Check the size of the Hard Drive


Check the size of the Hard Drive
Mac Tip#30/21-Nov-2001

The last few Tips have looked at 3 of the 4 essential pieces of information every Mac user should know about their computer — how much RAM is installed, which version of the Operating System they are running, and exactly which machine they have.

The final item in this group is the size of the hard drive.

While the RAM is the amount of working space available to you (how big your desk is), the hard drive is the amount of storage space you have (how big the filing cabinet is). Both are measured in Megabytes (Mb) or Gigabytes (Gb).

There are approximately 1000 Megabytes in each Gigabyte.

The Hard Drive is the icon in the top right corner of your screen. It might be called Macintosh HD, or if someone has changed the name it might be called something else. Mine is divided into 3 sections called Xena, Gabrielle and Argo.

If you open the Hard Drive and look at the top of the window it will tell you how many items are visible in that window. It will also tell you how much space you have left for storing stuff. In earlier versions of the operating system it would also tell you how much space you were already using, but the later versions have left out that tidbit.

Hard drive window in OS 9 showing remaining free space just below the title bar.

Hard drive window in OS 9 showing remaining free space just below the title bar.

My Xena section, for example, has a little over 2Gb of space free. That’s more than enough for word processing files and saved emails, but if I start storing photos from digital camera or MP3s with iTunes (music) or movies from my digital camera that 2 Gb will soon run out.

Scary really. The first Mac I used in about 1990 or so had a “huge” 20Mb hard drive. The machine I’m writing this Tip on has a 20Gb hard drive. That’s 1000 times as much storage capacity in 10 years!

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