Time Machine/Ext HD/Photo library question.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by zub3qin, May 27, 2015.

  1. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    I have a Macbook Air and the SSD is nearly full.
    Photos take up a lot of space.

    I am ready to migrate the Photos to an external HD- i'm hoping the process is easy.

    1) I have a Time Machine HD which has been partitioned to include a second partition with 200Gb storage space. Can I put the Photo library on that partition easily, and if so, will it back itself up to Time Machine, even though it is on the same physical drive (but different partition).

    2) If it is a bad idea to use the partition for Photos, if I buy another HD will Time Machine back up that photo library?

    3) Is there a better way to be doing this?

  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Time Machine by default will exclude external drives from backup. So you would need to go into TM prefs and removed the Photos partition from the excluded list, then it would backup to TM on the other partition.

    But that said, this is a horrible idea. Backing up to the same drive the data is already on almost as bad as having no backup at all. If that drive dies, everything is gone. Poof! :eek:

    As cheap as drives are, I would get a second external for the Photos library and continue to use the other drive for TM backups. That way you have your data on two drives.

    You would still need to go into TM prefs and remove the new drive from the excluded list.
  3. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Just a bit of advice, don't put your data (your photos) and your backup on the same physical disk. It doesn't matter if they are on separate partitions, if the disk dies you loose everything. And I put money on that disk dying when you most need it.

    External USB 3 disks are quite cheap these days, do yourself a favour and keep a separate one for backup. A 1TB USB 3.0 disk can be had on amazon for £42. that's the price of a round of drinks in London!

    If money is really tight and you can only afford the one disk for now then perhaps purge some of your photo's. With digital photography we all shoot far too many pics and if we are being honest with ourselves most of them aren't really keepers. Also look at some of the free cloud storage offerings to archive your photos if you really can't get rid of them, or perhaps get a USB DVD drive, they are nice and cheap and can be used to archive photos too.

    There's loads of options, but the last one should be to put your data and backup on the same disk.

    Hope this helps.
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Everything the other posters said.

    Buy another drive for your pictures and back them up to your Time Machine HD.

    You can never, ever replace your pics.

    We currently have my wife's family's (her dad digitized ALL of them, 30+ years worth) and our pics stored on DropBox (on my computer, though if I had less space I'd go your route with an external), synced to iCloud, backed up on Time Machine.

    Every few months, we also copy them to my parent's iMac at their house, just to be sure.

    (That's my hard drive, DropBox, iCloud, my TM, my parent's iMac, and their TM)

    It sounds complicated, but it's maybe $200 max and a few hours.

    Totally worth it.

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3 May 27, 2015