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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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I just noticed this. A new backup is in progress for a 1 Tb external HD connected by Firewire to my MacBook Air. The QRecall archive is on a Time Capsule. The backup is proceeding via WiFi. The external HD contains about 850 GB of files.

I'm seeing a 'Hard Disk Almost Full' (or FULL) message on the MacBook Air. Now that I have opened a Get Info window, I can see the remaining space on the Air's 'HD' (SSD) rapidly being consumed, at a pace of about 3 MB per MINUTE.

Is this correct? Is there something else I should know or be doing?

It seems very odd since the Air is merely the 'manager' of the backup, and neither any of its data nor its disk space seem relevant to a backup procedure working from one external disk to another.

Thank you --

Bob Tyson
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1473
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Bob,

My guess would be VM storage. You can verify this by looking at the QRecallHelper processes in Activity Monitor. There will be two: run running as root and a second running with the UID of the user that installed QRecall. The one running as root is the capture action, while the second one is used to gather metadata about the files being captured.

The current version of QRecall still uses the legacy Carbon API for file services. There's a particularly annoying memory leak with some of the Launch Services APIs, which causes the second (not root) version of QRecallHelper to use excessive amount of RAM when it has to process a lot of files ... like when you're taking an initial backup of a large volume.

What happens is that the second QRecallHelper process leaks memory, which causes the VM backing store files to grow, eating up disk space on your system volume. Try stopping the capture and just restart it. It will pick up where it left off (if you want to be extra neat, merge the two layers when the second capture is finished). If you see the size of the VM store drop dramatically after stopping the action, that's what the problem is.

On typical (incremental) captures, the amount of the memory leak is so small that no one notices, which is why neither Apple nor I have ever invested the time to address it. Plus, the next version of QRecall does't use the legacy Carbon APIs, so eventually it won't be an issue.

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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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James,

Thank you for that. Sounds good and at least not to get too exercized about. I'll do the stop-restart shortly and see if that confirms your advice. If you don't hear from me, that was it.

(1 minute later -- ) I just looked at disk usage and space available jumped back up, so I guess QRecall and VM hit some kind of fork in the road on their own. Self-correcting?

Anyway I'm no longer worried.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30-Dec-13 16:45

Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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While I'm at this though I have an off-topic question, or assume it will be.

I'm doing this 'new' backup from scratch because we had been keeping these, both Apple Time Machine AND QRecall archives, on a 'Time Capsule'. I know that the Time Capsule manages its storage in its own way but I was surprised to find I could not delete some files including the QRecall archives from the Time Capsule.

The various solutions I could find came from sources I could not trust, meanwhile nothing at all that I could discover from Apple.

If you wouldn't mind commenting, what can you add to this, including advice for where to look should this kind of rearrangement be necessary later on. Anything is better than wiping the Time Capsule HD - reformatting - and starting over.
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1473
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I'm surprised you can't delete the QRecall archive, a document you wrote to the Time Capsule.

A time capsule runs a (slightly older) version of Apple's file server software, the same file service that powers personal file sharing on the Mac. There are some peculiarities when it comes to Time Machine files (the OS sets special "immutable" flags the prevent you from messing with the organization of the backed-up files.) But when you're accessing it as a network volume, you're just an AFP client. You should be able to delete any file you originally wrote.

The only thing I can think of is something in the permissions or ownership of the files has changed, or you're accessing the volume with a different user account than was used when the archive document was originally created. Knowing what the ownership and permissions for the archive bundle and files are may provide a clue. (ls -lae@ /Volumes/Path/To/Server/Archive.quanta)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30-Dec-13 21:31


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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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Thank you. Yes, I'd thought of some permissions/ownership thing. Some of the archives were created using my MacBook Pro, which I have no access to for the present; I'm working from a MacBook Air, so not the same user, account, et cetera.

Anyway I'll keep that in mind as things move.
Chris Caouette



Joined: 30-Aug-08 19:43
Messages: 35
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Bob,
I just had the exact same problem with my iMac suddenly becoming completely full and I could not find the problem child. The only thing that had changed was I recently re-installed Qrecall after having used Time Machine for a while. As much as I love QR I can only assume that it was the culprit and with you experiencing the same that confirms it. I had to reinstall the OS on a new drive and do the mac to mac transfer to get back my space.

I am on 10.9.1 and QR was storing to a Time Capsule too.

Chris
Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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Chris,

Did you read the fill thread above? I am no expert -- maybe James will pass by and comment following your post -- but what he observed in response above is that a memory leak can lead to the Mac filling VM and hence the HDD, in ways that aren't noticeable during an incremental backup, but can become very noticeable and a problem during a long or complete backup. Interrupting (or finishing) the backup, said he, will allow QR and the Mac to flush the VM. If you interrupt you can restart and QR of course goes on from there.

At least that fits with what I observed. Maybe this is worse, for now, in 10.9.1.
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1473
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Chris,

I would have been really interested in finding out exactly what file(s) were eating up all of your disk space. One of the usual suspects is the virtual memory store (as we've discussed), but cache and log files are also regular culprits.

If you suspect VM, that's easy to determine. Launch Activity Monitor and find the Swap used amount in the System Memory category. Ideally, it should be less than the amount of physical memory you have.

If you're looking for large files anywhere, I find the WhatSize utility particularly useful. I'm sure there are many other apps the perform a similar task, but this one has always been good to me.

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