iPhoto duplication conundrum

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by applelost, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. applelost macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #1
    My conundrum (any advice would be magnificent)...

    I currently store my iPhoto library on an external drive. Sidenote: I own a white macbook which I bought in 2008. Mac OS X 10.5.8. Upgraded to 500gb drive a couple years back.

    Yet when I import, more and more space is still being mysteriously taken up on my hard drive each time. And on the external drive.

    I took my computer to a local computer store, who installed daisydisk (which had to be run from an external drive they had, since my OS was too old to install it), and they showed me the following, of which I took a screenshot, attached. They said the photos are also being stored on my hard drive, in a hidden folder.

    They suggested that my OS was corrupted and needed to be reinstalled. Is this absolutely the case?

    Also, if I am able to stop this duplication, will I need to manually go through all albums/photos in iPhoto before deleting them from my hard drive (to make sure none go missing)?

    Thanks in advance.


    p.s. in case it is helpful, here are the steps which I followed when I moved my iPhoto to the external. The iPhoto icon no longer shows up in Pictures.
    - Copy the iPhoto Library Folder as an entity from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.
    - Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.
    - Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Your solution is the correct approach. Even if you don't import the originals, any edited images will be kept in the iPhoto Library, as well as the thumbnail images that are created.
     
  3. applelost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #3
    Thanks so much for your reply talmy. Apologies in advance, but I'm not sure I understand. Would you mind letting me know step by step of what you recommend?
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    First before you go off and think the OS is "corrupted" think about what's really happening. Is there a hard link some place in the file system? I hate to say it but "corrupted" is a word people use when the don't know what is wrong.

    In any case, the very first thing you need to do is make a BACKUP of you photos. Disconnect the backup media and put it some place far away. You really need to do this twice. Always do a redundant backup before making big changes.

    Next go into Disk Utility (in applications/utility) and run a "repair" on the system disk and your external(s) too.

    Now just go in and deletel anything you don't want. You can drag folder to trash.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Your "ps" is exactly what to do. It's highly unlikely that anything is wrong or corrupted.

    The advice to make backups is *always* true no matter what you are doing with your computer. Duplicates of my photos are kept in a second location as well as in "the cloud".
     
  6. applelost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #6
    Thanks ChrisA.

    I just realized my question was not clear. Let me clarify.

    I would like to avoid any photos being stored on my internal hard drive. I want them stored only on my external (which I back up into a second external).

    My current configuration (with iPhoto on the external only, as per the instructions I followed and posted above) is "supposed" to accomplish this. But it does not.

    Thus, how can I prevent iPhoto from also storing any imported photos/video on the internal hard drive (in the hidden folder as shown on screenshot)?
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    They aren't on the internal drive. What you see there in Volumes are called "mount points" (except for the one with the arrow which is a link so that your internal drive appears as a Volume). PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS apparently is the name of your external drive.
     
  8. applelost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #8
    Aha, thanks! "I can see clearly now the rain is gone..." :)
    So if I understand correctly, the computer store was incorrect when they informed me that based on that screenshot the photos are also being stored on my internal hard drive. And in fact they are only on my external. Is that right?

    p.s. out of curiosity, if that is the case, why am I able to open iPhoto (without my external drive connected) and still see thumbnails of all of my photos?
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    In a Unix-style file system all files are in a single hierarchy of folders (traditionally called "directories"), so any external drives are mounted at some point in that hierarchy. In OS X all the mount points are in /Volumes. Contrast this to Microsoft Windows where there are separate hierarchies for each drive (hence drive letters).

    You've got me there. All the thumbnails are stored in the iPhoto Library. If the library is only on the external drive and you disconnect the drive I'd think you would either get an error message from iPhoto or it will create and open a new (empty) library in Pictures folder. I've never tried this. In either case you shouldn't be seeing the thumbnails. Are you sure there is no iPhoto Library in Pictures?
     
  10. applelost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #10
    Resolved! Here is how, in case it is helpful to anyone else in the future...

    (Sorry if my tech lingo is incorrect, I will explain is the best I can).

    Via craigslist I lucked out in finding a systems developer who was also an ex system administrator lead and support guy at apple. He quickly used Terminal to find the DUPLICATE (!) iPhoto library which was indeed hidden folders somewhere on my internal drive.

    Apparently my iPhoto library was not being redirected to the external (as I had set it up to do a while back). Thus, any photos I imported from iPhoto were being stored in this hidden folder on my hard drive.

    He said one possible way this occurred (though he was not certain) was if the external was accidentally unplugged during an import (i.e. mid-import) at one time, and it continued importing, which may create a new iPhoto library on my internal drive. Ironically this was NOT in Pictures, nor even visible, which is why I could not find it.

    I had him move this iPhoto library to my desktop, and unhide it, so it was clearly visible. He then showed me how to combine it with the iPhoto library on my external, so I could store everything just on the external.

    I then backed it up (onto a different external) and deleted it. As soon as I deleted it cleared up a TON of space from my internal drive (woo hoo!).

    Moral of the story is that when importing from iPhone/etc to iPhoto, and you store the library on an external, make sure to check from time to time that the size of your external drive (via Apple+i) is getting smaller with each import. Or check that your internal is not getting smaller. Had I done this sooner, I would have noticed that the photos and videos were not being backed up to my external as I had thought.

    Hope this was not too confusing, and hope it helps some folks out.
     

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