2 Replies Latest reply: Jul 1, 2012 5:21 PM by Linc Davis
nickellead Level 1 (0 points)

I have a 2009 MacBook with a 160GB hard drive. About 3 weeks ago the drive went from about 40GB used to 159GB+, so I can't save anything to the system. I've looked at the HD contents and can't figure out what's taking up the 120GB on the hard drive. Fortunately I back up regularly, so losing data isn't my problem. Is it time to rebuild my system and start with a clean drive? How should I go about it?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)

    Could be Time Machine snapshots: OS X Lion- About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs


    Open the Terminal in the Utilities folder and enter or paste the appropriate command line. Press RETURN and enter your admin password when prompted. It will not be echoed.


    To turn them ON: sudo tmutil enablelocal


    To turn them OFF: sudo tmutil disablelocal


    Note that turning them OFF will also delete all existing snapshots.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (184,725 points)

    Use a tool such as OmniDiskSweeper to explore your volume and find out what's taking up the space.


    Proceed further only if the problem hasn't been solved.


    ODS can't see the whole filesystem when you run it just by double-clicking; it only sees files that you have permission to read. To really see everything, you have to run it as root.


    First, back up all data if you haven't already done so. No matter what happens, you should be able to restore your system to the state it was in at the time of that backup.


    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ If you’re running Mac OS X 10.7 or later, open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the page that opens.


    After installing ODS in the Applications folder, drag or copy — do not type — the following line into the Terminal window, then press return:


    sudo /Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper


    You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up.


    I don't recommend that you make a habit of this. Don't delete anything while running ODS as root. When you're done with it, quit it and also quit Terminal.