Best way to organize HDs for photo storage?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jacobsen1, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Mt View, RI
    OK, I'm a PC guy switching to mac finally this week. We're getting a 24" iMac with a 500gb internal HD and my father (a mac guy) gave me a 1tb time capsule since I finally switched...

    Anyway, with my PC, I keep an internal HD with all my photos on it, then a size matched external that I back everything up to (manually) as well. Now with the Mac, anything I should consider before I copy over all my shots? Right now I have about 250gb of shots I want on the mac, but they're on the external firewire HD, so I could just leave them there and start fresh on the mac... But with the mac, any reason to partition the internal HD? Anything specific I should do in setting up the time capsule?

    TIA, I'm sooooo stoked to finally have a mac, I've been waiting years and finally needed to upgrade.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Which program do you intend to use to organize all those photos?

    Aperture has a vault system, although I don't use it.

    Personally, with my Mac Pro, I have four internal HDDs:

    1 boot disk (no photos)
    2 320s in a mirrored RAID setup
    1 1tb disk w/ archives (photos that I'm ok taking the <2% risk with)

    and then all of my photos back up to a 500gb external using Synk

    If I were in your shoes, I'd go ahead and move all my photos to the iMac (just one big partition is fine), and backup to the Time Capsule. Extra points if you can also backup to that external HDD you mentioned.

    Generally the rule is 3 unique copies across at least 2 geographic locations, but you need to ask yourself long and hard how critical this information is. Is it worth the time and money to create 3 unique copies, and cycle them between your home and workplace (or bank vault, w/e)?

    And also, is keeping one copy OK? For me, the answer is no. But there's a very small chance that the new HDD will fail... that said, if it does...
  3. macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    I'm with Termina, I use separate internal hard drives. One for OSX and applications, one for files (documents, music, movies), one for photography... I take "semi-frequent" backups ;)

    Since the iMac doesn't have ESata, Firewire800 is your best option for external storage.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    The advise given so far is all sound and true. Good words to go by.

    The external drive you have is probably from your PC system which means most likely it is formatted with NTFS. Mac can read those files but cannot write to that drive. If this is the case, do copy the photos to your iMac. When you are sure all is well and truly copied over, you may want to consider either formatting the drive for Mac or to FAT32. FAT32 can be read by both Windows and MAC and also both can write to it. The drawbacks are as follows - slower read/write, not secure at any level, file size limitations (which probably wont impact you).

    Since you have an external drive and Time Machine Capsule, you have your 2 locations for backups. While you may not take your drives out of your home to another location, you may want to consider taking the most valuable files you have and copying them to a DVD which you can leave with someone. It is not a perfect solution but gets you closer. The latter doesn't replace what you have but adds incase of disaster at home.

    - Phrehdd
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Mt View, RI
    OK, thanks guys...

    So it sounds like I'm set for a while with the 2 copies 1 location, then I should work on a third disk (external) to keep off site? And maybe get 2 copies so I can swap them back and forth? My parents live 1 town over and have a fireproof safe I can keep something in. So that'd be my off site location.

    as for the format on the external, good point. But it's a 250gb and "full" anyway, so I'll just back up my existing PC HD one last time to it, then keep it as it is as a spare. Those images will all be copied to the iMac (and then the time capsule).

    as for software, I use LR2.3 now, so I'm planning on sticking with that. I'm also considering importing to iPhoto AS WELL so I can have the images in one place on the HD, but have access to them with both programs (for photo books and the like).
  6. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The first thing you have to do is decide on which software you will use to hold your photos. I'd recommend using iPhoto. Later if you find it's to limiting you can moove to Aperture but iPhoto does what 99% of everyone needs

    One you decide, then you need a place to put the iPhoto library. With 250GB od images your internal drive does not leave room from growth. You might want to keep them on a 500GB external.

    Time machine will keep stuff backed up but you need more than that. Get some more external drives (1TB is the current best value) and rotat these to some safe location(s)
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    I personally use an external HD to keep all my photos on, formatted HFS. Then I have a 2nd external HD for Time Machine. And finally I use online hosting for my 3rd backup of my photos. I am currently using GoDaddy and have never had a problem with them but in a few months i'll be switching over to a Pro account since they look kinda sexy for storing my photos and illustrations tho it is $150 year. There is also flickr you could use. Uploading 250GB of photos would take quite awhile but if you don't need to access your backups often you could upload new photos once a week and it shouldn't take too long.

    Edit: There are also flickr and SmugMug plugins for iPhoto to make the task easier!
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Smug is great, but I wouldn't suggest them for storage alone... especially the pro account. Their lesser accounts have unlimited storage of JPEGs for much less than $150/yr.

    And btw, if/when you sign up for smugmug PM me for a referral code that'll save you $5.

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