13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 30, 2009 1:51 AM by Edward Staines1
Edward Staines1 Level 1 (15 points)
I have just had my new MacBook Air delivered. Once powered up I was taken aback to find the '128GB' hard drive has just under 93GB available. As a photographer I needed a light laptop to back up my images on location (around 5GB a day).

Now before you techies even begin to raise your fingertips to defend the space needed for OSX, 27.34 percent is a huge junk to eat into the prominently advertised disk space, small footnotes or not. Remember, there is no optional upgrade either.

So assuming I only need to use Safari, Mail and Preview, how much precious disk space can I reclaim by deleting the remaining 'unwanted' applications (this is if I don't return the MacBook anyway)?

PowerBook G4 15", iMac Intel 24", iPhone 3GS, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 (17,290 points)
    Use something like WhatSize to scan the drive and delete what you don't want/need. Otherwise, I suggest you explore the thought of exchanging it for a 13" MacBook with a larger hard drive.

    WhatSize >>

    Dave M.
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  • Edward Staines1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Weight is the primary concern, and the Air would be fine for my purpose if it were indeed 128GB.
  • XJ-linux Level 1 (30 points)
    93GB seems a bit odd to me, but I can't honestly remember how much free space was on my MBA when it arrived. I know the actual space on a 128GB SSD is 112GB. You can save a VERY large chunk of space by just removing all the printer drivers and languages you don't need. RAID controller, ODBC Admin, Garageband, etc can all go as well. That should net you at least 5GB extra. Use AppCleaner to thoroughly remove all apllications you don't need - it get's rid of the files you may not know about as well. Monolingual will get rid of extra languages and PPC, Atom, etc computer architectures you don't need. The printer drivers are all in a folder called "printers". I believe that's in Macintosh HD > System or Library. Hope that helps.

    Message was edited by: XJ-linux
  • DANMAC808 Level 1 (50 points)
    Wow, I'm kinda scared to remove programs since I have enough space and who ever knows if I will use them in future, but I just did the monolingual and wow it freed up some space!
  • XJ-linux Level 1 (30 points)
    Cool. You can easily get any Apple applications and printer driver packages you delete back, via your install and restore DVD's. Have fun.
  • RonAnnArbor Level 4 (2,705 points)
    That is exactly the correct number of GB used by the system and applications, there is nothing wrong with it.

    You can remove any built-in applications you don't use by just dragging them to your trash -- but when you upgrade to 10.6 in a month or so, it will reinstall all of those apps -- so unless you absolutely need the space, leave them on until after you do the upgrade.

    You can remove Fonts you don't use. You can remove all languages you don't use. (Note that if you remove languages, you might need to go back and reinstall all Adobe products you have on your MBA since they don't like the missing languages).

    You can remove all printer drivers you don't use.

    BUT -- just as a heads up -- even removing all those things will most likely not give you more than a GB or two back in disc space.

    Another heads up -- OS X Snow Leopard will be about 1/2 the disc size as the current os 10.5.8 so you will absolutely reclaim some space after that update next month.
  • Glorfindeal Level 6 (9,330 points)
    Not correct. The actual free space on a 128GB ssd is 120.99GB. I just got mine and verified it. You can reinstall the OS and remove unwanted print drivers and language translations. This will save over 1GB of space.

  • dnc1916 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sorry can you just clarify that for me please - when you say 120.99 GB do you mean that the OS takes up about 7GB and 128-7 leave 121 GB free for all other stuff, or do you mean 128GB has 121GB of actual space, and the OS takes up some of this 121?
    Im debating buying an Air and the hard drive space is really what's holding me back. I need to know exactly how much free space I will have on the 128GB SSD NOT including the OS (which I realise will reduce under Snow Leopard)
    Anyone clarify is it 93, 112, 121 (all mentioned separately above) or another figure - they can't all be correct?
  • papamumin Level 1 (90 points)
    The official Apple SSD capacities are here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2734

    The 128 GB model does indeed only have a formatted capacity of 113 GB - a bit of a swindle if you ask me. BTW, I don't know what model Glor has, but with "120 GB" free it must be VERY special.

    Enjoy, and just delete all the printer drivers manually. Use Monlingual or Xslimmer for the unneeded languages and PPC architecture. You will save megabytes - no need to wait for Snow Leopard.
  • dnc1916 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK thanks
    It's cutting it very tight for spacewise - I think I'm just gonna wait til the MBA is bumped up to a 256GB SSD drive -128 is right at the bottom of whats being offered across all the MacBook range so it can't be too long before that's brought up to something more reasonable and practical
  • Edward Staines1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Just to be clear, even with all the space freeing tools recommended in this post, the best I could manage was free disk space of just under 102GB. Perhaps Apple would like to make clearer that whilst the advertised disk is indeed 128GB, this is not free disk space. But hey what do I know, I am just the customer...
  • Bradley Olwin Level 2 (170 points)
    Since you just purchased the MBA you might be eligible for a free upgrade to Snow Leopard. You will find a dramatic saving in HD space, I recovered at least 7GB from my Leopard install. If you reduce the number of installed printer drivers you may save even more space. Another added bonus is my MBA seems much faster running Snow Leopard. Check at an Apple Store to see if you are eligible. If not, it is worth the $30.
  • Edward Staines1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Snow Leopard Upgrade still costs about £8GBP, despite only purchasing the MacBook Air two weeks ago. The disc space recovered after installation was 7.48GB, leaving 109GB free disk space.