Issues with transferring iPhoto library from external hard drive to new mac!!!!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mac-lover007, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. mac-lover007 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Hi All

    I have recently bought a new MacBook. I initially thought it would be better to run iPhoto from the external hard drive, but after moving some things around I now want to run it straight from the MacBoook hard drive.

    I tried copying the library from the external hard drive to the MacBook but I keep getting the following message....

    "You can’t copy “iPhoto Library” because it has the same name as another item on the destination volume, and that volume doesn’t distinguish between upper- and lowercase letters in filenames."

    Not really sure what to do next - any help would be great!!!!!!
  2. mac-lover007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Anyone able to help????

    Anyone have any ideas??? Would it make any difference if I just reinstalled everything...

    The main issue is if I just drag the pictures back into a new library I will lose all the editing and albums, etc....
  3. johnnyham macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    The "iPhoto Library" item in Finder is just a container for all your images. Right-click it, select "Show Package Contents", then open the folder titled "Originals". You can either copy this folder over to your new Mac, or you can select the "Import to Library" options from the File menu in iPhoto. I would recommend the second option, as it stores all your images in one convenient location.

    Alternatively, you could close out iPhoto then open your Pictures folder. Delete the iPhoto Library item and empty your trash. Copy the iPhoto Library off your external drive to your Desktop, then open iPhoto. It should tell you that it can't find a library and ask if you want to choose one. Keep this dialog open, but switch to Finder and move the iPhoto Library from your desktop to your Pictures folder, then go back to iPhoto and choose it.

    I'm sure that there's an easier option, but those are the two methods that I can think of off the top of my head. Hope one of those works, let me know if you need any more help!
  4. mac-lover007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Issues with transferring iPhoto library from external hard drive to new mac!!!!!!

    hey johnnyham,

    thanks for the help....

    the first two options you have mentioned would work but I would lose all my editing, albums,slideshows, events - basically any editing I have done over the last few years! (This would suck!!!!!!) If there is a way I could use any of these two methods without losing this please advise.

    The last option you mentioned about dragging it from the hard drive to the mac is exactly the problem... it won't let me as it comes up with the error message - 'You can’t copy “iPhoto Library” because it has the same name as another item on the destination volume, and that volume doesn’t distinguish between upper- and lowercase letters in filenames.'

    Have an appointment with the apple store on Friday but doubt they would be able to help. Hoping someone is able to...
  5. jeeperman macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2010
    copying to hard drive

    maclover007, did you ever get this working? I am having a very similar problem.
  6. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    Did you ever hear back from Maclover?
  7. CLouisWatson macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2012
    Solution, but a lengthy one. It worked for me!

    I had this exact same problem, well one that was quite similar. My only difference was that I was switching between an old external drive (Firewire, 1T) to a new LaCie drive (Thunderbolt, 2T). So I wanted to move my iTunes and iPhoto to this new drive. The same message showed up in both instances (but the iTunes fix is a different story). Plus, the problems began to get worse :( Suddenly, my iPhoto won't even open at all! It told me that my library had become unreadable and gave me some options to fix it. What I had to do is open up iPhoto while holding Alt and Command, then select: Rebuild Library. Even though this would fix that problem, I was afraid to do so because I did not have any of this data backed up. But in order to back it up, I would have to move it onto my LaCie, which didn't work in the first place. Following so far haha?
    So I tried again to copy it onto LaCie-same error resulted. So I investigated; right click on the library and select show package contents. I was able to find where it stopped copying: at two files with the same name! (noted, one was capitalized). So I deleted one of them. Then I selected (back on the old drive) the rest of the iPhoto library immediately after the scandalous pair of files and continued to copy. I probably repeated this five times with five different instances. You might ask if it would have been easier to just go through by hand and pick out all the offenders, but the depth and complexity that iPhoto goes into sorting all your media was too much for me, and I'm lazy :).
    So eventually, my whole library is onto LaCie! Minus a few duplicates of course.
    And then, as a side note, I felt safe rebuilding my library off of the old drive now I had a backup and everything is shipshape. Next I will chose to have iPhoto use the data on LaCie instead of the old drive and I will be all set. I hope this helps anyone with the same problems!

    A Note: You remember how I mentioned that once you show the package contents on the iPhoto library that everything gets a bit deep and confusing? Well, from my experience all of you original photos that you ever put into iPhoto are in the folder labeled "masters." Even if you ever deleted them out of iPhoto, they are probably there. There is also a folder for "modified" and "originals." When I click on the original folder, however, it redirects me to the master folder. Just a little tidbit in case you were worried about a specific image of media file during this whole process.
  8. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    How do you find the files causing the problem? There are thousands of images in my library spread over lots of subfolders...

    Looking through them manually to determine duplicates will take hours...

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