8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2012 5:22 PM by BDAqua
joemax93 Level 1 (0 points)

I really don't know what's happening!


I turned on Time Machine agian after having it off for a month or so. It ran a new back up (whch took almost 12 hours) and all seemed normal. But now, whenever it runs an hourly back up, my system drive gets filled up with something - I don't know what - until it has zero space left!


I can't tell what  it's doing or what files have been stuck onto my system drive. If I could tell that, I'd remove them.


So I have two qusetions:


First, what is happening with my system drive? The only thing I've changed is turning on Time Machine. Why would it transfer files to my system drive instead of (or in addition to) storing backups on my backup drive? (The BU drive is a Western Digital 2TB)


Second, is there any way I can determine what files have been added to my system drive to make it fill all the way up? Is there some way to search by a criteria of "files saved to system drive in the last day"?


Please help, it's making my computer useless!

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Hi Joe, I suspect the external is disconnecting itself or such.


    In Finder's Menu, select Go menu>Go to Folder, and go to "/volumes". (no quotes)


    Volumes is where an alias to your hard drive ("/" at boot) is placed at startup, and where all the "mount points" for auxiliary drives are created for you to access them. This folder is normally hidden from view.


    Drives with an extra 1 on the end have a side-effect of mounting a drive with the same name as the system already think exists. Try trashing the duplicates with a 1 or 2 if there are no real files in them, and reboot.


    If it does contain data...



  • joemax93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your quick response, BDAqua - OK, here's new information!


    After shutting down, powering down all the external drives and rebooting it all, the system drive came back with all of the supposedly "added data" mysteriously gone!  The boot drive had been showing "zero space available" but after reboot it showed 10 gigs of available space (which is the expected amount.)


    So for some reason the OS was reporting that the system drive was full (I got the warning message saying there is almost no space left on the boot drive) even though in reality it was not full.


    Do you have any idea what might cause this glitch in reporting? As I say, the only thing I did before this problem came up was to turn on Time Machine. I don't want to turn Time Machine back on until I know what's happening.

  • joemax93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh, BTW, when I looked at the root "/volumes" directory, there were no duplicates of my connected drives, but there were names of thumb drives I use (which are not connected) and also a old drive name for which the drive no longer exists. There were no files in their directories, so I trashed them. This may explain whay I sometimes had trouble getting thumb drives to unmount.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Oh boy Joe, what Apple doesn't tell you is that 10 GB of free disk space is not enough AND isn't free for your use, and in my experience 10.5.8 will be sluggish with less than 30 GB free, higher OS versions needing even more.


    Open Activity Monitor in Applications>Utilities, select All Processes & sort on CPU%, any indications there?


    How much RAM & free space do you have also, click on the Memory & Disk Usage Tabs.


    In the Memory tab, are there a lot of Pageouts?


    See if you can clear off a few GBs.


    How much free space is on the HD, where has all the space gone?


    OmniDiskSweeper is likely the easiest/best, and is now free...



  • joemax93 Level 1 (0 points)

    There are 1.5 gigs of pageouts.


    So how do I recover that?


    I ran through everything with Spring Cleaning and reclaimed about 10 gigs, moving stuff to external drives.


    I'm still afraid to turn Time Machine back on.


    Thanks again for your help!

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Pageouts are from last startup, so depends how long it's been running, but means you don't have enough RAM/Memeory to run everything you want.


    What does yours say under the Pie chart, & how mch oer to the left after Free: ?

  • joemax93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Here's the screen cap:


    Picture 14.png

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    That should make it increadably slow with so little green/free memory.


    You need more RAM & more free space on the drive.


    So we know more about it...


    At the Apple Icon at top left>About this Mac, then click on More Info, then click on Hardware> and report this upto but not including the Serial#...


    Hardware Overview:


    Model Name: iMac

    Model Identifier: iMac7,1

    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

    Number Of Processors: 1

    Total Number Of Cores: 2

    L2 Cache: 4 MB

    Memory: 6 GB

    Bus Speed: 800 MHz

    Boot ROM Version: IM71.007A.B03

    SMC Version (system): 1.21f4