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1 GB in disk - 0 MB available

Posted on 1999-07-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I turned on my computer two days ago and saw the following:
1 GB in disk - 0 MB available!
I have been away for two weeks and my kids were on the computer.
When I left, I know I had over 300 MB of available disk space left.
I have done everything I know of to check this.

What happened and How can I fix this?

Peter
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Question by:cfire
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sgodun earned 400 total points
ID: 1539309
Assuming that you've run at least one quality disk repair utility (i.e., Norton Disk Doctor) and it detected no problems, then the answer is quite obvious: Your kids added some files to your computer's hard drive and filled it up. There's many options, though. If you can't find where they put the files you can use your Mac's FIND function (or "Sherlock" if running 8.5 or later) to seek them out. Hit COMMAND-F from the Finder then tell it to find all files created or modified since the day you left. It'll undoubtedly come up with a number of files (mostly preference files) but it should also come up with the files your kids put on there.
If your kids are computer-savvy enough they may be hiding the files from you by turning them invisible, or by turning the folder that they're contained within invisible. You can still use the FIND function (or Sherlock) to locate them. When doing the search, hit MORE CHOICES then hold down the OPTION key while clicking on the criteria. You should see "Invisible" as an option. This will find all invisible files and folders on your hard drive.
The problem may be more mundane. They may have enabled virtual memory on your computer and cranked it up a whole lot. Open your MEMORY control panel and check the virtual memory setting. If it's on, turn it off (or just turn it way down).
Similarly, they may also have adjusted the cache setting on your web browser. Launch your browser, check the preferences (adjust if necessary) and clear the cache.
If all else fails, double-click on your hard drive and view it as a list view. Adjust your view settings so that the Mac calculates the sizes of your folders, then check out what folder(s) are unnaturally large. If they all seem okay then do some manual math; add up the values of the folders and see if they compute to the same amount of space used on the hard drive. (Don't forget also to add the items which may be sitting on your desktop.)

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