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Mac OS 10.5 Leopard – Bad Kitty Cat

To my surprise today, I filled up my hard drive. I had less than 500MB left! Shocked, I quickly tried to find out why as it didn’t make any sense. Then I saw it. After installing Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, via an archive and install, it seems he left behind a ‘Previous Systems’ folder. That folder alone takes up over 4 gigs worth of space on my iMac!!

I tried burning it to a DVD and it yelled at me as I didn’t have enough permissions for some files. So I tried to compress it and again I was yelled at for not enough permissions. Umm… Apple, I own the computer and OS. How am I not allowed access?

I did find out that I could copy it to another hard drive though.

A quick Google search and I ended up at the Apple support site where a lot of people were having the same issue. According to people on there I can just trash the ‘Previous Systems’ folder and re-claim my precious hard drive space. I’m making a copy or two first just in case though.

If you did an upgrade or an archive and install to Leopard, check to see if you have a ‘Previous Systems’ folder taking up a boat load of your hard drive too. It’d be located right next to your System folder if you had one.

4 Responses

  1. fay says:

    dude archive means archive! it archived your old system (placed it in a new folder) and then installed the new one.

    upgrade wouldnt have left you an old system, but you specifically asked it to archive – this is what its meant to do

    the option is there for people who might just want/need to switch back for some reason, you can safely delete it if you know you dont want to switch back

    also the permissions issue is nothing to do with if you own the machine or not, certain system files are protected so people dont accidently delete or move them, makes total sense right?

    anyway thats it, its not leopard misbehaving, it did exactly what you asked it to.

  2. Thomas says:

    Fay – Yes, I know that archive means archive but there is no reason that OSX should save everything. You can’t downgrade and there is no reason to have two versions of Dashboard, Mail and all those Apple apps.

    I though archive and upgrade would save things for safe keeping, upgrade, then put them all back in place.

    It just seems quite odd to me and I don’t remember this issue with past OS. But it could have ben there. 😉

  3. Cat's Staff says:

    The archive and install option has been there in all major system installs. It did just what it’s supposed to do. In my case…I had a lot of things in the library in the root level of the drive (as opposed to the library in the users folder). Things like screensavers, iTunes scripts, backgrounds, etc.). They are in there so they are available to all users. When I did the install I wanted to start with a fresh library folder, and then move the stuff I wanted to keep back in (then trash the previous system when I’m sure I got it all).

    My previous system folder is almost 23 GB, BTW.

    It’s a good idea to make a copy in case you find that some program you use in a few months isn’t working right because the serial # was saved in the preferences file and it’s easier to replace the old prefs then dig out the serial #. Also, I have about a dozen FTP sites in the bookmarks of my FTP client that I moved over, rather then type them all back in.

    The permissions issues should only apply when you are dealing with the folder on the startup drive (when you copied it to another drive the problems should go away). If they don’t, all you need to do is use Get Info to give yourself read and write permissions over the folder and have it apply to all enclosed items.

  4. Ace Franze says:

    So how do you reinstall the archived “Previous system”?

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