Skip navigation

I am getting an message that startup disk is full.

349 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2013 10:54 AM by Mike Osborn RSS
nujac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 9, 2013 3:30 PM

I am getting a notice that my startup hard disk is full.  Below is a screen shot of the disk space.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 5.13.57 PM.png

It appears the majority of the space is taken up by movies (247.3 GB).  However, i store all imovies projects and events on the separate WD 2TB external hard drive.  When I get the information for the "movie" folder on the hard drive it lists only 2.02 GB size (see screen shot below).

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 5.25.34 PM.png

I can't figure out why there is such a difference and what is using all my hard drive space.


any help???

imac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,125 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 3:44 PM (in response to nujac)

    regular purchased or converted DVD movies are stored in iTunes, but are recorded as movies.

    Your hard drive is only 500 GBs in size.

    It's time to transfer/copy all of your iTunes, Movies and iPhoto folders over to your external drive.

    Then, delete all of the original data off of your internal drive.

    What year, model,,screen size, CPU speed and amount of RAM memory installed in your iMac?

    I Noticed you are using a USB 2.0 drive. Hopefully, this drive is fast enough to stream your movies libraries to and from your iMac.

    Personally, I would've of bought the fastest external hard drive available. A FireWire 400/800 drive is these are much faster than USB 2.0.

    In any event the easiest way to transfer your data is to download a data cloning app like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper and completely clone your internal drive to your external drive.

    Make sure first, that you find a way to copy/archive what you already have of your external drive as the cloning app will write over this data.

    Cloning gets you an external drive that is now has a bootable copy of your version of OS X and a way to boot your iMac if something goes south with your internal drive.

    Good Luck!

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 4:25 PM (in response to nujac)

    Another way to approach it is to simply keep your music, video, etc libraries on an external drive permanently by following these instructions:





    Once you have them on an external drive and tested to make sure it works, then you can delete the files from the internal. Please note: your internal drive needs an absolute minimum of 10 - 15 GB of empty space available at all times for the OS to run properly (more space is better).


    Aside from that, you should then copy/backup those libraries on another drive so you have another copy just in case.


    FWIW, I agree about getting a drive with Firewire - USB 2 is just too slow. And, WD drives are ok, but their enclosures are subject to failure. And, if you want to go the bootable clone route, please note that a lot of WD drives do not support booting from it:


  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,125 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 4:27 PM (in response to nujac)

    This would, also,,be a good time to start thinning out files and data.

    Here are some additonal things you can do before cloning your internal drive.


    Have you emptied your iMac's Trash icon in the Dock?

    If you use iPhoto, iPhoto has its own trash that needs to be emptied, also.

    If you use Apple Mail app, Apple Mail also has its own trash area that needs to be emptied, too!

    Other things you can do to gain space.

    Delete any old or no longer needed emails and/or archive older emails you want to save.

    Look through your Documents folder and delete any type of old useless type files like "Read Me" type files.

    Again, archive or delete any old documents you no longer use or immediately need.

    Download an app called OnyX for your version of OS X.

    When you install and launch it, let it do its thing initially, then go to the cleaning and maintenance tabs and run all of the processes in the tabs. Let OnyX clean out all web browser cache files, web browser histories, system cache files, delete old error log files.


    Also, you can speed up your iMac by adding more RAM memory.

    OS X and applications will run better if you install more RAM.

    Your iMac can take up to 32 GBs of RAM.

    I Would suggest you install, at least,  an additonal 4 GBs of RAM to bring your total RAM to 8 GBs.

    Add more if you can afford it.

    Reliable and correct Mac RAM can be purchased from online Mac RAM vendors.Crucial memory or OWC (macsales).

    Good Luck!

  • Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2013 6:06 AM (in response to nujac)

    In addition to the excellent advice you've been given, I couldn't help but notice I don't see a Time Machine backup drive in your setup.  Or any evidence of a backup at all, for that matter.


    Something to consider.....

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,125 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2013 10:09 AM (in response to nujac)

    You keep talking about iMovie projects?

    Do you download or convert movies (DVDs) to watch?

    Like I referenced earlier, these movies go straight into the iTunes app and library and get recorded as Movies on your hard drive listings.

    If your iTunes library is on your internal HD, this is where all of the other movie content went.

  • Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2013 10:54 AM (in response to nujac)

    OK...most folks aren't backing up thru a network, which is why I questioned it.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.