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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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Last time I changed my iCloud Photo Library, which I have set to full resolution, from a normal “spinny” external HDD, town external SSD, rather than it just copying over it has to re-download the whole 1Tb, which took days and days.

Not sure why it does just because location has changed, but anyway…:

I now have it on an external SSD and want to move it to another SSD, one built into a monitor stand, so it’s still classed as an external SSD (NVME type).

Is there now a better way without having to re-download everything, over 1.2Tb, again as I have it all now on the external SSD, so it just needs to be authenticated as such as a new one.

Thanks
 

haralds

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Jan 3, 2014
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Silicon Valley, CA
After copying the library and opening it, did you set it as "Use as System library?"
It will have to resync, but should not have to download all images again.
 

MrMister111

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Jan 28, 2009
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After copying the library and opening it, did you set it as "Use as System library?"
It will have to resync, but should not have to download all images again.

I did yes. Maybe it didn’t download but the resysnc took days and days and I couldn’t understand why if it wasn’t downloading all the photos and videos.

I just wanted to see if anything had been improved in the process.
 

DominikHoffmann

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2007
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Indiana
I suppose, an improvement to such a process would have the photos stored in iCloud along with a checksum or hash. Then to check, whether anything has to be re-downloaded, the Mac would just have to re-compute local hashes and compare those to the photo hashes from iCloud.
 

MrMister111

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Jan 28, 2009
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I suppose, an improvement to such a process would have the photos stored in iCloud along with a checksum or hash. Then to check, whether anything has to be re-downloaded, the Mac would just have to re-compute local hashes and compare those to the photo hashes from iCloud.

That’s what I thought it would do. Some kind of token etc to just run through a check.

Apparently that’s what it does, but 45000 items and I know that will take a long time, but I really don’t understand why it takes so long, and why I can’t somehow copy the library file to a new SSD and for it just to be authenticated.

Has anyone done this process lately?
 

MrMister111

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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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I did yes. I will again but hope doesn’t take days and days again.

Wonder if it’s been improved, or anyone done this recently can comment.
I have done it recently for my 77k/560GB iCPL. Yes it takes a long time to check and re sync (not download) everything, I just let it happen in the background and checked occasionally. I wasn't timing it but think it was of the order of 36-48 hours.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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UK
I have done it recently for my 77k/560GB iCPL. Yes it takes a long time to check and re sync (not download) everything, I just let it happen in the background and checked occasionally. I wasn't timing it but think it was of the order of 36-48 hours.

Thanks, so the process hasn’t improved. So mine is double yours roughly so is going to take 3-4 days approx.

I’ll just have to leave my iMac on for a few days, as I normally shut it down.
 

JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
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I had the same issue and to be honest I found the downloading this so frustrating its made me not want to use iCloud photos it annoyed me that much.
 

JonaM

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2017
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This is one of the reasons I'm not using iCloud Photos - I tried once, but the synchronisation process is so long and resulted in so many duplicates (that it then had to process to de-duplicate). The fact that if you move a library or do a restore does it all again was just too much!
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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UK
ha yes I get your point! I think it just reminds me of the potential risk of keeping them all in iCloud/apple photos.

I've since kept a back up of them all just in finder folders as well.
Yes I do the same! Apple Photos has let me down once about six years ago when all my albums disappeared. I still had all 70K photos but no organisation. Fortunately I was already keeping a separate Finder folder backup and have continued doing so, even though I believe the album loss bug was recognised and fixed long ago. My 70k do not have meaningful exif dates so subject Albums are a crucial part of organisation.

(Note a backup of the whole Library did not save me as it had the same fault and nor did re downloading a fresh copy from iCloud. The Finder backup had exported jpegs of all RAW, so although I lost the RAWs I didn't lose the edits. Fortunately I am not a big keyword user)
 
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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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UK
Thanks, so the process hasn’t improved. So mine is double yours roughly so is going to take 3-4 days approx.

I’ll just have to leave my iMac on for a few days, as I normally shut it down.
I would expect that since the process is indexing, not redownloading, that the time would depend on the number of images not size of library....so your 45k might be quicker than my 77k even though your iCPL is much larger.

Yes I left my M2 MBA on 24/7 while it was counting its ducks.
 

MrMister111

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Jan 28, 2009
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If i do the swap to different SSD, I have a TM backup, another cloud backup service, separate to Apple, actual iCloud, and I’ll still have it on the old SSD.

So it’s just the fact that it’ll take so long is the annoyance.

I agree it’s not for everyone but I like the fact they all sync and I can just organise them on on my iMac.
 

JamesMay82

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Oct 12, 2009
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Yes I do the same! Apple Photos has let me down once about six years ago when all my albums disappeared. I still had all 70K photos but no organisation. Fortunately I was already keeping a separate Finder folder backup and have continued doing so, even though I believe the album loss bug was recognised and fixed long ago. My 70k do not have meaningful exif dates so subject Albums are a crucial part of organisation.

(Note a backup of the whole Library did not save me as it had the same fault and nor did re downloading a fresh copy from iCloud. The Finder backup had exported jpegs of all RAW, so although I lost the RAWs I didn't lose the edits. Fortunately I am not a big keyword user)

Yep and the other reason was my sister who somehow managed to get locked out of her iCloud account and she lost thousands of photos of her kids growing up.

That and the reasons you mention are why I keep the old fashioned finder back up.

I did try to ditch the cloud for a week but the hassle of syncing my phone photos to the app was an inconvenience
 

MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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UK
Yep and the other reason was my sister who somehow managed to get locked out of her iCloud account and she lost thousands of photos of her kids growing up.

I did try to ditch the cloud for a week but the hassle of syncing my phone photos to the app was an inconvenience

So you do use iCloud library still?

That and the reasons you mention are why I keep the old fashioned finder back up.
Isn’t that just a TM backup? or do you mean you also copy the actual library file to another HDD somewhere as well?

The other cloud backup I have backs up the photo library but when I look it seems to be all the individual folders, so at the very least I maybe can’t get the organisation back, but there is a folder called originals which I presume has all the photos and videos in so could get them back?
 

JamesMay82

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Oct 12, 2009
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So you do use iCloud library still?


Isn’t that just a TM backup? or do you mean you also copy the actual library file to another HDD somewhere as well?

The other cloud backup I have backs up the photo library but when I look it seems to be all the individual folders, so at the very least I maybe can’t get the organisation back, but there is a folder called originals which I presume has all the photos and videos in so could get them back?
Yes i went back to iCloud after a week or so because of the convenience of how photos on my phone sync back to the library.

Re the finder folders i mean i just keep the photos on an external drive as I don’t have space on my internal drive.

i organise these by year and then month
 

MrMister111

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Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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UK
So I’ve tried to copy the Photo library file from one SSD to another. They are both formatted as AFPS encrypted.

First time I left it for 2hrs and still saying “preparing to copy”. I quit it and ran first aid on both, all ok.

next time I left it for 8hrs overnight, got up and still “preparing to copy”. Its a 1.1Tb file, why is it doing this?

It shouldn’t take that long to prepare whatever it is doing, and then the actual copy over.
 

MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,886
377
UK
So I’ve tried to copy the Photo library file from one SSD to another. They are both formatted as AFPS encrypted.

First time I left it for 2hrs and still saying “preparing to copy”. I quit it and ran first aid on both, all ok.

next time I left it for 8hrs overnight, got up and still “preparing to copy”. Its a 1.1Tb file, why is it doing this?

It shouldn’t take that long to prepare whatever it is doing, and then the actual copy over.

Ignore…restarted Mac and now worked, was “preparing” for about 10s…no idea…
 
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