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Original MacPro with 4 Drives?!

#1 User is offline   jyadgir 

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

My MacPro: 2x3 GHz; 8 GB memory 667MHz has 4 drives. I bought it used some years back and it works great...until now. My problem is that it has 4 drives, but I just use the Hard Drive. I am now getting a message that I have only limited memory left and have to make room on the drive. Each of the 4 drives has 465.4 GB capacity. The Hard Drive has only 964.0 MB available. The other 3 drives have 465 GB available (they are named Hard Drive Alt, Work Drive and Work Drive Alt.) I thought I would move Garage Band, iMovie HD, iPhoto and iDVD to the other drives. But it seemed like I had even less memory available on the Hard Drive instead of more. So I moved them back. Is there something wrong with my logic here? How do I tap into what I perceive as the huge amount of memory available on the other three drives. Also I'd like to eventually get to the latest OS. I now only have V 10.5.8, but am afraid to upgrade due to the limited memory space available in the Hard Drive. Any help would be appreciated.
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#2 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

View Postjyadgir, on 16 December 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

My MacPro: 2x3 GHz; 8 GB memory 667MHz has 4 drives. I bought it used some years back and it works great...until now. My problem is that it has 4 drives, but I just use the Hard Drive. I am now getting a message that I have only limited memory left and have to make room on the drive. Each of the 4 drives has 465.4 GB capacity. The Hard Drive has only 964.0 MB available. The other 3 drives have 465 GB available (they are named Hard Drive Alt, Work Drive and Work Drive Alt.) I thought I would move Garage Band, iMovie HD, iPhoto and iDVD to the other drives. But it seemed like I had even less memory available on the Hard Drive instead of more. So I moved them back. Is there something wrong with my logic here? How do I tap into what I perceive as the huge amount of memory available on the other three drives. Also I'd like to eventually get to the latest OS. I now only have V 10.5.8, but am afraid to upgrade due to the limited memory space available in the Hard Drive. Any help would be appreciated.


In some ways you haven't given us enough to go on to make concrete suggestions, so this is necessarily going to be broad.

As far as your originally expectation, it's spot on. Moving - or copying - files from one drive to another shouldn't increase consumption on the source drive. At most you might see the access time on the copied file(s) update. You didn't really describe what you observed that led you to decide something else happened, but I can assert confidently that it wasn't the app moves that did it.

That said, moving a handful of applications is not likely to be an effective course of action. With rare exceptions, individual apps aren't taking up a meaningful percentage of a half-TB drive. Where you should be looking is almost certainly data, and in particular the kinds of data used by those 4 apps you identified are good candidates because they tend to be large and because they can usually be moved easily with no complication to their subsequent use. Check the size of your iTunes media collection, your iPhoto library and any work you may have done with other media-editing tools.

An extremely useful tool for approaching this task is the free (and tiny) Grand Perspective. http://grandperspect...ourceforge.net/ It gives you a nice graphical overview of how the space on your system is being consumed.

One thing to pay attention to, especially in light of your observation that apparently consumption increased even when you moved stuff off the drive, is the possibility of runaway logging. You may have some background process that due to a persistent error condition and/or poor coding decisions is constantly spewing messages to the system logs. You might want to take a peek with the Console application in /Applications/Utilities.
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#3 User is offline   jyadgir 

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for the reply. When I dragged Garage Band and iPhoto over to Work Drive from Hard Drive. The apps stay in Hard Drive. It looks like they were copied over to Work Drive and not moved.
Is there a way to move them to free up the space in Hard Drive? Do I delete or trash the applications that are still in the Hard Drive? Nervous about doing that!
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#4 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:14 AM

View Postjyadgir, on 17 December 2012 - 08:48 PM, said:

Thanks for the reply. When I dragged Garage Band and iPhoto over to Work Drive from Hard Drive. The apps stay in Hard Drive. It looks like they were copied over to Work Drive and not moved.
Is there a way to move them to free up the space in Hard Drive? Do I delete or trash the applications that are still in the Hard Drive? Nervous about doing that!


Not sure what OS version you're on. With the current version you would have to do a copy and then delete, but I think that's relatively recent. You *may* just be running into the fact that drags between volumes in Mac OS are copies by default. You'd hold down the command key while you release the mouse button to signal you want a move instead; the appearance or absence of a "plus" sign overlaid on the dragged icon indicates what'll happen.

But I'll reiterate: This is not really a great way to free up space. You've got a half-TB drive with less than a GB free and the 4 apps you identified add up to roughly 4GB on their own. Due to the way VM works, that's not really a comfortable amount of free space on a modern machine. You really should identify what's really taking up the space and focus your efforts on that.
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#5 User is offline   jyadgir 

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thanks again. I opened the Hard Drive and under the "house" icon I was able to see how much memory certain projects, etc. were using and was able to delete many of these. Now I have 17.0 GB available!
I think I'll "move" some of the apps that use space---Garage Band, Movies, iPhoto over to the other Drives. I'll use your idea about holding down the command key. My OS is 10.5.8 and like I said, I'd like to upgrade to Lion. Anther related question: Do I have to upgrade stepwise or can i skip some of the "in-between" operating systems?
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#6 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:47 AM

View Postjyadgir, on 19 December 2012 - 09:00 PM, said:

Thanks again. I opened the Hard Drive and under the "house" icon I was able to see how much memory certain projects, etc. were using and was able to delete many of these. Now I have 17.0 GB available!
I think I'll "move" some of the apps that use space---Garage Band, Movies, iPhoto over to the other Drives. I'll use your idea about holding down the command key. My OS is 10.5.8 and like I said, I'd like to upgrade to Lion. Anther related question: Do I have to upgrade stepwise or can i skip some of the "in-between" operating systems?


According to the license terms, you have to have 10.6 to use 10.7. As a practical matter, that's a reality because as far as I know the only way to get 10.7 today is through the Mac app store which means you need to be on 10.6. When 10.7 was the current OS, Apple also sold it on a USB flash drive and I don't *think* you needed to have 10.6 on the target drive first but I'm not positive. I am positive they no longer sell that flash drive though, unlike 10.6 DVDs.
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#7 User is offline   jyadgir 

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for all your great advice. Happy Holidays!
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