Mac Help!

Advice needed about my G4.

We bought it second hand. It had previously been used to store mainly music…hmm…lots of duplicates of things in MP3 and M4A formats. I’ve cleaned out all the stuff I didn’t want and deleted multiple copies of programs. don’t know what the previous owner was thinking, but there was a ton of rubbish on the hard disc. I reclaimed 8GB of a 30 GB drive!

Anyway, my question…

When I look at the hard drive I have a folder called “Previous System”. Contained in that folder are duplicates of many of the programs I’m using, for example DVD player, Address book etc. Can I remove this “Previous System” folder without losing any of the programs I need?

There are also some locked files, which obviously I can’t open. so it would be good to get rid of them…if of course they aren’t vital.

I have tried a few experiments, like deleting empty folders, but want advice before I possibly remove vital applications.



I would save all the vital apps and stuff that you don’t have copies of, burn them onto a disk, and do a “clean install” of the OS. You don’t want to waste time messing around with somebody elses file management and locked stuff anyway.

That’s what I would do. I’m no expert.

Second on that one. Sounds like a clean install is the way to go. Also, a lot of the programs you use are probably available in new versions that you should download anyway.

Mmm. I’ve moved the whole thing into the recyle bin for now. A clean install would be a pain in the arse, because of the info on the hard drive.

Am I right in thinking that if the program opens and runs for me, while the other is in the trash, I will not have any problems when I delete the trash?

Can you also tell me whether Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator and Apple Works would come as standard on the G4? I think they might have been…erm…well you know…

I’m pretty new to computing, so pleeeeese be nice.

Thanks for the help.


I’m pretty sure that assuming that if runs while in the trash, that it’s safe to delete is a BAD IDEA.

But that’s just me.

I upgraded my Mini from Panther to Tiger, and got the same file. Then got an iBook, so I’ve been more confident about pulling stuff out, transferring, backing up, and deleting, but I don’t have any great answers. I’m still trying to figure out how to best keep specific folders in sync on a daily basis.

Deleting your “Previous Systems” folder is perfectly safe, and won’t affect the performance of your machine. The fact that you have such a folder indicates that someone re-installed the OS and chose the “archive and install” option.

The other thing you can do to reclaim some space is get an application called “monolingual” which strips out all the language packs you don’t need. I removed everything but English and Chinese, and saved myself over 1Gb of space. As far as I know, Monolingual is free.

ooowww… good hint. Thanks.


I’m going to try to erase the old user, and install this.

Thanks for your help!


No problem to dump the previous system folder, but I also recommend that you do back up and perform a clean install. You and you mac will bond better that way and you will know all that is happeing when you think it is sick :wink:


Just ran Monolingual. I saved 79M. Is it really worth it? I’m not desperate for space.

Also removed old user - I’ve opened a few programs, no problems…yet! This was more useful. I reclaimed over 3GB.

How about those three programs I mentioned? Apple works (Chinese only) Photoshop and Illustrator. None of them run properly, and I can’t find original CDs. so I guess they were downloaded, but never operational. Whet do you think?

I reckon, if they don’t work - get them fixed or dump them. If I want these programs I’ll buy them.


Photoshop and Illustrator were probably

No, the only CDs I’ve got are the original Mac ones That say ibook G4 on them.

Before I deleted the other user I opened these programs, and a couple warn me that they are incomplete, and want me to to reinstall. I’ve never used these products, so I guess if there not erm …kosher… I’ll get rid.

Thanks for your help. I really need some advice, being a computer retard. It is fun learning though!