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What's eating your hard drive space?

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What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:51 pm

I asked myself that question. On a Mac Pro Trash Can, the internal drive is still a very expensive upgrade. When I bought mine several years ago, I was able to afford a 1TB internal drive, but that was filling up and a lowly 2TB is still hovering around $1400. Yikes!

Fortunately, on a Mac you can go to "ALL MY FILES" and see every file on your system in one convenient location. I soon realized that the two big offenders were where I least expected them. My iTunes library and my iPhoto library. iTunes was "only" about 80GB, but the iPhoto library was a whopping 200GB. Together, over 25% of the entire 1TB drive was consumed. I replaced one of my TimeMachine multiple backups with a 4TB drive a while back, so I had an empty 2TB drive just sitting in a dock.

Following instructions from Apple, I moved the iTunes and iPhoto libraries to the external drive and deleted the libraries from my internal disk. A few more steps left...

1 - I deleted all backups of the iTunes and iPhoto libraries on my dual TimeMachine backups and added the new location for inclusion on the backup.

2 - I backed up Machine drive A to include the new location.

3 - When that completed, I backed to Machine B.

Now my startup (internal) SSD is only about 35% full and I don't have to think about replacing it any time soon.

I hope this proves helpful for fellow trash can owners with similar concerns.

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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby mikehalloran » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:17 am

I did something similar. Photos, iTunes and VIs sit on a 2T SSD that connects to my iMac via eSATA. A few of my clients are still on El Cap so I have it on my VI drive—this comes in handy now and then.

My VIs are downloadable so I exclude them from Time Machine.

I have a Time Capsule tower as my wireless gateway as it supports 802.11ac. Everything except the two iMacs go through that. Its 3T drive is the only backup drive on the network that small—everything except my system backs up to it. That drive is 5 years old now so I’ll be replacing it soon. Unfortunately (and unlike the flat Time Capsules) the Tower must be modified to accept a WD Red—I may get another Seagate drive to replace it.

There are four 6T WD Reds being used for Time Machine on my network and all are on Ethernet. Two are in flat Time Capsules and the other two are in a WD My Cloud Mirror set up as JBOD. The iMacs are on Ethernet as none of them are new enough to support 802.11ac.

Everything backs up to 4 of the 5 Time Machine drives. I keep one to back my system only as a complete restore takes less time if it's not being bogged down by other systems trying to use it at the same time.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby bayswater » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:32 am

You can do much the same thing, and more, with Symbolic Links. They do the same thing as aliases, but work much better. So you can put a photo library on an external library and then put a symbolic link to it where the application like Photos expects to find its library.

The bonus with symbolic links is they also work in many cases where an application insists on finding its libraries on the startup volume, and aliases won't work. It works with Logic, for example. I put all the Logic content on an external drive and, not only can Logic find it, App Store updates that contain new content will also put this on the external drive. I expect this would also work with Mainstage and GB.

I've also used symbolic links with a couple of VIs that otherwise could not find their content on external drives. This also comes in handy if you have multiple startup volumes that all have a VI on them. You can install their libraries on one of the volumes, or on a third volume, and then use symbolic links to locate the single copy of the content. This will also sometimes work with VIs that have the content buried inside the plugin by putting a symbolic link in the plugin folder.
2009 iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.07/9.02/9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Logic 10.3.2, Scarlett 18i8
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby cuttime » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:08 pm

MIDI Life Crisis wrote:Fortunately, on a Mac you can go to "ALL MY FILES" and see every file on your system in one convenient location.

For the record, this has gone missing in High Sierra. It has been replaced with "Recents". This can be massaged with Smart Folders, or Search Criteria.
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby bayswater » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:41 pm

cuttime wrote:
MIDI Life Crisis wrote:Fortunately, on a Mac you can go to "ALL MY FILES" and see every file on your system in one convenient location.

For the record, this has gone missing in High Sierra. It has been replaced with "Recents". This can be massaged with Smart Folders, or Search Criteria.

If you found this useful, you can create a smart folder with conditions that will include any file. E.g. "Any" of two conditions "file is visible" and "file is invisible". You can also do your own "recent files" folder with a smart folder that includes files created (or opened/added etc) within the last X days. Caveat: you need to let spotlight index everything you might want included.
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby HCMarkus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:14 pm

What's eating your hard drive space?

Projects. :lol:
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:29 pm

bayswater wrote:You can do much the same thing, and more, with Symbolic Links.


Good tips there! Thanks!

HCMarkus wrote:
What's eating your hard drive space?

Projects. :lol:


I only keep smaller projects on my internal drive. The bulk of my important projects are on a 4TB eternal spinners (double backed up with TimeMachine). Film stuff can take up a lot of space, and FinalCut files (I do some editing) can consume inordinate amounts of space, so they get a separate drive. Then I do art as well, so Photoshop files get a disk, and then there's my SFX library. I keep my VIs on my startup disk but if they get out of control the symbolic links sounds like a good plan.

Dang! I never thought I'd get so technical in the computer world when I started playing for a living. I have to say, I love it... when it works the way it's supposed to.

Thanks for all the responses. There's a lot of good stuff to digest in those few responses...
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Re: What's eating your hard drive space?

Postby bayswater » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:31 pm

Takefile locations can be saved in a template, so it might make sense to let projects be saved in the Documents directory while audio files go to an external disk specified in the template.
2009 iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.07/9.02/9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Logic 10.3.2, Scarlett 18i8
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