moving files to external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by vandyke1977, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. vandyke1977 macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2015
    I have an iMac running OS X 10.9.2. The problem I'm having is that my hard drive is full - mostly due to HD home videos that I have saved to iMovie. I need to move them to an external hard drive in order to free up some room. I really would like to put them (2 copies of the same videos) on 2 separate hard drives, so that I will have a back-up in case one fails. I am not really that mac savvy - so I was wondering if someone could tell me the best/easiest way to go about doing this. Where I get hung up is if I move it to one drive, then it's no longer on the mac - so how do I put a copy on a second drive?

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Select the files/folders that you want to be copied and drag them from one external hard drive to the second hard drive and they will be copied, not moved.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My suggestion is to use one drive as an archive drive. It will only hold items you no longer want on your internal drive. Those two drive comprise your working set. Add into that additional drives for backup. Backup both your internal drive and your external archive drive to the backup drives. The backup drives should be about double the combined space of the two drives. If you have a 512gb internal and a 1TB external, get a 3tb drive for backup. Drives are cheap these days, getting your data back when a drive fails isn't.

    Including the external drive in your Time Machine backup is easy. Just go into TM preferences, select options and remove the external archive drive from the exclusions list.

    Long term if you will continue to have large amounts of video you may want to consider a NAS or other server to store your files.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    If you want a "backup of your backup", just use a disk cloning app to "dupe" the contents of one drive to the other.

    Either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper should do this for you, quickly and easily.

    CCC is free to download and free to use for 30 days.
    SuperDuper will create a "full clone" backup (erases and clones the entire volume) forever without registering.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Never backup a backup drive. Always make a separate backup on a second drive. If the first backup gets corrupted and you clone it, you end up with two corrupted backups.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ Never backup a backup drive. Always make a separate backup on a second drive ]]

    I don't think this applies to the situation of the OP above, and I'll explain why, using my personal example.

    I have some file storage that simply doesn't exist on my "Main OS" drive (i keep MANY partitions and multiple copies of the OS. I keep 7 drive icons mounted on my desktop at all times, sometimes more).

    These volumes (such as a separate volume for "music", a separate volume for "media and photos", etc.) are not "backups", per se, but exist as "primary storage" but are NOT located on my normally-running boot drive.

    I "back them up" the exact same way that I "back up" my primary boot/applications/account volume -- using CarbonCopyCloner to a designated "backup" volume.

    Seems to me that the OP was looking to establish a similar arrangement -- that is, he wants to use a separate drive (i.e., NOT his internal boot drive) to serve as "primary external storage" for media files. These files will exist ONLY on the "primary external storage" drive and NOT on his internal drive.

    That means he needs a "backup" of his external storage -- as much as he needs a "backup" of his internal drive.

    And that's why a cloning/backup app like CCC (or SuperDuper) will serve him well.

    One "backs up" one's internal drive to an external backup -- of course.

    And one should ALSO "back up" a "external [primary storage] drive" to ANOTHER external drive, for the same reason....
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    If you're not already backing up the internal drive, you ought to. Time Machine is part of OS X, and can be used to backup both the internal drive and the external drive. You'd then have everything protected (the external drive would have to be added to the backup configuration in System Preferences > Time Machine > Options...).

    A fair number of people use the "I only backup what's important to me" strategy. I think it's short-sighted for a variety of reasons. Why should a hard disk/computer failure force you to re-configure the replacement from scratch? Redownloading/installing all software, setting up mail and messaging app accounts, system and software preference settings... the list can be endless. Restoring from a backup is an automated process. It may take some time, but you can also go to dinner, get some sleep... Folks also tend to undervalue the "little stuff" - all those little things add up to a lot of time spent creating them, or may turn out to be irreplaceable (contents of a mail archive, family photos, etc.). Yeah, some folks look at it as a way to clean house, but "rebuild your house" is a better way of looking at it. Housecleaning is a fairly surgical process, a hard drive failure is more like a wrecking ball.

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