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Mac capacity v. nearly full - do I need to get a new computer?

(10 Posts)
Pennies Sun 13-Sep-09 09:20:02

I have got a 5 year old Mac G5 1.8Ghz. It has had its OS and memory upgraded so it's working on a current OS.

It has a capacity of 74.4Gb but only has 2.9Gb left so we're having trouble downloading photos, or buying stuff on iTunes.

I also have an external hard drive which has a capacity of 233Gb of which there's only 10Gb left (how? how?).

I have deleted hundreds of files, but we're quite prolific photo takers and there are some home movies on there that too so most of the capacity is pics and school play footage (that for some reason would never burn on to disk) that we don't want to delete.

I've a geek level of about 5/10 so can anyone tell me what is the best course of action in this situation.

WebDude Sun 13-Sep-09 16:34:52

<< scrap three paragraphs about burning to DVD and deleting off hard drive >>

Are you using USB or Firewire for the existing external drive (sorry, unfamiliar with the G5 series) ? Just wondering if you can add a second external drive (probably double the size and half the price of the existing one) and moving everything from your current external, plus 50-75% of what is on the Mac HD, and you'd still have 100+ Gb free on the external drive.

Then, print some notes about what's on the current external drive and store it away safely.

You will then have say 40 GB spare on the G5 Mac, and about 200 GB spare on the external 500 GB (more if you can get a 750 GB).

They are selling 1500 GB drives now at around 120 to 150 pounds, at least for users on Windows. Not been looking for add-ons for my iMac as I bought an external networking box which has USB 2, Firewire, and ethernet for connecting whatever hard drive is inside to whatever one wants (only because I have a mix of linux, Windows XP and 1x iMac, so wanted flexibility).

Saw a 750 GB drive in Maplins the other week for 50 quid {clearance section}, and 500 and 750 GB drives are often below 80 pounds.

Obviously you need to check whether there are any limits on the capacity of external drives that can be supported. (Since I cannot guarantee that a bigger drive will work with your Mac.

The bigger drives of 1 TB and up (1 TerraByte = 1000 GB) might hit problems with certain systems - eg older Windows 98 or 95 are unlikely to be able to use them, and there may be similar restrictions for the G5 Mac as it is several years old. Hope that helps a bit.

WebDude Mon 14-Sep-09 14:48:55

Should have added 'Did you want me to say you need a new Mac' (so you can, 'cos you've seen something you fancy) ?

ib Mon 14-Sep-09 14:53:19

If you are using iphoto,chances are you have millions of pictures which have been saved in multiple copies by it.

I personally don't use it any more, for that reason, but if you want to continue to use it I believe there is a program called iphoto diet which cleans it up a bit for you so you recover some of the wasted disc space.

Pennies Mon 14-Sep-09 14:55:53

It's a firewire connection. I'm not sure about the difference between a firewire and USB - does that mean you can attach multiple drives using it?

An extra external drive is a v. good idea. I like that option a lot.

Yes, a little bit of me did want you to scream in horror that I was an a <gasp> 5 year old computer, because I love new gadgets, but hey the extra drive options makes of sense.

Pennies Mon 14-Sep-09 15:01:51

Thanks ib - i\ve just downloaded it but got scared because I'm worried I might delete all my pictures.

WebDude Mon 14-Sep-09 21:44:13

Before venturing into purchase of an external drive, I'd urge you to check your options.

It's possible to have multiple devices (over 50) connected by USB (though a half dozen is far more likely, and that's when you've plugged in your mobile phone, MP3 player, printer, plus a memory stick or external drive).

When it comes to Firewire {cables and cross-section of the connection socket are shown on the right side of the page) there are now several speeds and different connectors so check your Mac carefully.

Firewire is definitely worth using, as USB can be slow to detect something new has been plugged in/out (if the CPU in a Windows PC is busy on other things, for example) although you might find Firewire hard drive kit is a bit more expensive (perhaps banking on the Apple user often paying a lot bit more for kit.

If you are feeling lost, come back, or see if you can find a Mac forum for techie Q+A as I'm somewhere behind you in the IQueue about Macs, sorry.

WebDude Mon 14-Sep-09 21:50:46

Ah, sorry, missed you confirming it's Firewire. Great. As for the worry about running iPhoto diet, wait until you've copied 50 GB of pix off the HD onto a new drive, unplug that external drive, and then have a play, knowing you have those pix backed up. As for the 5 year old machine. I'll take it off your hands, if you feel like getting a nice MacBook Pro for Christmas (and birthday?) present for yourself.

WebDude Tue 15-Sep-09 19:43:44

TODAY ONLY!! 1 TB external USB drive at 54.99 with free delivery

CruelAndUnusualParenting posted about "deal of the day" on Ebay

# Interface Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
# Spindle Speed: 7200 rpm
# Form Factor: 3.5"
* Capacity: 1 TB
* Interface Type: Hi-Speed USB
* OS Required: Apple MacOS X 10.4.8 or later, Microsoft Windows Vista / XP
* Power Source: Included AC adapter
* Power Device: Power adapter
* Cables Included: 1 x USB cable
* Works with Windows Vista: Software and devices that carry the Works with Windows Vista logo have been tested for baseline compatibility with PC's running.
* Package Type: Retail
* Interfaces: 1 x Hi-Speed USB
* Device Type: Hard drive - external
* Width: 12.6 cm
* Depth: 20.7 cm
* Height: 4 cm
* Weight: 1.02 kg

WebDude Tue 29-Sep-09 19:17:44

Mail from ebuyer (link) says they are offering a Bufallo 640 GB external (USB) drive for 46.99 inc VAT

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