Reformatting internal HDD - help, tips, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kidlogic42, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. kidlogic42 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    Hello all! Thanks in advance for the answer to what is probably a simple question. I have had an iBook G4 (1.34) for going on three years now. Over that time I have accumulated a lot of files on the HD, some of which I know I need, some I know I no longer do. What I think would be easiest to do is just to reformat the whole drive and essentially start over. I use the computer mainly for surfing the net, DJing using Serato and music production.

    Is it really as simple as making a disk image of the HD, transfering that to an external and reinstalling the OS? I believe I have all the disks for my necessary programs, so I should be good there.

    Any tips or suggestions on how to make this as easy and painless as possible? I have done it on my old PC way back in the day, but its been many years since.

    Or is there another way of getting rid of the clutter? My main reason for wanting to do this is that due to all the music I have and the music I make, I am constantly juggling files to keep free space on the drive, and Im now currently running out of files to delete to make more room.

    Sorry if this topic has been done to death on here already, I looked over the first 5 or so pages and didnt see much info on it. Thanks!
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    While I would agree in principle to most of what you have figured out, there is one detail I would change- that being the idea of creating an image of the drive and moving that to the external drive.

    I would think you would be a lot happier with using a program such as Carbon Copy Cloner (freeware with donations gratefully accepted by Mike Bombich the developer) to make an exact copy of your drive before beginning. That way the external (IF it has a firewire connection since you are running a PPC based Mac) will be bootable if you have any problems and all the files are directly accessible rather than having to open an image to retrieve them.

    If you do clone it, when you do a clean install on your internal drive it will provide you a method at the end of installation (Migration Assistant) to copy your user files and apps back to the new installation from the external if you care to. If you are not having any problems with the computer now and it simply a space issue that should work fine. If you were having other odd problems, sometimes that will migrate the problem right back into your new installation so it is not really recommended- but that does not sound like an issue here.

    When installing the OS there is another option called Archive and Install which maintains the user folder and some other stuff on the drive you are reinstalling to and archives the rest, but since you are "space challenged" that really wouldn't be a viable option it would seem.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you are running out of file to delete than you will likely gain very little by the reformat and reinstall. Maybe you will get rid of a few small text files that hold preference setting for old programs. But these are very big.

    What you really need is a new disk drive. If your computer is a few years old it likely has a small drive. Today you can get a 100GB notebook size drive for not so much money.
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Yea, I had the best iBook G4, the ones they made right before the Intel transition, and it was the peak specs, 40GB hard drive. small in todays terms. just get a new hard drive, dont do all that disk imaging, just backup ur files, the iLife suite has a backup feature. like itunes allows you to burn dvds of the entire library, etc.
  5. kidlogic42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    Thanks for the tip on CarbonCopy... moving the files was one of the things i wasnt too sure about.

    One of the reasons I want to do this is that its been running rather slow lately, and acting kinda weird once in a great while. My battery also just died, and i was going on AC power for about two months. Like I said Im a DJ, so I have to move my computer a lot and got the "your computer's clock is set to... " prompt every time i started it and had my iTunes library disapear as well as it not remembering any cookies or passwords for websites.

    Another reason I want to do it is to re-organize. I have around 35gigs of music on my 80gig hd. There is a lot that I dont really play anymore, and I think it would be easier to start from scratch again and put the ones I know Ill play back on rather than trying to find them all scattered across my hard drive, and do it in a much more organized way. I also know there are a lot of programs I dont use as much anymore or just a lot of random stuff on there that I never access that I dont need on the drive.

    I would get a new drive, but its not really in the budget right now. Eventually though... is it an easy enough procedure to do on a Mac? I havent done anything like that since I got my first mac 6 years ago.

    Is there a better way to go about reorganizing things, other than a full reformat? Will the reformat be benificial in making things run a lil smoother again?

    Thanks again for the help.

    Edit: Specs - iBook G4 (1.5) 14.1in 1.42 GHz 1GB Ram 80GB HDD running OSX 10.4.11

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