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View Full Version : MacBook Air Owners: How to Save HD Space




clayj
Jan 30, 2008, 03:43 PM
OK, obviously no one has one of these yet. But when you get one, you may want to consider making your first action reinstalling OS X from the DVD that comes with the MacBook Air. Why? It's simple.

For those of you who don't know, OS X comes with a lot of extra stuff you may not ever need. Specifically, I'm talking about foreign language support and preloaded printer drivers: Between these two things, an extra 6 GB or so of hard drive space is used. Normally, that's not worth worrying about, but with only 64 GB or 80 GB of disk space in the machine, you're talking about losing up to 10% of your drive capacity on stuff you may never, ever need.

So if you reinstall OS X right away and customize the installation, you can choose not to install all those extra language support files and printer drivers, and reclaim a healthy chunk of your hard drive in the process. It'll take a little time to reinstall the OS, but your hard drive will thank you later.

[NOTE: If anyone gets an MBA before I do, which seems likely at this point, and confirms that the language support files and printer drivers are already NOT installed on the MBA, please note such in this thread and we can have the thread deleted.]



bigbadnewill
Jan 30, 2008, 03:46 PM
I think this is sage advice for all notebook users! I am hopefully getting a macbook soon so i think i may well be following this advice myself!

I never knew that the print drivers took up so much space! crazy-ness, just plain crazy...i guess it's a side effect of the whole "mac just works" thing. If they weren't installed at the beginning...they just wouldn't work :D

roland.g
Jan 30, 2008, 03:55 PM
My thoughts are that you really don't need to put much on your MBA if you have another Mac at home with broadband and .Mac you can take advantage of the Back to My Mac browsing and Screen Sharing to control your home machine or grab files from it. As long as you have a wifi signal where you are that is.

heatmiser
Jan 30, 2008, 04:01 PM
Definitely get rid of the iBloat. That'll save you at least 3 gigs, maybe more.

Bakkalohriat
Jan 30, 2008, 04:05 PM
iLife users may also want to consider deselecting iMovie and iDVD from the installation, as there's not much pro video to be had on a compact notebook. You can also look into XSlimmer, which lets you save space by removing the extra language support and PowerPC architectures that take up extra space.

roland.g
Jan 30, 2008, 04:09 PM
Definitely get rid of the iBloat. That'll save you at least 3 gigs, maybe more.

And while you are at it, it would probably be wise to uninstall your web browser and mail as well as the finder. ;)

etorres
Jan 30, 2008, 04:13 PM
For those of you who want a more "portable" solution, Gizmodo has a small story on the new small 1.8" external Western Digital Drives. They are pretty small so you can carry them with you anywhere and at $200 for the 320 Gb model, the price is not bad.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 30, 2008, 04:14 PM
iLife users may also want to consider deselecting iMovie and iDVD from the installation, as there's not much pro video to be had on a compact notebook. You can also look into XSlimmer, which lets you save space by removing the extra language support and PowerPC architectures that take up extra space.

Especially since there's no optical drive or Firewire :p Dunno why they'd even install those apps.

Luis
Jan 30, 2008, 04:22 PM
If you don't get the external superdrive, be sure to delete iDVD ;)

growinglogic
Jan 30, 2008, 04:25 PM
I am going to use my MacBook Air the way Apple intended.

I have my iMac here setup with sharing and I am going to connect to it via Wifi or EVDO to access files/projects.

Being a web designer/programmer I live by the internet anyway. :)

PlaceofDis
Jan 30, 2008, 04:29 PM
Garageband eats up a lot of space too, along with iDVD so if those won't be used might as well not put them on there either. you can trim down the install by quite a bit actually by going through a reinstall off the bat

PCMacUser
Jan 30, 2008, 05:45 PM
Trashing the ms office and iworks demos (if they are installed), is also a good thing to do to recover space.

bpd115
Jan 31, 2008, 10:42 AM
My thoughts are that you really don't need to put much on your MBA if you have another Mac at home with broadband and .Mac you can take advantage of the Back to My Mac browsing and Screen Sharing to control your home machine or grab files from it. As long as you have a wifi signal where you are that is.

As an aside, I totally agree.

However I have a mac mini at work, a Mac Pro at home and a Macbook Pro on the go and I've yet to see back to my Mac work between 2 different networks.

sanford
Jan 31, 2008, 11:30 AM
Easy on the printer drivers, if you delete rather than reinstall. Google for instructions. There are some files weaved in there OS X needs for its print architecture, hard to tell what they are, and if you delete them you can smack printing. But 1.5GB saved, at least.

I'd really agree on iDVD -- themes -- and GarageBand -- instruments and loops -- too. If you're running any kind of super-light, even hotel-room quality audio recording or production kit, you're at least in the MacBook line, and the Air is out. I can't imagine you can't keep the bulk of your iPhoto library off there, too. Or carry none of it. So you can whack iPhoto if that's the case. Mobile graphics guys won't be using this. Nor will film people. iMovie can go, too.

Really, you're looking at iTunes if you want to carry your music on it. But if you have any kind of decent iPod or iPhone, there's really no point.

iWork, unless you absolutely need it, ditch. Try Mellel for word processing for about $50 and maybe Mariner's spreadsheet product, if you need a spreadsheet at all.

Real MS Word may be a total necessity for some people, but I should think a lot of you can ditch the rest of the Office suite.

OK, obviously no one has one of these yet. But when you get one, you may want to consider making your first action reinstalling OS X from the DVD that comes with the MacBook Air. Why? It's simple.

For those of you who don't know, OS X comes with a lot of extra stuff you may not ever need. Specifically, I'm talking about foreign language support and preloaded printer drivers: Between these two things, an extra 6 GB or so of hard drive space is used. Normally, that's not worth worrying about, but with only 64 GB or 80 GB of disk space in the machine, you're talking about losing up to 10% of your drive capacity on stuff you may never, ever need.

So if you reinstall OS X right away and customize the installation, you can choose not to install all those extra language support files and printer drivers, and reclaim a healthy chunk of your hard drive in the process. It'll take a little time to reinstall the OS, but your hard drive will thank you later.

[NOTE: If anyone gets an MBA before I do, which seems likely at this point, and confirms that the language support files and printer drivers are already NOT installed on the MBA, please note such in this thread and we can have the thread deleted.]

Gregintosh
Jan 31, 2008, 12:00 PM
Graphics people can sure use it, so I don't think thats a fair assessment. Graphics should look good with the LED backlit display, and the power is more than adequate for Photoshop and other heavier tasks (I know, I used to have a computer with exactly those specs - 1.6Ghz C2D 2GB RAM - from Dell and it was quite speedy for graphics tasks).

I agree though that iMovie and iDVD can go. If you don't do much audio editing or any Garage band can go too. If you don't see yourself making websites, iWeb can go bye bye also.

Isn't there a way to get rid of individual applications AFTER they've been installed? Or get rid of extra printer drivers and such without having to resort to a format? Cause personally I would prefer to use it the way it was intended and then if and only if I really need extra space start trashing stuff.

robby818
Jan 31, 2008, 01:01 PM
Office 2008 has lots of extra language support that can be unchecked when you do a custom install. You probably will not need Messenger so don't install that, and for me entourage is just a waste of space.

cmturner2
Jan 31, 2008, 06:20 PM
And certainly something akin to AppZapper should be able to handle the removal of select applications if you plan to keep most everything and avoid a reinstall.

deezie
Jan 31, 2008, 10:42 PM
I've never done a fresh install of OS X. Can somebody give me a quick walkthrough (or link to one) of how to wipe the HDD and do a fresh install of 10.5?

I've searched the Guides page on macrumors to no avail. Many thanks!

desenso
Jan 31, 2008, 11:25 PM
This is pretty much the first thing I did with the Air. Popped the installer DVD into my Mac Pro and formatted. Overall, it was surprisingly fast given that it was doing it all over the wireless network.

I've never done a fresh install of OS X. Can somebody give me a quick walkthrough (or link to one) of how to wipe the HDD and do a fresh install of 10.5?

I've searched the Guides page on macrumors to no avail. Many thanks!

Put in the DVD. Select "Install Mac OS X." On the MacBook Air, the computer will reboot and you will get a gray screen. Hold down the option key. Use whatever method you're using to access the DVD. Installer will start. Go through the first few steps until you have the Mac OS Menu. There should be a Utilities menu with Disk Utility. Select it, and format the drive as you would in regular Disk Utility. Proceed with install, but on the last screen before starting the installation, click the "Customize" button. Get rid of the bloat.

eddietr
Jan 31, 2008, 11:28 PM
This is pretty much the first thing I did with the Air. Popped the installer DVD into my Mac Pro and formatted. Overall, it was surprisingly fast given that it was doing it all over the wireless network.

How long did it take to install? I assume this was on an "n" network?

I'm debating whether I want to pick up a superdrive for things like this (installing OS, restoring from backup). But if the speed isn't bad on wireless, I might skip that.

I have an "n" network.

profiteor
Feb 1, 2008, 02:57 AM
I'd definitely not store media (movie, songs) on the hard drive, and Xslimmer sounds like a winner (yay lipo!). Contemplating language removal, and printer driver removal, but running a quick check of my MacBook's HD, my home folder is the largest hog. I'm starting there first :)

Definitely going to trash the silly apps too. Half of iLife has limited use on the road on a machine with no optical drive.

off in the wood
Feb 1, 2008, 03:28 PM
couple of questions with the reinstalling of leopard and doing a customization to save space.

i first tried to do this remotely but to no avail. when I got to the part where it has you select your wireless network...well for some reason mine isn't listed, but it is listed when I connect to the internet? what's up with that?

so then I manually type in my networks name and password... and It continuously searches for it... but never finds it!

anyone have any ideas as to why I can't connect remotely? but I can connect to the network to access the internet?

so then about saving all the unneeded items. I also bought the external optical drive. and went ahead and tried a customized install... but ... it is very limited on what you can delete or not delete?

for instance, I do not want garageband, but if I don't install that then I don't install iDVD which I want. So can I install it and then delete it at later time? like right now!!!

lastly, my questions is with the printer files. What exactly is the consequence of deleting it? In my wireless network I have a hp printer, so I would want to keep the hp pinter file right?

and then if I would delete all of the other printer files (samsung,canon, etc), does that mean if I am ever in someone else's network I couldn't use their wireless printer if it is some name that i deleted?

sorry for the length. I'm just really bummed that my remote disk is not working the way it should. I really hope it is not faulty!!!

thanks in advance

gkorsgard
Feb 2, 2008, 04:43 PM
I just ran the reinstall as suggested get rid of the "extras". It has ejected the disk but just keeps calculating the installation. Never asked for disc 2. Any suggestions?

R.Youden
Feb 2, 2008, 04:54 PM
Maybe I will be going over some old ground and maybe adding something new but if I can summarise my space saving methods:


XSlimmer. (http://www.xslimmer.com/) This can be used to strip applications down to universal binaries and save a load of space.
Monolingual. (http://monolingual.sourceforge.net/) This is similar to XSlimmer but it removes all the excessive language files and some printer drives.
AppDelete. (http://reggie.ashworth.googlepages.com/appdelete) This little application is a bit like remove applications in Windows. It not only deletes the application but also all the associated files. As mentioned with iMovie and iDVD you get a load of extras which are not automatically deleted when you trash the application, this little tool gets rid of thE extras and saves you a bucket-load of space.



I think that is about it for now.

Jimmie Geddes
Feb 2, 2008, 06:12 PM
I used Monolingual and got back 3.2GB, a great free application.

jwkitche
Feb 2, 2008, 07:26 PM
What about AppZapper? Can it remove the native programs (like Garageband and iDVD) effectively? It seems to do a great job with thing that I have installed and would be a ton easier to use than to do a re-install utilizing another computer's DVD drive to reinstall OS 10.5 via the air disk utility.

Would using a combination of AppZapper and Monolingual be the best solution?

Also, do any of these programs (iMovie/iDVD/Garageband) rely on each other? Will I run into a problem using iMovie if I have unistalled Garageband?

Thanks,

John

uber gorilla
Feb 2, 2008, 07:27 PM
Maybe I'm stuck in the proverbial stone-age here, people, but even on the SSD MBA there seems to be ample space for files etc. The laptop I currently own (and will be glad to chuck out in the bin!) is an eight-year old Toshiba Satellite. It's HD has only 6GB capacity, and I'm only using half of that with everything I need in place. So why do I need dozens of GB on ANY computer these days?

Unless I'm missing some really super obvious fact here....

eddietr
Feb 2, 2008, 07:42 PM
Maybe I'm stuck in the proverbial stone-age here, people, but even on the SSD MBA there seems to be ample space for files etc. The laptop I currently own (and will be glad to chuck out in the bin!) is an eight-year old Toshiba Satellite. It's HD has only 6GB capacity, and I'm only using half of that with everything I need in place. So why do I need dozens of GB on ANY computer these days?

Unless I'm missing some really super obvious fact here....

Well, for one thing modern OSes and Apps are much larger than 8 years ago.

I doubt Leopard can be squeezed into a 6GB drive.

And then people have lot of media now. Documents are much larger, especially Office 2008 docs I'm seeing.

It's not unusual with fast internet connection for your downloads folder alone to swell to several GB even if you are in the habit of cleaning it regularly.

For me, I think 64 will be tight. I plan to re-install the OS, drop Apps I don't need, and keep my media on my MP. But still.

bmpwe
Feb 2, 2008, 07:53 PM
And certainly something akin to AppZapper should be able to handle the removal of select applications if you plan to keep most everything and avoid a reinstall.

I can attest that AppZapper is a great program. If you want to "zap" default Apple apps, be sure to unselect "Keep default apps safe" option in the preferences.

AppZapper safely removed sever default apps for me.

ubercool
Feb 2, 2008, 10:51 PM
My thoughts are that you really don't need to put much on your MBA if you have another Mac at home with broadband and .Mac you can take advantage of the Back to My Mac browsing and Screen Sharing to control your home machine or grab files from it. As long as you have a wifi signal where you are that is.

That's a great tip, thanks roland! :)

QCassidy352
Feb 2, 2008, 11:52 PM
I do a fresh install to remove the ibloat on every new mac. :)

ViperrepiV
Feb 3, 2008, 12:05 AM
this will be my first mac....how do you wipe and reinstall the OS / iLife? what are the steps you need to take?

ubercool
Feb 3, 2008, 02:03 AM
this will be my first mac....how do you wipe and reinstall the OS / iLife? what are the steps you need to take?

You use the installer to control what you reinstall. I know for iLife that means skipping over iDVD and iMovie, assuming you don't use those. :)

johnkountz
Feb 3, 2008, 02:51 AM
couple of questions with the reinstalling of leopard and doing a customization to save space.

i first tried to do this remotely but to no avail. when I got to the part where it has you select your wireless network...well for some reason mine isn't listed, but it is listed when I connect to the internet? what's up with that?

so then I manually type in my networks name and password... and It continuously searches for it... but never finds it!

anyone have any ideas as to why I can't connect remotely? but I can connect to the network to access the internet?

so then about saving all the unneeded items. I also bought the external optical drive. and went ahead and tried a customized install... but ... it is very limited on what you can delete or not delete?

for instance, I do not want garageband, but if I don't install that then I don't install iDVD which I want. So can I install it and then delete it at later time? like right now!!!

lastly, my questions is with the printer files. What exactly is the consequence of deleting it? In my wireless network I have a hp printer, so I would want to keep the hp pinter file right?

and then if I would delete all of the other printer files (samsung,canon, etc), does that mean if I am ever in someone else's network I couldn't use their wireless printer if it is some name that i deleted?

sorry for the length. I'm just really bummed that my remote disk is not working the way it should. I really hope it is not faulty!!!

thanks in advance

I read a comment elsewhere indicating that you have to disable encryption on your wireless during network installation. Maybe try disabling WEP (or whatever encryption you may be using) on your Wireless network and give it another try.

Thomi
Feb 3, 2008, 03:24 AM
I read a comment elsewhere indicating that you have to disable encryption on your wireless during network installation. Maybe try disabling WEP (or whatever encryption you may be using) on your Wireless network and give it another try.

I thought having read that WEB encription will be ok for using the MBA but not work for reinstalling the OS on it. In this case you shall encrypt with WPA.

uber gorilla
Feb 3, 2008, 03:36 AM
thanks, eddietr, I think I'm up to date now :)

etorres
Feb 3, 2008, 01:52 PM
I would strongly suggest leaving the printer drivers, as they are pretty well integrated into the operating system and you never know when you might need them. Get rid of the programs you know you will never use. I just deleted Garageband using Appzapper and that freed up 1 Gb of free space. iDVD and mail are probably next to go. Do a manual install when installing office to get rid of the unnecessary language packs.
Another thing I did was download a free program called youpi optimizer... it permitted me to get rid of all the language packs that came preinstalled with leopard. That permitted me to free up almost 4 Gb of space! So far I have freed up almost 6 Gb of space and looking to free up some more. Believe me, that space will come in handy some time. So as of now I have 56.72 GB of free space to play with.

Until affordable 128 Gb SSD hard drives appear in the market I will have to make do with my 80 Gb of space.