Notes on keeping the SSD clean (more free disk space)

I have one of the fastest SSD drives, but unfortunately didn't have the heart to buy the 240Gb, but the 120GB version. Now, 120GB is definitely enough, but this is my primary machine, and I'm doing several different kinds of things on it, so I need space for all the projects.

How do I keep it clean:


First I run automatic tools like CleanMyMac (free):

It definitely will find stuff that you missed.

Disk Inventory X

This is another type of program - it says how much disk is used by any folder, so it's easy to find the bigger users of space:

With it I found the /private/var/vm/sleepimage file (8gb) - keeps the data when the laptop goes to sleep. I can safely use the 8gb space until my laptop goes to sleep.

It is free.


Same as the former, but all is textual.

Windows XP

I have a Windows XP vm. Keeping it clean is not easy. I use Free Disk Analyzer. It works similarly to OmniDiskSweeper and Disk Inventory X:

System Volume Information

Last time I saved 2.79 GB from this folder. My Computer -> Preferences -> System Restore (there's a slider in XP).

Compacting VirtualBox (.vdi) VMs

VirtualBox is great, because it it's free, but it has many quirks - not that good integration on copy/paste, files, shortcuts and so on. The biggest issue is that compacting the image is weirdly done

  • Defragment the VMs drive (this step is always important regardless of the virtualization software)
  • Zero out the free space. Now this is unnecessary with VMWare and Parallels. It is done with sdelete - a free windows software by SysInternals (you remember these guys? Mark Russinovich?).
    • command is "sdelete -c -z c:\"
  • Compacting the virtual disk (.vdi) is done with this command (the command comes with VirtualBox) (case-sensitive):
    • "VBoxManage modifyhd /fullpath/to/windowsdisk.vdi --compact"

Other concerns

  • I always delete the Windows update files - today I saved 500mb.
  • No swap file for windows - too slow. Few gigs.
  • Now I have no swap for OS X too (500mb).
  • 7GB from compacting the VM
  • Moved some stuff to the Time Machine (20GB)
  • Deleted a lot of temp files and swap files (20 GB)
So now I have a lot more free space. I have spent only an hour for it. Next time it will just take a few minutes.
Wow, the 240GB Vertex 3 now costs as much as I paid for the 120GB less than a year ago. Crap.

5 thoughts on “Notes on keeping the SSD clean (more free disk space)”

  1. много полезно, особено това със swap files и sleepimage и disk inventory x. clean my mac го ползвам от известно време, но така и не забелязах особени ползи.
    обаче имам друг въпрос, относно избора ти на ssd. четох наскоро, че бил по-надежден, но когато нещо се прецака няма шанс да измъкнеш файловете от него, както при hdd. в същото време бил много по-бърз. работя с големи/тежки, графични/видео файлове и хем ми трябва място, хем бързина. та, би ли препоръчал ssd, към днешна дата, в името на по-добър пърформанс и бърза машина, пък да държа повечето файлове и нетекущи проекти на един външен hdd? при такъв тип употреба ще усещам ли бързината?

    1. Сложиш ли си SSD и машината ти ЩЕ работи в ПЪТИ по-бързо. Аз лично съм фен на OCZ Agility и Vertex серията.
      Сложиш ли си SSD обаче, ТРЯБВА да има бекъп, защото SSD след около година, до две максимум, спират да работят (могат и на втория час да спрат). И като спрат, няма възстановяване.

      Бих ти препоръчал да пробваш. Няма да съжаляваш. Но всички файлове, с които работиш и операционната система трябва да са на диска, иначе смисъл няма.

      Ако държиш нещо на външен диск, всичко, което четеш от него, ще е МЕГА бавно. Аз в момента правя такъв компромис и само дебна момента да си купя 240 ГБ, защото 120 не ми стига.

  2. I just copied a couple of DVDs. I wanted to check whether there are video files. The easiest way to find that was with Disk Inventory X. Such a useful app.

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