256GB getting filled quickly?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Caolan96, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Caolan96 macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    Hi All,

    Got my maxed MBA for Christmas, extremely happy with it so far.

    however i noticed today that I only have 50GB left on my SSD, due to a HD tv series download which will take up around 20 gig, that will be even smaller quite soon.

    anyone else find their SSD is filling up rather quickly, and if so, any tips for cleaning up? deleting hidden files that are not needed?

    Thanks a lot,

  2. ciaran00 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Yeah I'm out.

    I have a WD passport drive that doesn't require a separate power supply. They sell them in up to 2 TB capacity.

    Sorry, I don't know anything about hidden files. I'm not sure it'll help that much. Look into a network storage solution (like attaching a drive to your airport extreme, then exposing it via AFP over internet). Or click the sticky topic that talks about this limitation :)
  3. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Although 256GB is a comparatively large amount of storage, by SSD standards, anyway, you might consider keeping your media files on a USB portable drive. That way you can easily copy the files you are ready to use now or very soon to your MBA but leave the rest on the portable drive. A good rule of thumb is to avoid putting any media on your computer that you won't need immediately. I have routinely done this with my media files for years and haven't run out of space yet.
  4. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    An external hard drive is your friend. It's not that your SSD fills up quickly, as you mentioned you're putting large files such as HD movies on it, that's normal for any storage drive to fill up quickly.
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    A better suggestion would be to get a NAS device rather than a USB drive. NAS devices usually offer RAID, so you get some form of redundancy in your data, they are networked, so you don't need to plug/unplug them from the computer each time and by the virtue of being networked, are accessible by more than 1 device in your home, at the same time.

    With things like Drobo, you can also grow your array on the fly by upgrading the discs, meaning when you fill up your array, you're not stuck labeling more than 1 disc and wondering each time where you put that file.
  6. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    ^^ This.

    External drive.

    Not much to get rid of, however you can do a new clean install and free up a couple of gigz from uneeded fonts and language files. Check the links at the top of this AIR forum to instructions. But in the grand scheme, not enough to make a big difference.

    I still have 230 free Gigz on mine, I store everything except program files on an external 2 TB Raid 1 NAS server, this includes all my family computers, time machines backups, etc. (synology 211). Great way to keep everyones info safe. These machines even downloading of torrents etc on their own!!! Check them out!

  7. deedas macrumors regular


    Dec 2, 2003
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I have 209GB left after a month. Most of that is apps installed. I keep my iTunes lib on my PC where I can stream it everywhere and I dl media straight to my Drobo. I have another RAID set up in my PC to back up to it. I then have a usb external drive connected to my airport set up for time machine and another usb external to do monthly (should be weekly) clones of my MBA.
  8. Caolan96 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    yeah i think i'll start by hooking up an external drive to my airport extreme. :)

    thanks for all the replies.

    i may start with my photos.

    instead of starting another thread i'll ask here:

    my photos are poorly organised, I some recent photos in iphoto, however, alot of photos in the pictures folder, i don't even know where to start in terms of moving everything to iphoto, without loosing edits etc.

    any tips?
  9. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    just delete the shows once you're done
  10. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I went from a 500 GB HD to a 240 GB SSD. When I started I was using about 250 GB on my HD, but I hadn't done any real housecleaning in a while. Here are some things I did to clear up some space.

    • I don't need to use hibernate, so I set hibernate mode to 0 (sleep only) and deleted the 8 GB hibernate file (in /var/vm/sleepfile)
    • My Adobe RAW cache was set to 4 GB and full, even though I rarely use Photoshop. I set the cache to a 1 GB limit and purged it.
    • I used Cocktail to remove language localization files. That saved about 1 GB I think, but it seems it may be what hosed my Acrobat 8 installation, so this may not be worth it. (Acrobat 8 and all the updates are a PITA to reinstall)
    • In my iTunes Media folder, I moved the Movies, Podcasts, and TV Shows subfolders to an external drive.
    • Syncing my iPhone and iPad in iTunes generates about 5 GB of backup data. I made a symbolic link from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup to a Backup folder on an external drive, and use Backoff to disable backups when I'm not connected to the external.
    • I deleted ~/Library/Mail and let Mail.app restore everything from IMAP servers. Then I copied back missing things like plugins, notes, etc. That saved me about 6 GBs (Apple need to fix the problem with retrieving duplicates from IMAP all the time).
    • I deleted all the apps I've downloaded, installed, and never actually used
    • In Aperture I deleted all the RAW previews I generated and regenerated them from scratch. That recovered about 3 GBs of space.

    Other than that I just did some housekeeping, like archiving 15 GBs of test data I don't need anymore for a development project. In the end I recovered some 75 GBs of space and currently have around 60 GBs free space on the SSD.

    You can use OmniDiskSweeper (free) to figure out where your disk space is getting used.
  11. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    Delete them printer driver files, clears up 4gb usually.
  12. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I have a couple of additional observations. First, it seems to me that if the OP is going to buy an external drive, rather than using one he has on hand, he should be sure to buy one that is USB powered and does not require a separate connection for power. Such drives are far smaller, lighter, and easier to setup and use than are the drives that require a separate AC connection. Finally, I echo the recommendation of another poster that the OP immediately delete from the MBA's flash storage any media file that has been viewed.
  13. brandon.8602 macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2010
    Like many people here, I'm a huge fan of the external HD. It's a 500GB Western Digital. It holds all my movies/TV shows and everything that I don't use routinely on my macbook
  14. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    You're going to have an extremely slow experience connecting your External HDD to your Airport Base Station. It's best to directly connect it to your Mac.
    I can't answer your question about the photos but I'm sure someone will answer for you. :)
  15. nooaah macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm trading in my MBP for a 256GB MBA soon. The only reason I'm getting the 256 is to

    A- future proof against more demanding programs (heck, games today can take up to 10GB)
    B- I travel a lot so it's nice to have some give in the amount of media I can cram in

    Otherwise, as most suggested, an external drive is a must for media storage. Plus, you can get pretty quick, mega capacity drives for very reasonable prices these days. I think I spied a Western Digital 1.5TB external drive for under $100 recently.
  16. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    LOL at playing games 10gb in size on a macbook air.

    anyway one previous person suggested a NAS. This is a great idea, or if you are in the market for a new router you could get a time capsule or an airport extreme and just hook a standard drive up to that. Then you can store data that is large but doesn't need fast access (pictures, movies, music etc) on the networked drive and once thats all off you will wonder why you bought the 256gb model at all since most people its those items that are clogging up the drive, most applications and the OS (things you want on the SSD for speed) are reasonably small. I have a bunch of stuff on mine, but no media and I am at 16gb USED lol. My time capsule on the other hand has 840gb used mostly from movies.

    Its very easy to move your iphoto and itunes libraries onto a network drive and then you can point all computers to them so that you have all your media available to all your apple computers
  17. Caolan96 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    Well thanks to some of the tips outlined above I now have over 90GB free on the SSD.

    - Transferred all photos to iPhoto (deleting duplicates in proccess); which meant photos were not being stored in iPhoto and in the pictures folder).

    - Moved podcasts, tv shows and movies from iTunes to external 1TB drive connected to airport extreme.

    - Deleted unnecessary apps and other files (iMovie was set to copy all clips used in iMovie projects to iMovie events - more duplicate files :rolleyes:)

    I guess i'm just gonna have to get used to not having the leeway i had with the 500GB HDD in my MBP.

    However, on a more merrier note, i love the machine, every bit of it, and the reduction in storage was well worth it.

    Thanks to all of you guys who took the time to pass on the house cleaning tips, all of you are what makes this forum nothing short of amazing. :)

    Kind Regards,

    Caolán. :apple:
  18. kryca macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    There is also a utility (whose name I forgot...anyone?) that strips off unwanted localizations and PowerPC code. Saved around 3Gb here.

    It's 3Gb and you will not notice any difference. :)
  19. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You must be referring to Monolingual.
  20. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I would have thought Xslimmer is more reliable as it knows not to touch certain apps when stripping out unwanted architectures.
  21. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2010
    Other options

    Hey Caolan96,

    As everyone had mentioned their great suggestions, I'd like to expand a little more on about external storage options for your media and other applications.

    One option is a accessible/portable solution, going with a removable 2.5" bare hard drive and use it in an enclosure is one good option. Because of the size of the drive, it makes it a viable option to carry around with you! If you need more space, then there is an solution for that as well! By using 3.5" hard drives with an enclosure, you can get a bigger storage than the 2.5" drive with enclosure. Either way, you have the choice of what drive to use and which ones because of the swapping ability enclosures have. Whats great about this too is that you can select what type of interface to use (i.e FireWire 400, 800, etc) as well.

    Hope this adds some more insight to your question!
  22. Kachadurian macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2010
    Traverse City, Michigan
    A laptop in not a good place for Photos

    As I tell my brother almost monthly, a laptop is a terrible way to keep photos. iPhoto is terrible in how it keeps photos and worse if you don't archive and delete on a regular basis. My guess is you migrated over a bunch of baggage from your last computer. There's no other way to fill a 256GB disk so fast.

    Think about someone stealing your MBA and all your photos go with it. It your are serious about your photos you need to use a more secure and permanent storage solution.

    How many years of photos do you have? More than 6 months is a mistake.

  23. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Heh, if someone steals my laptop, the photos aren't really the files I am going to be worried about.

    I use Aperture rather than iPhoto, but I like keeping a lot of my photos on my laptop. Then they are handy when I want to show them.
  24. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Can anyone comment on how slow it is to save, edit and review photos on iPhoto, using an external USB hard drive?
    The MBA is superfast because of SSD- and iPhoto is a dream using it.
    I never saw beachballs using iPhoto with it when editing or reviewing photos. Do you get beachballs when your iPhoto library is on an external drive?
  25. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Personally, I will only work with photos on my fastest drive, i.e. my internal SSD. Even if I store them on an external until I have time to deal with them, I'll copy them over to the SSD when I actually start to process them in Aperture.

    But my workflow may be different. I do motorsports and a big part of my routine is to cull thousands of shots from an event down to a couple hundred I keep. Then those get cropped, sharpened, enhanced, etc and I get to a few dozen I post in a gallery. Since I shoot RAW, I'm often going from 30-40 (& as much as 60) GBs down to 2-3 GBs. Once culled & processed they tend to stay on my internal.

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