13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2007 7:32 PM by cornelius
carobot Level 1 (0 points)
I'm trying to empty out things on my hard drive but every time I put a new song into iTunes I keep getting the message "your startup disk is almost full." The other day I even received a message saying "this disk is almost full" meaning the disk iTunes is on. I have a 60GB iPod and it's only half full. Do I need to add more memory to my computer?

PowerBook G4   Mac OS X (10.4)  
  • Rory Game Level 2 (300 points)
    Hi there,

    the message you're getting relates to your HD (as you know), adding more memory (if you mean RAM) wont help any. What you need to do is go out & buy a External Firewire Hard Drive & copy over as many of your files etc from your PB's HD to free up as much disk space as possible! (Dont mess with the system or Library folders)

    Mac's need 10% minimum of HD space free to run effectively (I never run less than 20% - just to be sure) as any less than 10% WILL crash & corrupt your HD - soon! So you need to backup asap, though you may be lucky & it may be OK for a little while yet, but its a bit like Russian Roulette.

    First off though, open Disk Utility in Apps>Utilities Folders & select the First Aid tab button on the top of the window, then select your HD from the left side of the new display then click the Repair Permissions button. This should pickup & repair any errors you have before they become more serious. Also boot from your install CD & when the installer 1st loads (dont install) go to the menu bar up top & click Open Disk Utility, then 1st aid, then your HD as before, but this time click the REPAIR DISK button just to be sure. If it says repaired or modified run again. Then if all OK reboot normally.

    I know this sounds a bit long-winded, but its a whole lot simpler than recovering a crashed HD after "Disk Full" messages!

    You mention about "This disk is almost full" message & the HD iTunes is on - is it on a different HD (external?!?) to your Startup HD? If you have 2 HD's, then maybe both HD's are nearly full?!? Single click the HD Icons on your desktop & press Apple+i keys to Get Info. as this will tell you what your HD usage stats are, amongst other things.

    CD's or DVD's will do for now as backup if you cant get a FW HD, just backup all your important data incase it all goes wrong.

    Prevention is better than a cure, as they say.

  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Go to Apple Menu > About the Mac > More info. This will open the System Profiler. Under Hardware > ATA you should have something like this:
    Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 93.03 GB
    Available: 25.78 GB

    What are the numbers for your computer? Post back.

    Next, you should avoid adding anything to your computer for the time being. Depending on the numbers, here are your options:
    1. Remove some material from your disk. This will help, but only temporarily. Dr. Smoke's FAQ Freeing space on your Mac OS X startup disk has some helpful advice here.
    2. Get an external FW HDD as suggested in an earlier post. Good idea and something you should do, but you need to do more.
    3. Install a larger internal HDD. This will improve your computer's performance and help you avoid a crash, in addition to providing more disk capacity.

    Good luck.

  • carobot Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Rory and Cornelius,

    Thanks for your help with this. I checked my HD for available memory and it says the following:

    Capacity: 37.26 GB
    Available: 432.4 MB
    Used: 36.83 GB

    I think all the iTunes files are taking up the bulk of this space, so I'll follow your recs for freeing up space. I'm just glad it's not a memory issue.

    Thanks again,

    PowerBook G4   Mac OS X (10.4)  
  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)

    May I suggest that you back up all the stuff you cannot afford to lose as soon as you can. Your drive is on the verge of collapse. A too full drive can lead to serious problems, in addition to compromising your computer's performance. Pay special attention to my recommendations 2 and 3 in my earlier post.

    Please let us know how things go for you. If you need further assistance do not hesitate to ask.

    Please take a moment to mark the responses that have been "helpful" (2) and the one that "solved" (or led to the solution of) your issue, if any. In addition to contributing to the reputation of those who responded, it marks those responses so that others who visit the thread seeking help can easily identify the "helpful" or "solved" responses. Just click on the button to the immediate left of the reply button on each post you wish to mark. See Why Reward Points

    Thank you, and good luck.

  • carobot Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi guys,

    Just wanted to update you on this issue: a friend of mine at work who deals with Macs recommended I buy a 100GB Seagate internal HD, which I did and he installed it yesterday. It works like a dream! Thanks again for your help.


    PowerBook G4   Mac OS X (10.4)  
  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)

    That's great! You should not have to worry about too full disk for a while, although not forever. You can buy a Firewire enclosure and put your old HDD in it and, presto, you have an external HDD.

    We are always glad to help, and you are certainly welcome.

    Good luck.

  • 'nishgirl Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Rory:

    'Found your response to a recent thread regarding "startup disk clean up". Your steps offered were helpful in leading me to the mac hard drive utility box and i heeded your "first aid" advice you gave to caroline. however, i've a different question. i too have recently have been getting the "full startup disk" warning and just moments ago experienced a freeze with my computer. here are the stats from the "first aid" page...

    Capacity : 93.0 GB (99,895,987,200 Bytes)
    Free Space : 30.6 GB (32,849,776,640 Bytes)
    Used : 62.4 GB (67,046,207,488 Bytes)

    however, when you look at the details from the mac hd icon that's located on my desktop, it states there are only 126.7 mb free? it doesn't match up nor make sense to me.

    i make it a point to clean up the disk as much as possible and can't explain the proposed cause for clutter. i've not downloaded massive files as of late but have taken on some investigating in my folders (none of which i deleted). still, nothing. Any suggestions or educated guesses?

    Thank You,

    Powerbook G4 15-inch, Mac OS X 10.4.8
  • Thomas Bauer Level 3 (615 points)
    Hi, Nishgirl,

    two things:
    1st - it's not a very good idea to "divert" a thread into another one; after all, the title doesn't change, so other users won't find back the reciepes which eventually helped you.

    then: did you try clean up with the disk utility?
    some people here love to use super-duper for keeping their disk clean:

    please, post back to see the result (but try a new thread the next time)

  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)

    How do you use SuperDuper for cleaning up? I use it for cloning. Am I missing something here?

  • Thomas Bauer Level 3 (615 points)

    you are right - i forgot to mention to remove entire folders (documents, desktop, music etc) after you backed up with super-duper.

  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Thanks for the response. I was a bit confused there for a minute.

    Good luck.

  • Kibosh Krista Level 1 (0 points)
    This information was helpful for me, at least being able to diagnose my problem. But now my SMART status reads "Failing" in big red type. I have backed up many of my personal files to a firewire disk, but many of my applications have not been backed up and since I bought this computer from an old neighbor who worked at apple, I do not have many of these disks (like iMovieHD, the appleworks suite, and microsoft office). I do have the disk to startup my computer, but right now I'm not sure what to do since it says its FAILING! Any help would be appreciated.
  • cornelius Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Kibosh Krista:

    Welcome to Apple Discussions.

    This is an old thread and already marked answered. Normally I would direct you to start a new post. However, let me take a moment to respond to your situation, as it seems urgent.

    "Failing" means that your Hard Disk Drive is on the way out and needs to be replaced. If you have not already done so, and your Failing HDD allows you to do so, use SuperDuper to clone your entire HDD to the external Firewire HDD.

    Next you would want to buy a new internal HDD. You can find some here at OWC (the ones in the left column would be what you need).

    If you are handy and would like to attempt removal and installation you will find directions at ifixit. I am not sure which G4 PowerBook you have, so you can find it, click on the link and it will take you to the directions for your computer.

    If do not feel comfortable attempting this, take it to someone who can do the installation for you.

    If you have further questions, go to the list of topics and click on the link to start a new topic.

    Good luck.


    Message was edited by: cornelius