Tiger/ OK to delete previous system files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by burningbright, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. burningbright macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #1
    Hello everyone, I'm running Tiger 11 on an ibook g4 with 27GB of memory. I find I don't have enough memory even to keep any music on it; the longer the computer goes without a restart the less hard drive space I have. I have never used more than about 8-9 GB for my own files, but until I deleted my music I frequently found that the computer had 'zero KB available' meaning that I couldn't even save changes to documents to my hard drive. When I restart I magically gain a GB or 2. Is this normal? How much hard drive should be available for personal use on a 27GB hard drive running Tiger?

    I've run an app called 'what size' and it says that 'previous systems' folders take up 5.69 GB. What do those folders do and is it necessary to keep them? I could kind of use the extra space. Also 'sampler' for garageband takes up 1.35 GB. If I deleted that would Garageband still run OK? I'm guessing not but I'm just wondering whether they're simply demos?

    Sorry for all the questions but my computer is being a bit annoying here! Hope you can help.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    The Previous System folder arises from upgrading using the archive & install method. It's basically the system folders from the previous installation dumped in a folder for safe keeping. Sometimes you find there's some file in there you still need and you move/copy it back over to the main installation. That's all it's used for. If your system is stable and running fine, though, you can just delete the whole previous systems folder.

    The fluctuation in free available space is probably the result of the virtual memory file being reinitialized.

    You really want 5-10GB of free space (free at boot up, i.e. not including that swap file above, is fine) if at all possible; at least, my experience is that Tiger wants a lot of free space on the boot drive. It's a little harder when you have such a small boot drive, but still as a general principle it causes Tiger to perform a lot better -- it wasn't nearly as true with Panther.
     
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #3
    :eek:.

    I'll buy it from you. I don't care what I have to pay. I'll buy that. That's an epic amount of RA... oh... never mind.

    Yeah, there are some files in there that you still need. A common tactic is to delete one by one until you're uncomfortable with deleting more or Tiger refuses to boot.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Erm, no, I don't know if Leopard is different, but Tiger doesn't actively use the files in the previous systems folder under any circumstance, as far as I know. They're only there as an archive (thus archive and install). If Tiger needs them, they won't be available to the system until after they're moved out of that folder and to their normal installed locations.

    You can just throw the whole root level folder in the trash can and empty it. We all usually held onto it for a while and dug around for plist files in it and stuff, but you don't actually need it -- Tiger will boot without it.
     
  5. burningbright thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #5
    Thanks!

    Thanks, I decided to back up the root folder to an external drive then I deleted it from my hard disk. I've restarted the computer and no Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been galloping across the screen as yet. And I have another 5+GBs of space to play with! I can finally put my music back on again!:D
     

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