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 : IDE harddrive replacement alternative for iBook G3 & G4

Question :

I am happily using my iBook G4 running MacOSX 10.5 “Leopard”, but it is getting slow because my hard drive is too full. I have looked into buying a new ATA (a.k.a. IDE or PATA) hard drive, but they are rather expensive compared to the current SATA hard drives (mainly in regard to their storage capacity) and they are harder to find as time goes by now… isn’t there any alternative ?

Answer :

Yes ! you do have an interesting alternative…

…it’s far easier to install (you don’t have to open your iBook, which would be quite a hassle)  and you will get lots more GBs of disk capacity for the same price (compared to  IDE-drives) and your iBook will still slide easily in it’s sleeve bag or carrying case…

The solution : get yourself a micro USB-stick !

The type of micro USB-stick I am talking about is any USB-stick similar to the Memorex and Intenso ones, sometimes referred to as “Leave-In” or “Netbook” USB-sticks (which are becoming available in 32GB and 64GB around this time) :

http://www.verbatim.com/subcat/usb-drives/everyday-usb-drives/netbook-usb-drive/products/

http://www.intenso.de/produkte.php?kategorie=23&&produkt=1291709095

To install :

– just plug in the micro USB-stick in one of the USB-ports

– start up your Mac (or rather : your iBook) and open the Disk Utilities application

– reformat the micro USB-stick to “Mac journaled” format

– then make a complete backup of your Mac (use TimeMachine for instance)

– then copy over all your video (your Video folder), audio (your iTunes folder) and documents (your Documents folder) onto the micro USB-stick

– check if your data has been properly and completely copied, then delete the files from your Mac

– create aliasses (= link-files) of the folders on the micro USB-stick and place those in the original folders where their originals came from (if you’ve done so, you can

– open iTunes pressing the ALT-key and when iTunes ask you where to find your iTunes database, point it towards your micro USB-drive

– that’s it…

Notes :

1- I would normally recommend you to leave just MacOSX and your applications on your internal hard drive, and move all other files onto your micro USB-stick (which reminds some of us to the way a Windows 95 PC would normally be separated into an (C:) and (D:) drive

2- even if your hard drive has crashed, you can use a micro USB-stick to replace your hard drive and use it as your bootable hard drive, by installing MacOSX on it and transferring all your data to it

TIP :

– to avoid/prevent accidental disconnection of the USB-stick (which might cause serious data-loss), I would recommend to stick a few inches of Scotch-tape over the USB-stick and USB-port

– to be able to neatly place the piece of Scotch-tape, you should take out the iBook’s keyboard for a moment (which is easy to do because of the small keyboard locking sliders on the upper row of keys)