freeing HDD space

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi, I bought a powerbook last year and have just installed jaguar. I found when I get my software updates, I don't have enough room on my hard drive to finish the download. So, I want to back up some software and trash anything that I no longer need. Problem is, I really am a newby. I vagually remember the bloke telling me when I get home, back up something then I can trash it to make room. Any ideas on how I can free up some space. Sorry if this sounds vague.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    How big is your HD? Try backing up say, iTunes music folder and Documents and then emptying them.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    You must have a lot of data. Look for whatever is taking up most of the room (most likely your Music, or possibly Movies or Pictures if you have some sort of camera), and back it up. You have a few options for backup:

    You can burn to CDs if you have a CD burner.

    You can copy to an external hard drive if you have one.

    You can transfer the files over a network to another computer.

    You can burn DVDs if you have a DVD burner.

    I don't know if you have any of these. Does your computer have a CD burner? If so, it should be pretty easy to backup anything you don't need all the time - you can burn backups of your music, for example. The largest OS update for Jaguar was something like 80 MB, so your hard drive must be REALLY low on space if it won't fit. Good luck, and get back to us on what's going on.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    amosamos Posts: 9member
    Sorry Luca, I just saw your reply after I wrote this message.

    Actually I haven't even used itunes. I have about 1000 photos using up 1007MB though. No ducuments or pdf files to speak of. These are my specs :

    Machine Modelt

    PowerBook G4 (12 inch)

    CPU TypetPowerPC G4 (3.3)

    Number Of CPUst1

    CPU Speedt867 MHz

    L2 Cache (per CPU)t256 KB

    Memoryt640 MB

    40 GB Ultra ATA/100

    In my HDD, I have the following :

    Applications, Library, System, Users, System folder (9), Applications (mac OS9), Temp Items, Windows media player, PDF docs, Previous systems, Netscape, Userguide and information.

    Would any of those be taking all my room and I could back up and take off? Thanks.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    you sure you're out of space? cuz thats just so strange... try repairing your permissions... maybe something won't let you write to the drive.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    amosamos Posts: 9member
    Kraig, I'm pretty sure it's a space thing. You guys have given me heaps of clues. I've just remembered that I've got about 60 frames of raw film awaiting for me in imovie, each frame is about 130mb and also a 3.7GB movie that I've burnt to dvd but haven't deleted and is sitting in idvd. Add that to the 1007mb of photos. That's sounds like where all my space is doesn't it? If I backup the photos, erase the idvd and finish the imove, I won't have a problem will I? Thanks again.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    To find out how much room each folder is taking up, you can select it and hit command-I for Get Info. It should say how large the folder is. Another thing you can do is get OmniDiskSweeper (it's small, don't worry) from here and use it to find where your big files are. It's pretty useful - it provides a column view to navigate all the files on the hard drive, and it sorts them in descending order of how big they are.

    If you want to backup your photo collection you should be able to burn them right from iPhoto, so when you insert the CD they show up in iPhoto and can be navigated. I'd suggest just buying a big spindle of CDs at OfficeMax and burning your data to it. But freeing up 1 GB of photos won't be the final solution - that's just 1 GB and you should probably try to free up two or three GB at least.

    Use OmniDiskSweeper to find your big files and burn them to CDs, and then consider buying an external hard drive. You can get portable ones that only require one cord between the PowerBook and the drive and weigh a pound or less, or you can get a larger one that also requires AC power and weighs 2-3 pounds. Larger ones are cheaper for the size and faster, but the smaller ones you can take with you easily and use on the road. A number of different places sell external hard drives, like SmartDisk, LaCie, and Other World Computing. You can also buy a bare hard drive and an external case for it at if you don't mind putting them together yourself (takes very little time) and you want to save about $50.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: I took a while for that response and didn't notice the others. Well anyway, I would think a large external hard drive would be useful for the video work you talk about, and since you have a DVD burner you can backup some of your files to DVD-R rather than CD-R. DVD-Rs are expensive though... it just depends on how much you want to back up.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    amosamos Posts: 9member
    Thanks Luca, I might look into the external haed drive. I just trashed my dvd project from idvd. I'd already burnt it to dvd-r, just hadn't got around to trashing it. And I've got another one full of frames sitting in imovie, so it's any wonder I was struggling for space. Now I've suddenly go 19GB to play with again. Thanks all for your help.
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