Hi! I have a dual processor G4 and recently installed Max OSX. All was going well until I decided to be clever and move all the files into my applications folder so it all looked nice and neat. Bad idea! The next time I turned on the computer lots of settings had been lost such as internet settings. So I re-installed OSX again. All seems fine, and it's still really quick, but I now have 2gb less memory. Anyone any ideas where it has gone? Do I need to defrag?


What did you move into the applications folder?

Hi, thanks for your message, I moved everything that wasn't normal documents or files I was working on, i.e. all the programs that loaded with OSX such as I-DVD, I-video, plus items such as files for external zip drives, the modem etc. At one point the system did ask me for my password which i stupidly gave, but I don't know which item this related to as I moved them in all in one go. Basically I just wanted my hard drive to have a few items listed to I could access files easily, rather than a long list of things I would never use. It just shows a novice shouldn't play around with these things!

I could probably give you the full list tonight when I go home from work if it would help.

what type of reinstall did you do? If you did an erase and install then you should have the same or more HD space available. If you did an archive and install then you now have a new file on the root level of the HD called previous system that could be taking up space. if you just did a standard install then your system would recreate the files you moved without deleting the ones you did move. I would suggest an archive and install not presereving user data. This will put all of your files in order. You can then move all of your user data back from the Previous system folder to your new user folder then delete the previous system folder to free up space.

I think I'm getting the picture. At the very least you probably put your Library in the Applications Folder.

When you're looking at the Macintosh HD it should have subdirectories like Applications, Library, System, System Folder, Users, and even others depending on how you've treated the system.

When you moved the folders and restarted OS X probably created a new Library from a hidden template, but without your settings.

My advice is check your Applications Folder for items that don't belong there.

In general I don't believe there are many items that should be stored or changed at the root directory of your hard drive. Most items will fall under the preset directory structure, like the Applications, System, the various directories under your personal user directory like Documents, Pictures, Movies, et al.


I think it is a great time to make a backup of your current data, and then rebuild the system from scratch. Yes, moving everything to the Applications folder was a bad idea -- I amazed that the thing even started up for you. While you might be able to manually place everything back where it belongs, you will still have a "ghost" lingering about the next time you try to install something, and you get weird errors.

Computers are supposed to be fun -- and you went off on a creative expidition. But it is time to come back to the trail, and clean up the mud. Save yourself the grief of problems down the road by re-installing now. Personally, I'd partition the drive into two... and have your data one place, and your apps in another location.