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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Memory Advice & Time Machine

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Member Since: Jan 05, 2009
Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 1
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Ok guys, basically I don't have an iota when it comes to Memory, RAM, etc... so I'm gonna post what my laptop has, and any recommendations would be greatly received in terms of memory upgrade, etc...

# Maximum Memory Capacity: 2048MB
# Currently Installed Memory: 2GB
# Available Memory Slots: 0
# Number of Banks: 2
# Dual Channel Support: Yes
# CPU Manufacturer:
# CPU Family: Intel Core Duo 2 GHz
# CPU Speed: 2000 MHz

(provided by

I don't have a clue what else I need to provide. Basically I have around 20 GB of music and photos on my laptop, and was wondering - I've backed these files up on to an external hard drive with Time Machine. Would it now be ok to delete say the photo library off my laptop to free up space and if I need them for future references just open them again on the Hard Drive???

Again-my apologies if I'm leaving vital info out
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Member Since: Aug 18, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NY
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Mac Specs: 15" Unibody MBP (2009), White MB (2009), iMac G4

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You can't upgrade the memory in that system any further, since you already have the maximum amount installed.

If you need to free up hard drive space temporarily you could back up that stuff then delete it, but in order to use it in the future you will have to restore it to your hard drive from the Time Machine backup. You can't open them from the Time Machine drive.
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Member Since: Dec 29, 2008
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Firstly, I think you are getting confused with the two types of memory a computer uses.

The 2gb memory you mentioned is the RAM - a small bank of solid state memory used by the computer to run programs, you already have the maximum your computer can take installed, so cannot upgrade further, but typically when you up the RAM, your computer will be able to process data faster.

Hard drive memory is the second type, and the one you are having problems with at the moment. this is typically a lot larger than the RAM, and is what is used to store data on, so all your music is saved on your hard drive.
What you are needing is a larger hard drive, so you can store and access more data. This can either be done by installing a larger hard drive (your macbook will likely have something like 80gb, so you could swap that drive for a larger drive like 250 or 320gb with a little knowhow (or paying a pro to do it)
The simpler option is to use an external hard drive - you can store your data on teh external drive, and just plug that in when you need to access it.

Time machine is not really designed for what you need - the aim of time machine is to copy yoru entire system, so if your computer fails, you can reload the whole lot from the external drive and revert back to your last setup (programs and files and so on). What time machine does not allow though, is an easy access to your files. All you need is a standard external hard drive (not formatted for time machine) where you can copy your data across to the drive, and once it is saved on the external drive, delete it from the computer, and when you want to access it, plug in the external drive - basically exactly the same as you would use a USB memory stick or floppy disk.
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