Going Ten, Part 5: Not Enough Room to Update to 10.1.4

2002 – I tried to update Mac OS X to version 10.1.4 last night – and ran into the same problem I had with one of the earlier updates.


The problem.

  1. Apple claims that you can run Mac OS X on a 1.5 GB partition.
  2. The updaters requires 300 MB of free space.
  3. If you have a small OS X partition (say 1.5 GB), you may not have 300 MB available.
  4. Mac OS X will generate an error report if you don’t have 300 MB for it to use.
  5. Mac OS X won’t tell you how much free space your partition has.

When I got my TiBook over a year ago, I created a 2 GB partition to hold a spare copy of OS 9 plus utilities – and OS X when I would get around to it. I pretty much had to clear everything off that partition when I installed OS X, but I didn’t want to put it on my main (8 GB) partition until I was sure everything worked and I was ready to adopt OS X.

That 2 GB partition has 227 MB of free space – after moving several OS X apps to my main partition. I don’t think I should have to move Mail and Internet Explorer, apps that came with OS X, to another partition just so I can install a software update.

Apple needs to address this. Maybe they can change things so the updater puts the temporary files on another partition if there’s insufficient space on the current partition – with the user’s permission, of course. Maybe they can rewrite the updater to actually tell the user how much more space it needs. Maybe they can teach OS X to report how much free space exists on a drive.

If any of these are part of OS X, I’ve never heard of it, but I somehow can’t imagine that OS X is unable to know and display the amount of free space on a drive.

With the classic Mac OS, I could simply copy everything to a larger partition, boot from it, and be on my way (well, a few prefs might need to be tweaked). But I don’t know if you can do that under OS X.

To top it off, my main partition only has 1.45 GB free. and my OS X drive has 1.77 GB on it. I guess I could move some files to the OS X partition – but that’s nearly full, which is the cause of all this trouble.

The alternative is to move everything to an external FireWire drive, repartition my 10 GB hard drive into 7.5 and 2.5 GB pieces, put everything back, and hope OS X survives being moved around like that. Either that or make a larger main partition and combine OS 9 and X on the same partition. I don’t want to buy a larger hard drive, nor do I see any reason to do so. 10 GB is adequate for my needs – I just have the wrong partition setup at present.

I’m researching on the Web. Is it possible to simply copy OS X to another drive and boot from it? How easy or difficult is it to combine an OS X partition and an OS 9 partition? If I have both on one partition, will Retrospect Client and other utilities stop working?

As always, Mac OS X is a learning experience.