Cleaning duplicate files and app debris on relative's 2TB hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Matt-Exeter, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Matt-Exeter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2009
    Exeter, UK
    A older relative has tasked me with an onerous job - to sort through the debris on his external hard drive.

    The drive is 2TB and is 95% full. It's full of duplicate files - photos and music. There are thousands of duplicates of both photos and music (but mainly photos). There are also loads of files from old apps and older former FAT hard drives from his PC days before moving to Mac just over 12 months ago!!!

    I've started going through it but at this rate it's going to take years to do. To make things worse there are copies of the same photos but different file sizes (say 44kb (maybe from iphoto library) and others say 2.8MB) which are the original files - but on the screen in their numerous files & folders they all look the same initially.

    He is happy to pay for software for me to to do this. Is there any good software that will do most of the work for me, so I can return the hard drive with only single copies of the original photo files (full size) and music, no debris from old apps and older smaller hard drives which have been backed up on to this one. Also, is there anything I can do myself within OS X (using 10.6.6 now).

    Would really appreciate any help - he's really desperate for me to get it sorted.

    Thanks, Matt
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Sounds like a daunting task indeed!

    I am not aware of a software solution for all the things you are trying to do
    Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I am will make a suggestion

    Good luck!
    I know it is frustrating!
  3. Matt-Exeter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2009
    Exeter, UK
    Thanks Macdawg

    Yes, a very daunting task for the in-laws, so that's why they asked me to do it - but I just can't comprehend how long it would take to do it manually. Like most, I don't have the time to do it!!!

    Anyone with any software tips just for duplicate photos would be a massive help and would sort 70% of the problem straight away.

    Thanks, Matt
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You could think about getting Aperture, whose purpose is to a large extent going through your photos and sorting out what you want quickly. I don't think it will detect duplicates, but it could make it much quicker to go through the photos.
  5. Matt-Exeter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2009
    Exeter, UK
    Thanks gnasher729

    I have aperture 3 for my own photos. I have tried it with my father in laws files but it doesn't detect duplicates that well. I really need file duplication software.

    I've heard about TidyUp 2 and Araxis Find Duplicate Files. I need something decent for the job it needs to do.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks again
  6. fishcake macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009
    Try them all, but I settled on Singlemizer

    Hi Matt,

    I decided to clear up the mess my photo's were in last year and eventually settled on Singlemizer from Minimalistic Dev.

    Can't remember exactly why I picked it, but it did the job and I have no complaints. I think all the apps of this type offer free trials so I suggest you download a few and see which suit you the best and are the most effective.

    There's also a free java app out there that I forget the name of, but I found it a little flakey so approach with caution!

    Good Luck!


Share This Page