Mid 2011 27" iMac - Storage & Backup advice please (actually, more complex than that)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Rmonster, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Rmonster, Aug 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016

    Rmonster macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2015
    Havering, UK
    DISCLAIMER :) I've just read through this and I am sorry for such a long post. Although I post rarely, I do read the forums from time to time and am aware that there are some lovely people on here who are generous with their time and knowledge. If any of those are able to offer advice then it will be gratefully received. To all others, this is long post and I don't want to waste your time, so please move along with my best wishes :)

    Hello All,

    I'm not completely IT thick, but the peak of my technical ability was in 1982 when I had a 1k program listing for the Sinclair ZX81 published in Sinclair User magazine for which I was paid the princely sum of £10. I wish I had framed the cheque instead of cashing it but at, the age of 14, the cold hard cash in the pocket was going to win every time. Anyway, I digress.

    After treating myself last year and going retina on the late 2015 27" as a replacement, I gifted the mid 2011 to my eldest daughter who uses it for photo editing as this is one of her college subjects and she does some video editing work as a hobby with the other major use of the machine being OSX native Sims 4. I was tempted to moan at her about it but then remembered how many late nights/early mornings that got burnt when I played Sim City on the Amiga when I was roughly her age.

    She uses Final Cut Pro, Photoshop CC 2015 and Topaz Remask 5.

    The spec of the machine is as follows and although Mid 2011, was only purchased toward the end of the model's run in August 2012:-

    iMac 27", Mid 2011
    2.7 GHz Intel Core i5
    12GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB

    In my three years of ownership it was used regularly but lightly and I do take care of my stuff and, so, it was in mint condition when I handed it over and, apart from not keeping it as clean as I used to, she has looked after it as well as a 16 year old girl (or boy, or otherwise identified - no sexism or prejudice intended) could be expected to. In other words, it's still a lovely machine with lots of life left it it and there is no need for any real performance upgrade until a) her usage becomes more intensive/demanding and b) she is a few years older and more responsible in looking after stuff just that little bit more carefully.

    So, the only issue is that the internal spinner is nearly full - reporting 68.06GB free of 999.35GB.

    The storage breakdown in reported as follows (in round numbers):-

    615GB - Other
    195GB - Movies
    108GB - Photos
    12GB - Apps
    1GB - Audio

    Now, the computer is set up so that my user account is still present together with her user account that we set up when I handed the computer over to her in October/November last year.

    I took the external back up HDD that I had been using on the older computer but, due to one reason or another, pressure of work etc, lack of knowledge, I didn't get round to copying the data from the backup HDD (most important was my photo/video files as it's family stuff), but the almost year old data is still sitting on the drive safely at my place. When I set up my 2015 iMac I didn't do any migration, preferring a fresh set up and intending to copy only the photos and videos across.

    As I've written this post, I've realised that I have other questions relating to getting my photos/videos onto my new machine before I've even asked the questions that were originally in my mind?

    I want to get my pics/videos onto my computer. Would it be a good idea to plug my iphone back into my daughter's iMac so that all the photos that I've taken on the phone in the last year (not massive amounts) are then on her machine and then plug the external back up HDD into her computer and allow it to provide a fresh up to date back up. All I then want to do is connect it to my 2015 computer but all I want to migrate is the photos and videos, nothing else. Is this easy to configure procedure?

    Provided that the above worked, I could delete the photos and personal videos (A lot of her video data is from full movies which she has edited from) from her computer's internal HDD but, given that this would free up between 10 & 25% of the HDD, sooner or later she is going to use that up, even if I managed to strip out some other stuff from my user account.

    In any case, even though when I get my iMac up to speed with my data, I would still like to leave the photos and videos on her machine as an extra back up.

    So, aside from getting my pics/videos across to my machine, in an ideal world I don't want to delete that data from my daughter's computer and would prefer, instead, to expand her storage and provide an adequately sized back up for the whole shebang.

    I generally either don't get round to doing things or tend to overdo things and am trying to avoid repeating this habitual behaviour here!

    In my "overdoing" mind, I think to myself that the although my daughter's computer is performing adequately for her needs - she reports that Final Cut Pro is "slightly slow to render but not too bad", I would like to upgrade the internal to an SSD - but I think that the cost to performance benefit would not be viable for a 2011 computer, despite it's great condition and I appreciate that although SSD would provide a lovely overall performance boost, it's not going to necessarily speed up her only (minor) issue of slightly slow rendering.

    Even if it were viable, given that the computer is now just over 4 years old and over 5 years old in terms of it's model year, I guess I would be reluctant in terms of having someone open it up to upgrade the internal HDD unless the general wisdom is that this would be a positive step (be it SSD or larger spinner internal upgrade).

    Would it be best to leave the internals as they are and add an external HDD (will move on to back up later). I would be grateful for advice/opinions as to whether this would be the best option and, if so, whether adding, perhaps, an external 1TB (or higher capacity) Spinner (cheap) - or 1TB SSD (but no larger that due to cost of SSD).

    If anyone thinks that an external SSD is a good idea, despite the cost, we have no idea what to move across to the theoretical external SSD to optimise performance, ie apps/programs/photos/videos/other, what should be on one disk and what on the other.

    If you've been able to provide an opinion on the above, then let's say that she ends up with a system made up of 1TB internal and 1TB external (whether that be spinner or SDD), in terms of then adding another external for back up then I presume that an external spinner would be adequate but we would need something in excess of 2TB - I guess that a 4TB external spinner would be the best way to go?

    Finally, you will be mightily relieved to know, advice on the way forward would be hugely appreciated and, specifically, what make/models/capacities of drives would be recommended for each application.

    Will check for typos later! Thanks if you've read this.

    All the best,
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Turn time machine off, it is possibly making local backups every hour, your "other"seems very high. Turn it off and reboot the machine you may get a lot of space back and make any further discussion pointless.
  3. Rmonster thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2015
    Havering, UK
    D'oh! Thank you Samuelsan2001. That hadn't occurred to me (obviously). Will try that as the first course of action.

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