5243 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2007 6:58 AM by ali brown
Here is a simple approach to regaining space on your Hard drive.
Your Hard disk contains
1. The Mac OS X Operating System, and
2. your stuff, which may be documents you have created in Applications, photos you've taken, music and videos you have downloaded, emails you have received.
It is these that are first things to look at when looking to recover space as they are most likely the cause of the overfull hard drive.
Of these, copy those 'documents' to a separate folder and move them onto an external disk or burn them to a CD. Check the moved documents still open, and if so, then trash the originals on your hard disk and empty the trash.
Eg. Open the relevant application, say iPhoto. Export so many photos to a new folder. In that new folder check that those photos are there and they open. Burn them to a CD. Open the CD and check that they are there and they open. Satisfied return to iPhoto. Trash those copied photos in the iPhoto Application. Empty the trash in iPhoto.
For a thorough examination on OS X maintenance have a look at Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance by Randy B. Singer
There is a lot in there, so perhaps copy it and work through it at your leisure.
How big is your hard drive and how much space remains available?
If you have a complete installation of OS X 10.4 (instead of a custom one), then there are printer drivers you don't need which can be deleted (Hard Drive > Library > Printers).
You can also download and run Monolingual to eliminate foreign fonts and languages you don't need. Monolingual will allow you to gain 700-800 MB of space.
You probably need to keep around 6 GB of space free on a 40 GB hard drive in order for things to run smoothly in OS X, and even more if you use applications which create large swap files (like Photoshop).
In addition to the excellent ideas offered by roam and Ronda you might want to check out Dr. Smoke's FAQ Freeing space on your Mac OS X startup disk for a comprehensive set of options, including some mentioned in earlier posts.
You do not tell us the formatted capacity of your HDD, and the total available capacity. If you are not sure, go to Apple Menu > About the Mac > More Info > Hardware > ATA. In the second section of the main pane you will see something like this:
Capacity: 93.03 GB
Available: 20.78 GB
A too full HDD is a serious issue. It can lead to directory corruption like overlapping asset allocation files, loss of data, and eventually a HDD crash.
My best advice is to clean up what you can now, following the suggestions offered, as a temporary measure. However, the only lasting solution, you know how quickly that free space fills up, is to get a new HDD. Here is a list of available drives from OWC. If you are at all handy you can even install it yourself with these directions.
Please do post back with further questions, comments or an update.