Cant boot up cos my start up disk is full!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by shiftymatt, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. shiftymatt macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2008
    Hello all,

    I rather stupidly ignored the warnings about the start up disk being full and obviously (with 20/20 hindsight) it appears there isnt enough free space to start the computer, it just gets to the grey screen with the apple logo and thats it.
    I have a usb external hard drive and was wondering if it is possible to start up with that instead. Any suggestion will be much appreciated!
  2. eluk macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2006
    East London, UK
    Boot from the install DVD and then clean up from there.
  3. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Or presumably use Firewire cable, link to another Mac, use your Mac as an external hard drive, get rid of some things or move them over, then bring them back when you've solved the space issue.
  4. Kelly the Dude macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    That's funny, I've loaded my startup disk down to nothing many times, and I've never had a problem with startup. Photoshop would do nothing, and a lot of apps wouldn't launch, but it would at least boot.

    Does that happen a lot when you guys run down your disk, or is this just unusual?
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    You certainly can start up from the USB external if all the following conditions have been met:

    1. You are using an Intel based Mac
    2. It has been formatted by a Mac as Mac OS Extended and has a GUID partition map
    3. OSX has been installed on it

    Items 2 and 3 can be done after booting up from an OSX installer disk easy enough, but item 1 is a deal killer if you don't have an Intel based Mac. On the other hand if you have a PPC based Mac you could boot from the external if it were a FireWire connected drive (with an APM partition map scheme).

    Now as to the problem, I doubt that space is the issue as far as what you described realistically, though nothing is impossible. Start up from an installer disk and use the Disk Utilities installed on it (from the system menus at the opening screen of the installation process) and run a "Repair Disk" on your startup drive first to see what that finds.
  6. shiftymatt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2008
    Sadly I dont have an Intel based Mac (powerbook G4) and with all the moving to and fro from uni I cant seem to find the recovery or OS X start up disks!:(
    Is this going to be a case of taking it to an apple shop?

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