Hard drive mysteriously filling up… help!

So, I have no idea if I have a virus, or if its something else, but I'm way over my head here.

Basically, my MacBook's hard drive is saying its full. Thing was, when I checked what the storage was being used up it said by about 60% was being used by 'other'... which didn't help at all.

So I went online and did some searching, and many people having similar problems were suggested to go check out an app called DaisyDisk; it was on the Mac App Store (and thus vetted by Apple) with numerous good reviews, so I don't think that has anything to do with the issue I'm having now.

So, I used this DaisyDisk thingymegig, and while it didn't explain why all the 'other' files existed, I did identify some stuff I could throw away, thus saving about 50GB's of a 250GB hard drive. Hurray, right?

Except no. I check back on System Information... it says the hard drive is still full, except now I have about 70GB's worth of backups that has mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. This hard drive usage was definitely not there before, and what makes things even more confusing is that 'other' also takes up another 80GB, so, put together, these mysterious entities now apparently take up even more of my laptop's hard drive space.

I'm utterly perplexed by this, in all frankness. Can anybody help me out?

If it helps here are some specs:

13-Inch MacBook Pro, mid-2010 model
Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM: 4GB
Hard drive: 250GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M
OS: Mac OSX Version 10.7.4

Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I came in here expecting a Windows/Linux problem. No worries, I'll try my best to figure this out.

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You sure it isn't Time Machine? That could put things out of whack. But unless Apple implemented the equivalent version of Shadow Copies from Windows, I really can't tell.

Simalacrum:
Except no. I check back on System Information... it says the hard drive is still full, except now I have about 70GB's worth of backups that has mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. This hard drive usage was definitely not there before, and what makes things even more confusing is that 'other' also takes up another 80GB, so, put together, these mysterious entities now apparently take up even more of my laptop's hard drive space.

Can you see those files? Or is it some unidentifiable entity that your Mac doesn't recognize? I'll see what I can do.

thesilentman:
I came in here expecting a Windows/Linux problem. No worries, I'll try my best to figure this out.

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You sure it isn't Time Machine? That could put things out of whack. But unless Apple implemented the equivalent version of Shadow Copies from Windows, I really can't tell.

Simalacrum:
Except no. I check back on System Information... it says the hard drive is still full, except now I have about 70GB's worth of backups that has mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. This hard drive usage was definitely not there before, and what makes things even more confusing is that 'other' also takes up another 80GB, so, put together, these mysterious entities now apparently take up even more of my laptop's hard drive space.

Can you see those files? Or is it some unidentifiable entity that your Mac doesn't recognize? I'll see what I can do.

I'm fairly certain it isn't Time Machine... I have a separate hard drive for that purpose.

I'm afraid System Information can't identify what the files are; its just not that detailed an information thingy. Funnily enough though some of the files identified by DaisyDisk are larger than on System Information; photos take up 39GB according to DaisyDisk compared to 12.7GB on System Information etc.

I'd usually say empty the trash bin and maybe delete the temp files?

According to http://ask.metafilter.com/31937/Mac-OS-tmp-folder , you can find that by typing /tmp into sotlight. Then delete everything in there. I once had a temp file that ended up being 300 GB because of a write error and I had to delete it manually, restarts didn't help.

There's a really great tool for Macs called OnyX that you can download. It's a lot like Ccleaner if you're at all familiar with that program, though it is much more in-depth. Just be careful you don't remove anything important (you can with this program, if you don't know what you're doing, or if you don't at least do a bit of research beforehand). It will remove all sorts of temporary files and computer caches that other programs won't.

 

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