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  1. #1
    How to clear the Startup Disk??

    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2011
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    5
    How to clear the Startup Disk??
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm kindove in a debacle right now... I have a bunch of Updates for my computer that I need to install but it wont let me cause my "Startup disk is too full" I have ALOT of music on my itunes currently, but I also have everything backed up to an external. I literally don't save anything on the computer hard drive and have been trying to basically reformat or restart my mac to factory settings or at least get rid of all the stuff on the startup disk.. Can anyone help me out with this? What is the Startup disk? is it the same as the actual HD? and how do I wipe the Startup disk so I can install updates and have more room?



    ANY help would be amazing! Since I've been trying to figure this out for ages!

    PS: Sorry if this is a repeated thread. I was reading the thread about reformatting but am not sure if it applies to what I'm asking.

  2. #2
    How to clear the Startup Disk??
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    45,173
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    The startup disk is your internal hard drive that boots the machine. The best way to cure the out of space problem is to simply buy a larger hard drive and swap the old one out. There are procedures that you can follow to copy everything from the old drive onto a new larger faster hard drive. Changing a hard drive in a MacBook or MacBook Pro is a fairly easy task.

  3. #3
    How to clear the Startup Disk??

    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2011
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    The startup disk is your internal hard drive that boots the machine. The best way to cure the out of space problem is to simply buy a larger hard drive and swap the old one out. There are procedures that you can follow to copy everything from the old drive onto a new larger faster hard drive. Changing a hard drive in a MacBook or MacBook Pro is a fairly easy task.
    Thanks for the reply. I will have to look into another HD. But for the meantime, Can I just clear it to factory settings? is that possible? It could probably use a good clean out since it probably has 5 years of stuff in there...

  4. #4
    How to clear the Startup Disk??
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    45,173
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    Clearing out a hard drive or resetting it to when you first bought the machine would probably require reinstalling OS X. You could certainly do that but be sure to backup everything first to the external hard drive.

    That's kind of a drastic approach though. It's best to do as I recommended in my first reply.

  5. #5
    How to clear the Startup Disk??
    zarathu's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2010
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    PA
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    Apple since 1982, now: iMac 2.5 ghz, 500 HD, sandy bridge
    Its your music files that are eating your HD alive. Why don't you just go to iTunes and trash some of them, after all, you have them backed up? When you delete them iTunes will ask you whether you want to put them in the trash, click on TRASH.
    "I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do."
    -- Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek Online, Oct. 12, 2004

  6. #6
    How to clear the Startup Disk??

    Member Since
    Jun 08, 2011
    Location
    Norwich, UK
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    43
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    Mac Pro 3,1 Dual Quadcore 2.8GHz 12GB Snow Leopard / G4 PowerMac (AGP/Sawtooth), 1.4GHz 2GB Leopard
    +1 to what zarathu has said. Once you've trashed them, you'll have to "re-educate" iTunes so that it looks for the tracks on your back-up drive.

    You should also change the default location of where iTunes normally stores its music/media files. Do this by opening the iTunes preferences, go to "Advanced" and you'll see a panel that says "iTunes Media folder location".

    By default, iTunes is set to keep all of your music files in a sub-folder of your user account on the System Drive. This is usually:

    Users / my username / Music / iTunes / iTunes Music

    This is all very well on a new machine with only one HDD, but considering the many gigabytes of media files that people tend to have these days, in the long term it isn't a very clever place to keep them.

    IMHO, a good habit to get into is to keep your System Drive strictly for the OS itself, OS-related stuff and other applications, and store all of your personal stuff - music, video, pictures, documents etc. - on other drives. If you can make it so that your System Drive has oodles of free space hanging around doing nothing, your Mac will thank you.

    And if you're buying an extra HDD, don't skimp on the GB - buy the biggest you can afford!

  7. #7
    How to clear the Startup Disk??

    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by espi View Post
    +1 to what zarathu has said. Once you've trashed them, you'll have to "re-educate" iTunes so that it looks for the tracks on your back-up drive.

    You should also change the default location of where iTunes normally stores its music/media files. Do this by opening the iTunes preferences, go to "Advanced" and you'll see a panel that says "iTunes Media folder location".

    By default, iTunes is set to keep all of your music files in a sub-folder of your user account on the System Drive. This is usually:

    Users / my username / Music / iTunes / iTunes Music

    This is all very well on a new machine with only one HDD, but considering the many gigabytes of media files that people tend to have these days, in the long term it isn't a very clever place to keep them.

    IMHO, a good habit to get into is to keep your System Drive strictly for the OS itself, OS-related stuff and other applications, and store all of your personal stuff - music, video, pictures, documents etc. - on other drives. If you can make it so that your System Drive has oodles of free space hanging around doing nothing, your Mac will thank you.

    And if you're buying an extra HDD, don't skimp on the GB - buy the biggest you can afford!
    Thanks! this is very helpful! Now, I do have my music backed up to an external, if I delete everything in my itunes right now, I tell itunes to set it to read from my external instead of my sub folders in my actual HD, correct?

    Just want to make sure I'm understanding it right haha. I'm kinda of a n00b when it comes to stuff like this :X

  8. #8
    How to clear the Startup Disk??

    Member Since
    Jun 08, 2011
    Location
    Norwich, UK
    Posts
    43
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 3,1 Dual Quadcore 2.8GHz 12GB Snow Leopard / G4 PowerMac (AGP/Sawtooth), 1.4GHz 2GB Leopard
    Provided your backup version is a copy of the original iTunes folder structure, AFAIK iTunes shouldn't have a problem sussing it all out.

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