Hard drive full on Mac laptop - suggestions please

dodginess

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A friend of mine has a laptop (which I haven't seen yet, but probably a PPC-era one) that isn't booting due to no space being available on the hard drive.

I already have a FireWire external hard drive (with Leopard) that I can boot from in TDM if the laptop also has a FireWire connection, but what options do I have if there's no FireWire?

I thought about maybe deleting files through Open Firmware, but it doesn't look like this is possible. Another option was to get a cross-over cable and telnet to it from another local machine, but can I do anything useful?

Other options I can think of are to start-up in safe mode or single-user mode, but would this make any difference?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Dodg
 

Doctor X

Registered
. . . or . . . make him buy an external hard drive [Ex-HD--Ed.], hook it up to his computer, boot his computer off one of the following:

  • 1. Installation Disk
    2. Disk Warrior
    3. TechTools

basically, you want either Disk Utilities and/or a software repair program that will "boot" the computer. You should be able to "see" his HD and start moving files over to the Ex-HD and delete as necessary.

You can also do this with your computer assuming you can hook it up and boot his computer. Either way, I would really recommend you make him obtain an Ex-HD otherwise whatever you delete to help him, in a few weeks he will proclaim were highly rare and irreplaceable video he took of the famous, yet secretive, French Licen Fetish Society bacchanal from Paris, 2003 :)

Then beat him about the head an shoulders with an axe handle for failing to do this in the first place


--J.D.
 

dodginess

Registered
Thanks J.D. - I haven't touched a system disc in ages because I always clone my hard drive rather than reinstall when I swap machines, so I'd forgotten that option. Is it obvious how to get access to the Terminal once I've booted off of the CD - from what I remember, the OS X installers try and hide all that stuff?

Regarding your other points:

It's a "her" rather than a "him", so I'd probably be wise to exercise some discretion in this particular instance :D She did say that she didn't have any system discs for it, so I'll have to take mine along and hope for the best. In fairness to my friend, her ex took the laptop away to "fix" it and it came back all broken, so I've no idea what he's done to it.

You must be a mind reader of the highest order, as I've had exactly the kind of dialogue you describe before:

(Me pointing at screen)

Me: "So...it's ok if I delete this file here then?"
Idiot: "Yeah, whatever"
Me: "Ok...I'm doing it now..."

(One week later)

Idiot: "I can't find some important email/picture/download anymore - you didn't delete it did you?"
Me: "No, of course not, I'm sure I didn't..."

Thanks again,

Dodg
 

Doctor X

Registered
Thanks J.D. - I haven't touched a system disc in ages because I always clone my hard drive rather than reinstall. . . .
Indeed. Times have sure changed. The only problem is if you have a corruption that you clone. I have seen that happen.

Is it obvious how to get access to the Terminal once I've booted off of the CD - from what I remember, the OS X installers try and hide all that stuff?
Do you need to get to Terminal to remove files?
You should be able to just "mount" the disk through DiskUtilities and/or your computer. As far as I know the "unmountable" problem is because it is too full to effectively boot.
In fairness to my friend, her ex took the laptop away to "fix" it and it came back all broken, so I've no idea what he's done to it.
Probably why he is an "ex."

You must be a mind reader of the highest order, . . .
I am magNIfIcent.


After you save her system, make her obtain a Big Ass [Tm.--Ed.] Ex-HD, force her to obtain either SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner so she can clone her drive. Then explain how she can partition the Ex-HD. For example, say her Int-HD is 500 GB and her Big Ass Ex-HD is 2 TB, she can create a ~500 GB partition to clone every day and leave 1.5 TB free to store Crap like music, video, pictures she does not need every day.

--J.D.
 

dodginess

Registered
In answer to the above points:

J.D. - Yes, you are magNIfIcent (and superb also).

Satcomer - I think the iTunes library is fairly substantial from what I've been told, so thanks for your suggestion.

MisterMe - I haven't seen the laptop yet, but there's a very good chance the Trash is full because it was locking-up on a fairly regular basis before (which was why the laptop was originally taken away to be "fixed").

Thanks again everyone - nice to see there are still some decent people inhabiting the Interwebs these days :)

Dodg
 
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