Journal: News & Comment

Monday, May 09, 2005
# 1:38:00 PM:

Freeing space on your Mac OS X boot disk

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My friend Simon installed Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" over the weekend, and had this question:

Hey man, got the installation done and 'tis tres swanky. Just curious if there is a duplication of files that might go on with the installation as I've lost about 10 gigs somewhere.

On even recent Apple laptops like his, or the Mac mini, 10 GB can be quite a bit. Where that missing space went depends on whether you did an Archive and Install or an Update. The Archive will create a Previous System folder that will eat space.

Otherwise, it could be all the extra printer drivers, alternate languages, and other stuff that gets installed. You can use a program like Monolingual to remove additional language localizations. That won't prevent you from seeing web pages in other languages, for instance—it just means that if you don't need programs to have, say, Chinese menus and dialog boxes, you can get rid of them to save space. I got back about 800 MB that way, for instance.

To remove printer drivers, go to the /Library/Printers folder and erase the ones you don't want.

There are more tips at The X Lab.

NOTE: If you have Mac utilities built with AppleScript Studio and that require admin-level login authentication to do their work (Carbon Copy Cloner and Screen Spanning Doctor being two I use), you should know that Apple has changed how AppleScript Studio handles authentication in Tiger, and those applications need to be updated in order to work.

In non-techie terms, some programs may ask for your account name and password in order to work, but they may be rejected even if you type them correctly, sometimes mysteriously, if you try to use old versions of the programs. That caused me some frustration until I found out what was going on.


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