Go to Safari/Preferences/General what folder is set for Save downloaded files to:?
Change it to your external drive. Also how much space is open on the desktop?
Open Macintosh HD, what does it say at the bottom of that window?
how do i determine how much space is open in the desk top
So it says 200.77 GB Available?
Open the external drive and what does it say next to available?
yes the hard drive says 200.77 GB. The external says 465.45 GB
Then something is wrong because you have plenty of space.
Please go to the Apple logo on the upper left of the screen, go to About This Mac, and tell me the System Version, the Processor and the Memory.Then go to Macintosh HD, then go to Applications folder inside that is another folder called Utilities inside that is an application called Disk Utility. Double click on that and when it opens you will see your hard drive on the left. Highlight your hard drive and click on Verify Disk on the right. If that is OK click on Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair.
system version 10.4.11 processor 2.16 GHz intel core 2 Duo 3GB 667 MHz DDR 2 SDRAM
It says permissions have been repaired