the total size of your Hard Drive, you should have 15% (apprx) free space, if this is not so consider a larger drive.
    Unibody MBP, 13", Mac OS X (10.6.6), Hybrid HD
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)
    I do have one question, is the error message you posted 'exact' or from memory?
    Unibody MBP, 13", Mac OS X (10.6.6), Hybrid HD
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)
    Odd, I'm surprised that disk space is referred to as 'memory' which usually refers to ram. Also and unfortunately I have no suggestion for you at the moment.
    Unibody MBP, 13", Mac OS X (10.6.6), Hybrid HD
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (21,990 points)
    You do have an extraordinary number of swaps (page ins/page outs) - your memory has to keep re-assigning itself elsewhere. So, one solution might be to increase your RAM - your profile does not show what model iMac you have, so please post back with detailed information including your current amount of RAM.
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 12 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.6), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie d2 Quadra ext HD , Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
    Barbara Daniels1 wrote:
    You do have an extraordinary number of swaps (page ins/page outs) - your memory has to keep re-assigning itself elsewhere.


    The OP does have a high value for page ins, but I wouldn't be too concerned about a "Page outs" value of 25.4 MB. That's really down in the noise. Since page outs happen when real memory is overcommitted, I don't think that's the case here.

    That's also consistent with an "Inactive" value of 2.00GB.

    That said, I have no explanation for the original symptom.
    MacBook 5,2 2.0 GHz, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (21,990 points)
    You are absolutely right - I misread some of the numbers - but, I just looked at his post again, and it said only 19.9 MB free. Could that be causing the problem?
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 12 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.6), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie d2 Quadra ext HD , Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,475 points)
    Barbara Daniels1 wrote:
    it said only 19.9 MB free. Could that be causing the problem?


    I don't claim to be an expert on OS X memory management, but I believe that any "inactive" RAM is immediately available if needed. An efficient virtual memory system would have much of its physical RAM as possible already assigned to some use. This would allow any "inactive" RAM to be recovered by the last process that used it. On the other hand, "inactive" RAM would also be available for a new process if need be.

    According to an Apple document, "The inactive list contains pages that are currently resident in physical memory but have not been accessed recently. These pages contain valid data but may be released from memory at any time."
    MacBook 5,2 2.0 GHz, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
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