View Full Version : Using iMovie to create film and "start up disk full"! - how to get more storage?

10-14-2016, 04:39 AM

I am using a Macbook Pro with iMovie to create an indie film/documentary. It's now 30 minutes long and due to the High-res footage I now keep getting the message "Stat up disk full" and I cannot proceed. I have gone through my mac and deleted as much as possible but I obviously cannot delete any of the images and clips I'm using in the film from the Macs hard drive as they will then be deleted from iMovie too.

I need to purchase some additional storage, what is the best way to do this?

Appreciate any help

10-14-2016, 07:02 AM
You can either go to a local store and buy the external drive to fit your needs, or, you can go online and order the external drive that fits your needs? What am I missing? You also need to make sure you have a separate external drive to keep a backup of your internal disk drive. If you want, you can provide more information about your setup, like MBP model year and Mac OS X version?

10-14-2016, 07:17 AM
A warm welcome to Mac-Forums.

You are in a tricky situation because you say that you have retrieved as much data as you can - and still your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is full.

This means that your Operating System (OS) is going to struggle to boot the Mac and just keep things turning over; never mind dealing with the complexities of Movie editing.

Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, and as you had so little space on your HDD to play with, it would have been much better investing in extra storage before you began.

But dealing with the present; as Bob stated above, you need to acquire an External Hard Drive (EHD) as a matter of urgency. This should be at least as large as your HDD in terms of storage, if not larger.

Then you need to migrate the iMovie Indie Files to the EHD and edit them from there or, if that is not feasible, move a large chunk of data from the HDD to the EHD (e.g. your iTunes Library, iPhoto or Photos Library).

To give you a guide as we do not know the storage capacity of your HDD - there should be around 25% of unused or free storage on your HDD for the Mac to function properly. So, if your HDD has a capacity of 500GB for instance, you should have 125GB free/unused.

Please post back, preferably with your Mac's specs in detail. We are here to help and given your situation, you need to act quickly.


Rod Sprague
10-14-2016, 08:01 AM
I would suggest that any external HD you buy should be at least twice the size of your internal HD. You will always grow to fill it.
I would also be inclined to buy a dedicated EHD to backup your internal HD before you begin moving files around.
So dependant on the storage of your Macintosh HD, say it's 250Gb you could feasibly use a single 1Tb EHD. That could be partitioned into two equal halves, one for backup of your internal HD and the other for excess data.

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