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nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

How can I tell how much ram memory my mac book pro originally came with? I now only have 2 gbs left and am running out of space with all my photos, aps, videos and music. I don't want to keep moving things on and off the computer with an external hard drive. Is there a way to get more ram? My ipad has 64gbs and holds everything - but apparently my computer doesn't.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • AdamKB Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)

    You can find out your Mac's memory by going to the Apple menu > About this Mac > Memory.


    However, "ram memory" is not where your photos, apps, videos, and music are stored; they are stored on your hard drive which may be upgradeable. You can view more information about your hard drive usage at Apple menu > About this Mac > Storage.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    Click on the Apple in the upper left hand corner ... "Abouth this Mac" ... it is the "memory" line in the display.


    "Only has 2 GB left".   More apps use more memory and will reduce available memory.  RAM is temporary space in a MBP, because the applications are stored on the hard disk and active portions of the application are swapped into memory when in use.


    Moving files on/off external disk only helps when your hard disk is full, and can make things worse.  When the application is stored not on an internal disk but an external disk, access is slower and running the application is slowed down.


    More RAM: Yes.  MBP can use up to 16 GB, but currently 16 GB is about $1000 -- too steep for me.  But 8 GB is about $80 at OWC (  There is an onlie guide to tell you the best memory for your model and OWC will even pay you for your old memory i you want to send it in.

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    my mac os x is version 10.6.8 processor 2.2 ghz intel core 2 duo memory 2 gb 667 mhz ddr2 sdram


    I could not find any information about "storage" in about this mac


    when i click on the mac icon picture of the harddrive it says 2.93 GB available


    I one point i seem to remember seeing 30 or 40 gb available (can't remember exactly because I can't find out what the computer came with). So I don't know what's clogging up all the space. But the little rainbow spinner is now constant.

  • AdamKB Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)

    You said in your first post that you are using Mac OS X 10.7.1 however your most recent post says 10.6.8. The instructions I gave won't exactly work.


    If you only have 2.93GB left then your hard drive is quite full. You have a number of options, including offloading and archiving little-used Apps/data or contacting an Apple authorized dealer about having your hard drive upgraded.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    Finder -> Select "Macintosh HD", then select the gear symbol at screen top.  "Get Info".


    Should tell you how much capacity on the disk and how much free.


    It is recommended that you keep 15% of the HD free for the OS to have "play space".


    If you need a larger hard disk, then this discission will be taking a different path.  New hard disk and transferring the image from your current HD to a new disk is easy enough, but requires more specific instruction than what has been provided so far.


    But 2 GB is a little low (my opinion) to run many applications at the same time.


    First ... what is the disk capacity and how much free?

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was wrong when I rechecked it was OS X version 10.6.8

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    I followed the same path in 10.6.8, and I found that  About This Mac ... More Info ... Serial ATA ... that will show the information under Macintosh HD.  Also that list has "memory" which shows you RAM information.


    And the answer to disk space is .... ?

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, that did it. The capacity is 160 GB, I used 156.63 (ouch!!! that's ALOT of photos, music, etc) and I have available 2.93 GB. God knows what is clogging it all up, but apparently I must have alot of aps, photos, music, videos, etc....don't know if I can add more GB's to this.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    You may need a new HD with more space.


    But first a critical question: When was the last backup you have performed in Time Machine?

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    NEVER!!! I have only backed up to an external hard drive!!! (is that bad). Not sure I even knew/know about "time machine"....

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    First -- stay calm.  You did not lose the hard disk catastrosphically.  You just need to perform some disk management tasks.


    Time Machine is part of the OS.  I makes an "image" of the "startup disk" (the disk that has the OS -- just introducing you to phrases you will soon be using).  It will first make a "base image" if the disk, and then add smaller incremental changes to the backup based on changes you make in the startup disk.


    When you have a good Time Machine backup, you can restore the entire OS to the point you have it now (all software, all files) if you need to install a new hard disk.


    So, have you just made copies of specific files on an external disk?

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Some things (such as original videos taken from my video camera) are actually stored on the external hard drive (since there is no room here). Photos and Music are copies. Actually all my aps are not store or copied on anything (oops). all my imovies and home made videos were also moved to the external hard drive (again because they take up so much room).


    I think I should start time machine ASAP....and thank you for bringing that to my attention.


    You're right, the system works fine right now (except for the rainbow spinny thing at times), I will probably need to upgrade the hd as you indicated.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,280 points)

    Time Machine backup disks should be external ... separate from the computer.


    Several places sell external disks that are already formatted for Mac.  Others tell you that external disks not formatted for Mac can be reforatted, but save yourself the grief for now and buy Mac-ready.


    Buy a *new* disk, in my opinion.  Do not reuse an old disk.


    Some can suggest certain brand names as "better", but even the best disk-brand will have bad apples in the mix.


    If any others have a convenient link for Time Machine Tutorial, please provide.  I have learned enough alreay, generally through trial and error on my own.


    But focus on getting that first backup done within the next 2 days.


    As to "probably need a new HD", perhaps you can move enough off to an external disk.  Cross that bridge after you get the backup.


    If you get the sense that critical things are done first and that you should save yourself complex things like "how to replace a harddisk" for later, you are reading my posts correctly.

  • nancyfromencinitas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Excellent, Thank you. I'm not going to fool around with non-mac or "used" stuff. I'd rather spend the money and get it right, as you say to "save the grief". I appreciate the suggestion. I will start with time machine/external mac HD and then figure out the next move from there. This was really helpful. Thanks.

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