Confused About Backup Space

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No, I don't have any ideas on that. You might do a Get Info on the folder containing everything you transferred and get a file count, then repeat that on the source, just to make sure all files and subfolders transferred.
 
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No, I don't have any ideas on that. You might do a Get Info on the folder containing everything you transferred and get a file count, then repeat that on the source, just to make sure all files and subfolders transferred.


Yeah, it's weird, I did that and when I do a Get Info on all the files I transferred to the USB, I get a count of 500mb, but it still says 17.5 g in the Documents folder. Oddly enough, it's the 500 mb that seems to make more sense than the 17.5g because most of my documents are single page RTF's - nothing significant (113 documents). I'm totally stumped so I'm going to do the only thing I can think of - copy and paste all my text and photos into a Gmail account for safekeeping. This stuff is exhausting . . .
 
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How big is your HD? It may be a block-size issue. The bigger the drive, the larger the minimum block size that a file can occupy. For example, with a block size of 4K, then a file of 1 byte of data will take up a full 4K block. So three one-byte files will take 12K. And as the drive capacity goes up, the block size goes up as well, in increments. So, in our example, the three files will show 3 bytes used, but 12000 bytes consumed. That's an extreme example, but you can see how it works. Frankly, I'm not up on how HFS+ handles the hardware (that is one really nice thing about OSX--it works) so block size may not vary with disk size, but that's about all I can think of.
 
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Yeah, it's weird, I did that and when I do a Get Info on all the files I transferred to the USB, I get a count of 500mb, but it still says 17.5 g in the Documents folder. Oddly enough, it's the 500 mb that seems to make more sense than the 17.5g because most of my documents are single page RTF's - nothing significant (113 documents). I'm totally stumped so I'm going to do the only thing I can think of - copy and paste all my text and photos into a Gmail account for safekeeping. This stuff is exhausting . . .
Oh, yeah, the number you need to look at is the count of number of files. The size taken may differ based on block size as I said, but if the number of files matches then you have all of them moved.
 
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How big is your HD? It may be a block-size issue. The bigger the drive, the larger the minimum block size that a file can occupy. For example, with a block size of 4K, then a file of 1 byte of data will take up a full 4K block. So three one-byte files will take 12K. And as the drive capacity goes up, the block size goes up as well, in increments. So, in our example, the three files will show 3 bytes used, but 12000 bytes consumed. That's an extreme example, but you can see how it works. Frankly, I'm not up on how HFS+ handles the hardware (that is one really nice thing about OSX--it works) so block size may not vary with disk size, but that's about all I can think of.

It's 160g - Get Info says 124g used. Is there a way to find out if it's a block-size issue or does this info solve the problem?
 
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I don't think you have a "problem" as long as the file count shows all the files moved. You can open a random sample of files, if you want, but frankly, if the Get Info file counts match, then it's highly likely you have all the files on the USB stick. Your approach to having the folks at the Apple store check is a good one. At this point I think you are OK to go to the store.
 
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I don't think you have a "problem" as long as the file count shows all the files moved. You can open a random sample of files, if you want, but frankly, if the Get Info file counts match, then it's highly likely you have all the files on the USB stick. Your approach to having the folks at the Apple store check is a good one. At this point I think you are OK to go to the store.

Thanks for your help, Jake! I think I'm going to have to look into a Mac class ;D
 
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Volume Directory issue

Macmoron: How long have you had your Mac? When was the last time you did a maintenance on it? Over time, files get corrupt, including Volume Directories. Volume Directories store information about files in our system. ie. Where they are located/indexing, block size, icon appearance, etc.. When these get corrupted, you get issues. Wrong file sizes, crashing, sometimes files "disappear".

If you haven't done a maintenance ever, your HDD issue may be just because these directories are all messed up. I use DiskWarrior as part of my monthly or every other month maintenance. I would suggest doing this first before spending money on getting it "fixed". Disk utility doesn't do as good a job with this as DiskWarrior. Also, as a process of elimination, do a Disk Permissions repair.

As another poster commented, check the File count of your Documents folder in your Mac, then do the same for the copied folder in your USB stick. If they are the same, chances are, your Mac is giving you the wrong info. See Volume Directory issue mentioned above. I would wager, your Mac is giving you wrong info. Documents folder doesn't contain a lot of large files. 17GB seems like an awful lot. 500MB seems more reasonable.

Now that is just for the Documents folder. If your are copying your Music Folder which contains your 6500 mp3s, that would be much bigger. Your Music Folder is not part of your Documents folder. Question, when you drag your Music Folder to the USB stick, what does the total size say in the copy status window? And when you drag files over to the USB stick, do you see a green circle with a plus in the middle? If not, try holding down the Option key as you drag it over. Check the total size in the copy status window.
 
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Confused about back-up space

Are your original files uncompressed and your saved files compressed?
 
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Macmoron: How long have you had your Mac? When was the last time you did a maintenance on it? Over time, files get corrupt, including Volume Directories. Volume Directories store information about files in our system. ie. Where they are located/indexing, block size, icon appearance, etc.. When these get corrupted, you get issues. Wrong file sizes, crashing, sometimes files "disappear".

If you haven't done a maintenance ever, your HDD issue may be just because these directories are all messed up. I use DiskWarrior as part of my monthly or every other month maintenance. I would suggest doing this first before spending money on getting it "fixed". Disk utility doesn't do as good a job with this as DiskWarrior. Also, as a process of elimination, do a Disk Permissions repair.

As another poster commented, check the File count of your Documents folder in your Mac, then do the same for the copied folder in your USB stick. If they are the same, chances are, your Mac is giving you the wrong info. See Volume Directory issue mentioned above. I would wager, your Mac is giving you wrong info. Documents folder doesn't contain a lot of large files. 17GB seems like an awful lot. 500MB seems more reasonable.

Now that is just for the Documents folder. If your are copying your Music Folder which contains your 6500 mp3s, that would be much bigger. Your Music Folder is not part of your Documents folder. Question, when you drag your Music Folder to the USB stick, what does the total size say in the copy status window? And when you drag files over to the USB stick, do you see a green circle with a plus in the middle? If not, try holding down the Option key as you drag it over. Check the total size in the copy status window.



Hi Eric,

I have technically had my Macbook since 2007. However, the hard drive was replaced just two years ago, and the reason I'm thinking that the new hard drive is "failing" is because it's doing a lot of weird things that my original HD did when it had to be replaced. The Mac is constantly shutting down on its own, I can't burn dvd's or cd's, my trash folder never seems to empty (after I empty it and turn the computer back on, the trash is back in the trash can again), my audio gets corrupted, I can't play You Tube videos correctly, just a lot of weird things.

A very interesting thing though - all of a sudden one day in Safari a few months ago, this "Download Now' icon started appearing on every single page I go to - it pops up out of nowhere. There seems to be no way of getting rid of it and I don't even know how it got onto my computer. But all of these problems started when that thing showed up and I am wondering if it could be some kind of virus or bug that's messing with my hard drive. If you know anything about this 'Download Now' thing, please let me know. (It doesn't show up in Chrome or Firefox, only Safari).

Yes, I always get the green circle with the plus for everything that I have transferred to the USB's - all my Itunes, photos, and documents. The only ironic thing about the sizes is that all 60 gigs of my music took up all space on 2 32G USB's and the tunes play fine on my media player, but it's just the documents and the photos that take up less space than what Mac is saying they "should" be, and yet again, they are on my media player.

Today, I bought a tablet (Ematic Quad Core) as a temp just in case Apple says I need to replace my HD again, and I will be attempting to see if the files on the USB's show up in the tablet. If they do, I suppose I'm home free? I have about 50 USB's that I keep everything on - all my movies and tv shows - so I've never before had a problem with them not showing up on other devices.

As for maintenance, I really don't have a technical brain at all, so I only know the basics of working my Mac. I stopped doing updates because every time I did, I felt programs like ITunes and others would get worse and lose a lot of features. (I don't like change all that much - I didn't even want to get Snow Leopard with my last HD replacement, but they wouldn't let me keep Tiger). I have done that thing called "MacKeeper" and now I've been told that this is actually spyware, so maybe that's had something to do with all of these problems.

I'm nervous about touching anything in 'Disk Utilities' since I don't really know what I'm doing - I feel like I could click the wrong button and lose everything on the computer! What exactly is Disk Warrior - is it something you download or is it already part of Mac?

I know, dumb questions. You'd think I'd know the answers by now but I just don't have the computer brain! :[
 
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Ahh...it's looking a little more clear. YES! MacKeeper is a malware. That can explain a lot of your issues. As well, since you don't maintain your Mac, chances are you have other Malware installed in it. The flag was that "Download Now".

I too don't like change much, so I make sure that if I DON'T have to update, I won't. I've been a Mac user for 20+ years, and I've learned that some updates aren't always the best things to do. Especially if your system is running perfectly fine without them. Put it this way, I just upgraded from SL to ML. I don't usually update to the next OS from what I currently have, until the latest OS is in it's final stages, and the newest one is coming out. Eg. Mavericks is the latest OS (one ahead of mine), and Yosemite is slated to be released in a month or two. They day I upgrade to Mavericks is the day, they announce the next OS after Yosemite. My reasoning behind this, by the time I upgrade to a new (older) OS, it would have had most of the bugs and kinks ironed out of it.

But I digress. Having a clearer picture of your practices, I would suggest this. Back up all your important files. ie. documents, pics, family videos, etc... Reformat your HDD (use the system disk that came with your Mac, or create a bootable USB drive with the OS you want to install). Boot from either one of those, and format your drive to Mac Journal Extended. Reinstall OS and any other apps you use.

Then...be diligent in what you do. Stay away from MacKeeper, or anything that pops up on your browser asking you to install something. Macs may be pretty much immune to most virus out there. But it's not completely invulnerable. Especially against Malwares. Practice internet smarts. Don't open files from emails you don't know. If it's sent from a "friend", but seems oddly suspicious, contact the friend directly to find out if they had sent it to you. 9/10 times, they didn't. Which means they got compromised as well.

Here are couple of links in how to create a bootable USB drive from an OS install app (not update app), and steps in how to format and install. Mavericks is free to download from the App Store. As much as I love SL, and wish I could have stuck with it, it's inevitable that you will need to upgrade.

Creating a bootable USB flashdrive
How to create a bootable USB to install OS X - TechRepublic

Here's a much simpler way: DiskMaker X

Formatting HDD
How to Format Your Mac's Hard Drive - Tuts+ Computer Skills Tutorial

Installing OS
This one actually includes info on the above topics as well: How to Do a Clean Install of OS X Mavericks

Hope this helps. This is how I've learned to be my own repair guy on all my Mac systems. I've only ever gone in for repair once. And that was back in 1994. Since then, I taught myself how to troubleshoot and fix. Macs, in my experience, are so well built, it's rare that you will get any hardware issues. These you do need to get serviced, unless you know how to solder, and now electronics. lol Some hardware issues, is just a matter of replacing a HDD or graphics card. Or bad ram. Those are simple to do. But for the most part, any issues I've ever dealt with all software based. Simple troubleshooting and maintenance can minimize these issues, before they become bigger more annoying issues.

Good luck.
 
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Ahh...it's looking a little more clear. YES! MacKeeper is a malware. That can explain a lot of your issues. As well, since you don't maintain your Mac, chances are you have other Malware installed in it. The flag was that "Download Now".

I too don't like change much, so I make sure that if I DON'T have to update, I won't. I've been a Mac user for 20+ years, and I've learned that some updates aren't always the best things to do. Especially if your system is running perfectly fine without them. Put it this way, I just upgraded from SL to ML. I don't usually update to the next OS from what I currently have, until the latest OS is in it's final stages, and the newest one is coming out. Eg. Mavericks is the latest OS (one ahead of mine), and Yosemite is slated to be released in a month or two. They day I upgrade to Mavericks is the day, they announce the next OS after Yosemite. My reasoning behind this, by the time I upgrade to a new (older) OS, it would have had most of the bugs and kinks ironed out of it.

But I digress. Having a clearer picture of your practices, I would suggest this. Back up all your important files. ie. documents, pics, family videos, etc... Reformat your HDD (use the system disk that came with your Mac, or create a bootable USB drive with the OS you want to install). Boot from either one of those, and format your drive to Mac Journal Extended. Reinstall OS and any other apps you use.

Then...be diligent in what you do. Stay away from MacKeeper, or anything that pops up on your browser asking you to install something. Macs may be pretty much immune to most virus out there. But it's not completely invulnerable. Especially against Malwares. Practice internet smarts. Don't open files from emails you don't know. If it's sent from a "friend", but seems oddly suspicious, contact the friend directly to find out if they had sent it to you. 9/10 times, they didn't. Which means they got compromised as well.

Here are couple of links in how to create a bootable USB drive from an OS install app (not update app), and steps in how to format and install. Mavericks is free to download from the App Store. As much as I love SL, and wish I could have stuck with it, it's inevitable that you will need to upgrade.

Creating a bootable USB flashdrive
How to create a bootable USB to install OS X - TechRepublic

Here's a much simpler way: DiskMaker X

Formatting HDD
How to Format Your Mac's Hard Drive - Tuts+ Computer Skills Tutorial

Installing OS
This one actually includes info on the above topics as well: How to Do a Clean Install of OS X Mavericks

Hope this helps. This is how I've learned to be my own repair guy on all my Mac systems. I've only ever gone in for repair once. And that was back in 1994. Since then, I taught myself how to troubleshoot and fix. Macs, in my experience, are so well built, it's rare that you will get any hardware issues. These you do need to get serviced, unless you know how to solder, and now electronics. lol Some hardware issues, is just a matter of replacing a HDD or graphics card. Or bad ram. Those are simple to do. But for the most part, any issues I've ever dealt with all software based. Simple troubleshooting and maintenance can minimize these issues, before they become bigger more annoying issues.

Good luck.

Thanks Eric! I don't really understand all of what you told me, but I am now starting to believe that I must have bugs on this computer. My HD is only two years old so it shouldn't be failing, and I do download a lot of things, mistakenly thinking that I don't have a PC, so they won't be harmful - now I know better. I probably ran that Mackeeper every day for months!

I am taking it in to the Mac genius on Sunday so hopefully they will find out what the problem is and not tell me it's failing. I'm also going to print out your suggestions and have them show me how to do those things for maintenance. I hope it's nothing that can't be fixed right there on the spot, because if I have to put out $300 every couple of years for a new HD, I might as well just own a crappy PC! ;D

Thanks!
 
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I'm nervous about touching anything in 'Disk Utilities' since I don't really know what I'm doing - I feel like I could click the wrong button and lose everything on the computer! What exactly is Disk Warrior - is it something you download or is it already part of Mac?

I know, dumb questions. You'd think I'd know the answers by now but I just don't have the computer brain! :[

No such thing as a dumb question. Consider yourself "dumb" only when you don't ask questions when you need answers. ;-) It's how we learn.

Nothing to be afraid off. 95% of the time, if you follow procedures correctly, you won't have any issues. But if your a little nervous because this is something new to you, back up your important files. That I can't stress enough. :) The beautiful thing about Macs, is that they ARE pretty straight forward. Follow instructions on screen as you go.

DiskWarrior is a software you purchase. It's like DiskUtilities on steroids. lol It checks all your blocks and volume directories for any corruption, and fixes it. It also checks your files for any issues. As well as repairing disk permissions, and checking the health of your HDD. I've been using this for years, and it has never failed to fix system issues for me. So I tend to stick to what has worked for me consistently. You can also try TechTool Pro, or Drive Genius. By second go to is TechTool Pro. Although it does what DiskWarrior does, I find it doesn't do it as thoroughly. BUT...it also analyzes your HDD, graphics card, and ram. Along with optimizing your HDD. It's a one stop shop. Drive Genius is decent too. I think it's simpler to use than TechTool, but doesn't do as thorough a job with troubleshooting your hardware. I think its cheaper too.

Here's a link to read up on good Mac Disk Utilities softwares. The Top Five Mac Hard Drive, Diagnostic, and Repair Utilities | Data Rescue II | Peachpit
 
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Thanks Eric! I don't really understand all of what you told me, but I am now starting to believe that I must have bugs on this computer. My HD is only two years old so it shouldn't be failing, and I do download a lot of things, mistakenly thinking that I don't have a PC, so they won't be harmful - now I know better. I probably ran that Mackeeper every day for months!

I am taking it in to the Mac genius on Sunday so hopefully they will find out what the problem is and not tell me it's failing. I'm also going to print out your suggestions and have them show me how to do those things for maintenance. I hope it's nothing that can't be fixed right there on the spot, because if I have to put out $300 every couple of years for a new HD, I might as well just own a crappy PC! ;D

Thanks!

From what you've mentioned, I'm sure they will be able to fix the issue for you. But you will have to pay for it. And you are more than capable of doing what they would do. ;-) I don't know if they will show you how to do those things. And chances are, depending on the "Genius" you get, they may encourage you NOT to do it yourself. And to bring it in for repair. Saying something like "you might void the warranty if you do it yourself". It's how they make money. Just saying. ;-) Some don't even know much more than you, sometimes less (if you are tech savvy). Yes, I've tested the knowledge of some of these Geniuses. lol
 
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No such thing as a dumb question. Consider yourself "dumb" only when you don't ask questions when you need answers. ;-) It's how we learn.

Nothing to be afraid off. 95% of the time, if you follow procedures correctly, you won't have any issues. But if your a little nervous because this is something new to you, back up your important files. That I can't stress enough. :) The beautiful thing about Macs, is that they ARE pretty straight forward. Follow instructions on screen as you go.

DiskWarrior is a software you purchase. It's like DiskUtilities on steroids. lol It checks all your blocks and volume directories for any corruption, and fixes it. It also checks your files for any issues. As well as repairing disk permissions, and checking the health of your HDD. I've been using this for years, and it has never failed to fix system issues for me. So I tend to stick to what has worked for me consistently. You can also try TechTool Pro, or Drive Genius. By second go to is TechTool Pro. Although it does what DiskWarrior does, I find it doesn't do it as thoroughly. BUT...it also analyzes your HDD, graphics card, and ram. Along with optimizing your HDD. It's a one stop shop. Drive Genius is decent too. I think it's simpler to use than TechTool, but doesn't do as thorough a job with troubleshooting your hardware. I think its cheaper too.

Here's a link to read up on good Mac Disk Utilities softwares. The Top Five Mac Hard Drive, Diagnostic, and Repair Utilities | Data Rescue II | Peachpit



Something has just come to light! A while ago I allowed my idiot nephew to use my Mac to check his email and he confessed to me recently that he actually downloaded a porn movie onto my Mac. On that same porn site, he downloaded something called 'ISoft Converter" to get the movie on my computer. I didn't think much of it at the time because the kid said he put the porn movie in the trash (so I wouldn't find it), and that he also put the 'ISoft' in the trash as well. I thought nothing more of it other than to never let anyone use my Mac again. I am wondering if that "ISoft" was actually some kind of malware and maybe just putting it in the trash doesn't actually get rid of it, since that 'Download Now' is all over Safari. I suspect this because you know those porn sites are sleezy enough as is, I wouldn't put it past them to put some kind of bug on your computer as well. I'm glad I just remembered this happening, this could be the whole problem!
 
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From what you've mentioned, I'm sure they will be able to fix the issue for you. But you will have to pay for it. And you are more than capable of doing what they would do. ;-) I don't know if they will show you how to do those things. And chances are, depending on the "Genius" you get, they may encourage you NOT to do it yourself. And to bring it in for repair. Saying something like "you might void the warranty if you do it yourself". It's how they make money. Just saying. ;-) Some don't even know much more than you, sometimes less (if you are tech savvy). Yes, I've tested the knowledge of some of these Geniuses. lol

You know, I always suspected that maybe my hard drive wasn't actually failing two years ago, but they insisted that it was and I had to pay $300 to replace it. And being kind of a numbskull about this stuff, I tend to believe them (they are, after all, "geniuses"). Well, I'll see what they have to say. If they want $$ to repair it, I'll have to just do what you instructed and hope I don't blow up my computer. :D
 
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Something has just come to light! A while ago I allowed my idiot nephew to use my Mac to check his email and he confessed to me recently that he actually downloaded a porn movie onto my Mac. On that same porn site, he downloaded something called 'ISoft Converter" to get the movie on my computer. I didn't think much of it at the time because the kid said he put the porn movie in the trash (so I wouldn't find it), and that he also put the 'ISoft' in the trash as well. I thought nothing more of it other than to never let anyone use my Mac again. I am wondering if that "ISoft" was actually some kind of malware and maybe just putting it in the trash doesn't actually get rid of it, since that 'Download Now' is all over Safari. I suspect this because you know those porn sites are sleezy enough as is, I wouldn't put it past them to put some kind of bug on your computer as well. I'm glad I just remembered this happening, this could be the whole problem!
ANNNNND Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the culprit! Pron sites ALWAYS imbed malware, ALWAYS. And iSoft is one of those miscreants that do that sort of ad-malware bombs. IT's very hard to get rid of it, but what definitely works is nuke and pave. Backup your personal files then boot into the recovery partition (Link). Format the hard drive, reinstall OSX, then restore you personal files. You may have to reinstall some applications, particularly anything you have from MicroSoft and Adobe, and since some of them keep track, I'd uninstall them before the nuke'n'pave to de-register them so the reinstall goes smoothly. You don't have to worry about reinfection if the X movie is gone. If you want, the Genius can do this for you, but make your own backups first. It's relatively easy to do, Apple makes it as adult-proof as they can.
 
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ANNNNND Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the culprit! Pron sites ALWAYS imbed malware, ALWAYS. And iSoft is one of those miscreants that do that sort of ad-malware bombs. IT's very hard to get rid of it, but what definitely works is nuke and pave. Backup your personal files then boot into the recovery partition (Link). Format the hard drive, reinstall OSX, then restore you personal files. You may have to reinstall some applications, particularly anything you have from MicroSoft and Adobe, and since some of them keep track, I'd uninstall them before the nuke'n'pave to de-register them so the reinstall goes smoothly. You don't have to worry about reinfection if the X movie is gone. If you want, the Genius can do this for you, but make your own backups first. It's relatively easy to do, Apple makes it as adult-proof as they can.

Oh man, that little *******. No 14-year-old should be trusted with a computer! And actually, I think it might have been called ISkySoft, and I just did a Google search on that and I didn't see any complaints about malware, so I don't know if that's legit or not. As for reinstalling the OSX, do you mean by the original disk that came with my Macbook? Because when I got the HD replaced (they installed Snow Leopard and did away with the Tiger I loved), I think that would be the disk that I have. Would installing Tiger after having Snow Leopard even work?
 
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You can boot from the original install disks and reinstall whatever was originally on the machine. Then go through the upgrade/update cycle with Apple. Be advised, however, that applications you've updated to more modern versions may not run on the older version of OSX, and if those applications changed file formats, the files saved in the new formats may not be readable by the older versions. And for the little twerp, don't let him on your machine in YOUR account. You can set up an account for him, and OSX should isolate anything he does from the machine in general. I wouldn't trust that fully, but it's one step, anyway.

One other comment about Tiger/SL. If you have a SL disk, I'd install that, at least. Tiger is no longer supported for security updates from Apple. I don't know the status of SL, but at least it's newer.

EDIT: If you go with SL, just boot from THAT install CD and do the nuke/pave with it, you can skip Tiger altogether. Then do the update from Apple to the last version of SL.
 
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You can boot from the original install disks and reinstall whatever was originally on the machine. Then go through the upgrade/update cycle with Apple. Be advised, however, that applications you've updated to more modern versions may not run on the older version of OSX, and if those applications changed file formats, the files saved in the new formats may not be readable by the older versions. And for the little twerp, don't let him on your machine in YOUR account. You can set up an account for him, and OSX should isolate anything he does from the machine in general. I wouldn't trust that fully, but it's one step, anyway.

One other comment about Tiger/SL. If you have a SL disk, I'd install that, at least. Tiger is no longer supported for security updates from Apple. I don't know the status of SL, but at least it's newer.

EDIT: If you go with SL, just boot from THAT install CD and do the nuke/pave with it, you can skip Tiger altogether. Then do the update from Apple to the last version of SL.


Well, when the Apple store replaced the hard drive, they never gave me a SL disk. I guess I didn't know enough to ask for one. I didn't even know they were taking away my Tiger until I picked up the computer. Depending on how much it'll cost me, I'll weigh the pros and cons of replacing the HD altogether or having them fix the problem or having to purchase an OSX disk. Either way, it's all a HUGE lesson learned. I paid $2,000 for this machine to begin with, I'll never let another person touch it again and I'm going to try to learn as much as I can about Mac!
 

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