I have a white Macbook, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB of memory, Mac OS X, version 10.5.8, purchased in 2008. My Mac keeps warning me that my startup disk is almost full, and indeed Activity Monitor shows that my disk usage has minimal free space (2.31 GB). However, the System Memory tab shows that half my space is free.
Does the discrepancy mean that there is lots of space left on my Mac? If not, how can I identify if some sort of error is filling up my memory? Right now, I have a lot of music and documents stored on my laptop, but nothing else, and I would like to be sure it's those two things that are filling up the space.
What is the recommended method for adding more memory to my Mac, if nothing else?
There are two different types of memory in your Mac. There is system memory, more commonly referred to as RAM, and there is disk space. RAM is where the Mac works on data. Disk space is where data is stored for long term storage.
You are in serious danger of causing your Mac to die completely by running it with so little free space on your system drive. It is imperative that you start either deleting or move data off the disk drive. You should have 8 to 10 time as much free space at least at all times for OS X to run will.
A tool that can with cleaning up your disk drive is OmniDiskSweeper. It will tell you the files and fol,der that are using the most space. That will give you good candidates for deletion or movement.