start up disk warning


hi there
i own an ibook g4 and for a few days now it come sup with a warning that MY STARTUP DISK IS NEARLY FULL and that i need to delete some files.

i dont know where/what my startup disk is.
i've moved all my files to applications as i thought that might be the reason for the warning.

yesterday i couldn't even do any work in photoshop as another warnign came up about a different disk problem (not startup disk though).
i'm a little confused what the problem is ..

i'm a photographer, but although i got quite a few pix saved on my computer there are 132 MB's available .. although that has changed since yesterday when it said 115 MB's free

i don't want to delete any files unless i know that the files are the issue.

my warrantee runs out in 2 weeks - do you think i should go to the apple store or can i sort it out myself?

thank you!
kindest regards
London, uk
Your startup disk is your hard drive. You need to back up and then delete some of your documents (NOT system files or anything like that) and clear up some free space on your hard drive.

If you do not, your computer will most certainly crash in the near future (possibly requiring you to reinstall everything), and will probably run very slowly until then.

115MB of free space would be plenty for a 1.0GB capacity hard drive, but I suspect you have a much larger hard drive than that. You need to keep about 15% of your hard drive space free at all times -- for a 20GB drive, that would be about 3.0GB. For a 40GB drive, 6GB should be free at all times. Adjust according to your hard drive capacity.
If you have a lot of files in your User name folder, and you have FileVault turned on, I suggest if you don't need FileVault, turn it off - its in the System Preferences under FileVault I think.
thank you for your replies - that's great to know.

but i also get a warning in photo shop when i work on my photos saying SCRATCH DISKS ARE FULL ... waht is that?
has it all to do with the files i've saved on my computer?

do you think i can solve the problem myself by deleting documents or should i go to the apple store just in case ... ?

would be great if you could give me some advice ...
thank you!
You can solve this problem by deleting files. But once you delete something it's gone forever. And you probably will have this problem again in the near future.

I would suggest that you buy an external hard drive for your documents. They are pretty cheap and you get lots of room for your music, pictures, etc. You can get one from your local applestore.
Photoshop's using your main drive as the scratch disk, probably. You find that in Photoshop's preferences. Your harddrive's full. Just free some space. At least 2 or 3 GB, I'd say.

Again, all the warnings you mentioned point to one thing: Your main harddrive is almost full. You have to solve that problem for the computer.
Yep -- "Your startup disk is almost full" and "Your scratch disk is almost full" are basically saying the same thing -- your hard drive is most definitely too full, and your number one priority before using the computer for anything else (even email/surfing the web) should be to free up a few gigabytes of space on the hard drive.

You can suffer data corruption or a complete system crash if you do not keep enough free space available on your hard drive. Operating systems, especially OS X, need free space on the hard drive for memory swapping and other critical operations.
I have a problem with "startdisk nearly full", but when I check the space I have 16 GB available... So that should be enough, shouldnt it? or do I need to delete som more files?
Download either the freeware/donationware applications Yasu or Onyx and run all the cleaning routines. When the program reboots your Mac manually reboot the Mac yet again to completely rebuild the startup/shutdown cache.

Doing this you can rotate the logs and clean runaway cache. Run the cleaning utilities once about every three months will keep a Mac running lean and clean as if it was new.