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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing a bit of high definition video work and I'm finding that the limiting factor is hard disk space on my G5. Right now, I'm down to only 30 GB free on the 160 GB disk, and the computer's starting to misbehave.

Generally speaking, how low can you go for free space before OS X starts acting squirrely, and am I eating into the safety factor with only 30 GB free.

I'm planning on adding another hard drive soon since disk space really is the limiting factor here. I'm also planning on upgrading the RAM as well, since it only has 1.5 GB. Both are going to have to wait a couple of weeks though due to finances...
 

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I've been doing a bit of high definition video work and I'm finding that the limiting factor is hard disk space on my G5. Right now, I'm down to only 30 GB free on the 160 GB disk, and the computer's starting to misbehave.

Generally speaking, how low can you go for free space before OS X starts acting squirrely, and am I eating into the safety factor with only 30 GB free.
For OSX 10% of HD space should be adequate. However with video additional HD space might be required for scratch space. I would max out the RAM if I was doing video. Certainly time for a fresh system install. Easy if you have been backing up to an external, a bear if it's this big and you have no back-ups.
 
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10% is quite low when you're talking about a lot of very large files you access regularly. HFS+ does some of it's own defragging on large files, so when you run low on space sometimes you end up with the drive churning away like mad trying to defrag huge files in the background. Moving it off to another hard drive as you are talking about doing when you have the beduget is a good thing. I've found that mixing your boot + scratch/capture drives is never a lot of fun, especially when working on HD stuff.
 

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You're performing video editing with files located on your boot volume? Try DiskWarrior. I can almost guarantee your directories are increasingly out of order. The second hard drive will be your saving grace.
 

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Go for the second drive asap. It will make the biggest difference.
 

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Uh oh! I think that's happening to me, except I have 30 GB out of 80 GB.

If I'm dealing with my PowerBook, what would you suggest, saving for a larger, faster internal, or getting a larger external??? I never thought I'd use all this space!!! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To be quite honest, it's been about 8 years since I last edited video so it isn't something I've used the Macintoshes for until now. It was quite a surprise to start doing video editing - much less in HD - which is why the G5's configuration isn't as well suited for that purpose as it should be. Hence the single, 160 GB disk and the 1.5 GB of RAM, which is all I could afford at the time. I have a 125 GB external FireWire 400 disk connected to that computer but it isn't particularly fast and it's stuffed with music, scanned images, as well as my data backups.

As it stands, the G5 is still down to 30 GB free out of the 160 and it beachballs on me quite a bit now even when iMovie isn't open and I'm doing far less demanding word processing, web browsing and emails. This is a bit of an inconvenience, but is far from rendering the system useless so I can live with it until some money comes in and I can afford upgrades - probably around mid-September. Oddly enough, iMovie runs fine.

Anyhow, thank you for the information and suggestions. I guess the single internal drive is into it's margin of safety as far as free space goes and I'll be sure to upgrade it soon. I'll be adding some more RAM too, depending on budget.
 

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The beachballs you're experiencing likely aren't due to drive space, but rather directory problems. You still have approximately 20%+ free space, sufficient for normal operation.

You might also startup from your installer disk and run Disk Repair.
 

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He's probably got incredibly fragmented drive space ( note not files )

I'm seeing this more and more. X does an admirable job on individual files but does not keep free space contiguous or even major file groups ( ie a big mail structure in my case).

Optimizing deals with both.

I have also noticed that SuperDuper on a clone does a pretty good job as well.

Be interested if someone would clone off a slowish drive to external ( erase and clone )- boot off the external and clone ( erase and clone ) and then report back.

Here's a visual indicator
Now I had fully optimized my boot drive just a week ago yet it has some ragged structure.


while this is a Clone done yesterday - you can see the clone is much cleaner.

 

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Be interested if someone would clone off a slowish drive to external ( erase and clone )- boot off the external and clone ( erase and clone ) and then report back.
OK. Here's the requested report.

I recently performed that exact process; boot drive was indeterminably sluggish and problematic, even after all utility processes were exhausted. A clone was made onto an external, the internal was reformatted using a low level option, and the clone was placed back upon the boot drive. Presto! Full speed ahead!
 

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OK. Here's the requested report.

I recently performed that exact process; boot drive was indeterminably sluggish and problematic, even after all utility processes were exhausted. A clone was made onto an external, the internal was reformatted using a low level option, and the clone was placed back upon the boot drive. Presto! Full speed ahead!
Excellent suggestion from MacDoc. If the OS itself is corrupt you won't notice any difference otherwise problem solved. Overall a safer way to defrag than using a utility.
 
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I just did half of that on my mac mini, but it's due to drive problems .. the internal drive (or controller, not sure which) is having issues and was super slow .. so unfortunately I can't go back to the internal drive, but the external drive was a great performance boost for the mac mini, even before the internal drive started acting up :)

You're right about the fragmented free space too MacDoc. For video projects I tened to use separate drives, one per project and when I'm done I format them to start fresh on teh next job.
 

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Before


and I had just done a full optimize a week ago - some drives look like a salt and pepper shaker had spilled -

after clone

same info

 

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You reminded me of something - we are getting in some 200 gig 7200 rpm drive upgrades for MacMinis and MacBooks.
Gonna try one on the backdesk.

What many don't realize is that drives are much slower as they get full as the data is in the slower part of the drive.
Depending on the drive this could be up to 40% slower.
So not only is the fragmented freespace an issue but where the data is written as well.

Photoshop pros would do well to put a 10 gig partition ( on a big drive - 5 gig on asmaller drive )- especially on something like a Tornado - just for Photoshop at the beginning of the drive.
That way a drive intensive app has a empty sandbox to write too all the time and in the fastest portion of the drive space.

Sure wish there was an eSata port on the MacMini. Zoom zoom. :D
 

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Drive Genius
 
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