fixed : quickly free up disk space on MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard

Question :

My son alarmed me today that his ‘good old’ Mac gives a “your startup disk is full” warning at startup. He has our old Intel CoreDuo MacBook that can only run MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

What is the easiest way to free up the much needed harddrive space ?

 

Answer :

There  are various programs that can do the job of identifying which files are cluttering your harddrive and deleting unneeded files.

If you have an older Mac that can not run the latest version of OSX, I would suggest using the DiskWave application to do so, because of 4 reasons :

  1. DiskWave is very small in size (only about 1MB), so you can even install and run it on an extremely full harddrive
  2. DiskWave is able to manage external drives, so you can also run it on a newer/faster/other Mac and connect the problematic Mac as an external drive [ in so called “Target Mode” by restarting the problematic Mac with the T-key pressed and connecting it to the other Mac with a FireWire-cable ]
  3. DiskWave is available for various old versions of MacOSX
  4. DiskWave is FREE to download and use

Using DiskWave is rather straight forward. A quick instruction video can be seen here :

DiskWave instruction video

Getting hold of DiskWave might be problematic however, as the developer’s website (Aymeric Barthe) seems to be down :

Aymeric Barthe website

And the DiskWave app is NOT available from the Mac AppStore either… [ beware not too be fooled into thinking it’s the same as the iDiskWave app ! ]

A secondary problem is that the best available version (DiskWave 0.4) does not support any pre-Core2Duo. For now, all (older) versions of DiskWave can be downloaded here :

download any DiskWave version at Mac.FileHorse.com

Note that DiskWave 0.3.2 is the latest version of DiskWave to run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) Macs and 1st generation Intel (CoreSolo and CoreDuo) Macs.

And if those links stop working also, you can download DiskWave 0.3.2 here :

DiskWave_0.3.2

[ !! after downloading, replace the .doc file-extension by .dmg to get the installer !! ]

Enjoy !

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tip : make sure your TimeMachine-update is useable

Question :

While doing a regular check on my Mac with Disk Utility, it just informed me that I have a potential hardware failure, should save a many data as I can and reinstall.

So I was planning on doing a TimeMachine-backup and disk-reformat, followed by a clean install of OSX and copy-back from TimeMachine.

But… I recently found reports on a bug in TimeMachine, that might prevent TimeMachine from recognizing the latest backup…

Is there a way to make sure that my latest TimeMachine-backup is useable ?

 

Answer :

This bug seems to occur with unfinished TimeMachine-backups, either due to disconnection, unplugging or switching from WiFi to Ethernet or vice-versa…

As with all things in life, nothing is 100% sure or secure…

But if you want near-100% assurance that your latest TimeMachine-backup will work after a ‘clean install’, do this :

– make sure your Mac is connected to your TimeMachine-backup-disk in only one way, so if it’s an external harddisk disconnect the Ethernet-network cable and set AirPort/Wifi to OFF, to have the connection ‘only via USB’ or ‘only via FireWire’ and if your TimeMachine-backup-disk is a NAS or TimeCapsule, disconnect from AirPort/WiFi (and preferably connect the Ethernet-cable from the NAS or TimeCapsule straight into your Mac, and if possible, stop all other network-connections over Ethernet, by disconnecting all cables, and shutting down AirPort/WiFi) to have the connection ‘only via Ethernet’

– do a new “Back Up Now” in TimeMachine, and make sure it finishes completely before you do anything else (preferably, shut down all other apps before backing up also)

– then startup the Migration Assistant-app (from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder), and type your Mac’s administrator-password when asked

– in the first window, select “From a Mac, Time Machine Backup or startup disk”, and click “Continue”

– in the next window, select the disk that your TimeMachine-backups are on (if you’re on a Time Capsule, you will need to type your TimeCapsule-password when asked), and click “Continue”

– in the next window, a list of all backups (a.k.a. sparsebundles) available on the disk will be displayed ; now you will have to wait a little for each sparsebundle to display what the date is of the backup-version that can be retrieved… if that date matches today’s date, you have a perfect backup available, and you can exit the Migration Assistant-app by repeatedly clicking the “Back”-button

…but if the date is different, or the “No Volumes Found in backup”-error is displayed, your backup is useless for easy recovery ; you will have to exit the Migration Assistant-app, and start over the entire backup-routine explained above, and then check again in the Migration Assistant-app …you have to keep repeating this entire routine until you get today’s date displayed below the backup’s name

If you do not do as described above, you are in serious, enormously time-consuming trouble…  (even though this doesn’t always mean that your personal data is lost… everything might be lost, but… it could also mean you will have to repair the sparsebundle-files and/or it could also mean that you will have to copy everything back ; folder-by-folder or even file-by-file… either in the Time Machine-app or in the Finder ; and all applications will have to be manually reinstalled again…)

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