Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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How to create space on a Hard drive that is almost full?

I have a Macbook 2 Ghz Intel Core Duo

Capacity 74.21 GB

USED: 60.32 GB

Available 13.89 GB

Tell me how to judge size. Don't know about bits/bytes/gigs...pics vs docs?

Apple store said Do an Archive & Restore with Install disks (where ever they are?)

Do not wish to loose data/software programs which I think will happen if I try to Restore.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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This question was migrated from http://meta.ifixit.com/.

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Great question... too many people blindly ignore the numbers and then wonder why their computer doesn't run very fast.

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This is a large topic, which is why this answer is long (and growing as I make edits). I have thus appropriately bolded important parts and beginnings of topics to make this content more navigable.

Gigabytes, or GB, are the standard unit of measurement of harddrive space nowadays (there are others, but we will ignore them for now).

The general rule of thumb for computers is to keep 10% of the hard drive free, or else your computer may start to slow down. In this case, it's apples to apples - GB is a unit, you can simply divide the numbers like so:

Available / Capacity * 100 = % free

In your case:

13.89 / 74.21 * 100 = 18.7% free

You have more than enough space free, you don't need to worry about cleaning up files. However, if you would like to clean up the files, here is how you figure out a file or folder's size:

In Finder, click once on the file or folder so that it is selected. Then press cmd-i (short for "Get Info") and a window will pop up with a bunch of information about the item you selected. To the right of the name at the top you should find the size of the file, which will be shown in KB, MB, or GB (as explained below what those are). For folders, it may show "--" at first while the computer calculates the size. Be patient and it will show up eventually.

Here are the rough approximations of size, should you see other units (ABCellars' answer has the full and exact explanation, so I'm making this as short as possible):

Byte - literally a "bite-sized" chunk for the computer. Almost never used. OS X won't even let you create a file of this size! It's that small.

Kilobyte, or KB - around a thousand bytes (as the SI prefix kilo- tells you). A very small amount.

Megabyte, or MB - around a thousand kilobytes, or a million bytes (again, the SI prefix gives it away). Audio files are generally on the order of megabytes, with an MP3 song being somewhere between 3 and 10 in general, depending on length. A medium sized file will be in megabytes. A file is not a "disk hog" if it is several hundred megabytes.

Gigabyte, or GB - same deal, about a thousand megabytes, or a billion bytes. These are seriously big files. My hard drive is about 830 GB, and I don't anticipate on getting it anywhere near full anytime soon.

Some examples of files on each scale:

KB: text files, small sound files, small pictures

MB: Songs, high quality pictures (higher than cell phone quality, in general), very large text files, a Powerpoint presentation, short videos. A CD can contain up to 700 MB of data.

GB: Movies, large computer games, large applications. A standard, single-layer DVD, such as one you might find a movie on, fits 4.7 GB of data.

How to free up some easy space on your hard drive

As Mayer said, check for duplicate songs in iTunes. If you know how, you also may want to convert your songs to a more compact format, although doing so is tricky and may result in a loss of sound quality. Should you wish to do so, there are plenty of articles on the internet weighing the pros and cons of this - it really is a topic unto itself.

Also as Mayer said, burning files to DVD is another easy way to free up disk space, however burning DVDs makes them much more inaccessible (for viewing and editing). I keep space on an external hard drive specifically for large files (home movies and such) so that I can access and modify them at will. However, in a pinch a DVD will do the job.

If you have an iPod or other iDevice, you can use extra space on them as a hard drive if you allow the option in iTunes. On the main device management page of iTunes, you can check the "enable disk use" button and instantly use your iDevice as an external hard drive.

I would also recommend a spring cleaning, since it is that time of year. Just going through all the folders on your hard drive and selectively deleting content can add up to some significant savings. (pro tip: pressing cmd-delete with a file selected sends that file to trash - no need to drag and drop) There are also programs out there for Mac that will clean out hidden files that the system no longer needs, such as library and log files.

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Wow nice and very comprehensive answer, just noticed you did not list the nibble....;-)

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I could have listed nibbles, exabytes, and petabytes (or KiB, MiB, and GiB), but I just didn't think they were relevant :)

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Great stuff and I actually enjoyed reading this. saved your info since it is so comprehensive. The nibbles had always been my favorite...:-)

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Most Helpful Answer

Docs take up almost nothing. Burn your pictures to DVD. iTunes gobbles up space in a hurry. First open iTunes, go under to File to show duplicates and trash the dups. Movies will take up about 750 MEGS each so burn them off. You still have over 20% of your hard drive free. Also consider a new drive. A 320 GB costs about $80 now and takes less than 10 minutes to install and is a faster drive.

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Accurate answer +

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Making sure, of course, that your data is backed up and that you have the installation media necessary to reinstall any programs. This is true for ANY computer.

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What you are asking is both a very hard question to answer and an extremely easy one to answer, have I confused you even more yet? The hard part is there is no exact formula or way to directly answer your question(s). So let us break this down to the different ,elements of your question(s). A bit is a charter, such as a 1 or a 0. One is on zero is off. But no matter whether it is a 1 or a 0 it occupies space. A byte is 8 charters or spaces, a Meg is a million charters and a Gig is a billion charters and so on and so forth. These bits are machine language also known as binary code that speak to the chips and occupy the space on your hard drive. Please see What exactly is binary code? I don't believe any one person or definition could explain to your satisfaction/understanding the differences between bits, bytes and gigs in a meaningful manner I highly suggest you do a Google on that and read until the light bulb lights up. It is not that there isn't a clear definition of the terms. Rather these concepts need to be understood on your terms.

Next there is what is known as file compression. Commonly the hardest files to compress are videos and photos. The firmware on your hard drive tries to store the information in a manner that uses the least amount of space. Think of it as secret code if you want. It takes common words or phrases and represents them with a character, such as the phrase "and then" might be represented by the letter a - in binary code. The hard drive stores a dictionary that defines the terms and is the code key. Some files have less repetitive phrases in them and can't be compressed by the secret code.

Archiving or backing up your files/information is something you do yourself. The same goes for restoring. You are correct in thinking that if you restore it can write over information on your disk. I believe Apple is telling you to do a factory restore which will solve operating system problems, but will wipe out your data and installed programs. You will need to back up your personal files and reinstall the software.

I hope I haven't confused you further. Such is not my intent. If you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to express them and someone will try to address them.

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overkill - better to explain why a backup and restore helps and % gained.

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To directly answer your question, back up or archive the personal files you are not using on to another drive, dvd, cd or flash drive. This will free up space on your hard drive. If there are files such as videos you don't need any more delete them.

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Love the short answer. +

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look for something called a "disk usage analyser" there is one built into ubuntu and the best one for windows is called WINDIRSTAT but im not sure what program is best for mac but you are looking for a disk usage analyser

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Can I ACCEPT them ALL? I will rank order them for you and me.

  1. 1 Mayer - Short and to the point.

But then...I do want to learn more about how my computer works, so I found ABCellars and Adam Hinz so informative...

  1. 2 ABCellars and Adam Hinz
  1. 3 Katzmatt2 is over my head...but I will check out a disk usage analyzer.

That's my acceptance speech

THANK YOU EVERYONE. for the site and the info!

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georgiaruocco will be eternally grateful.
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