What's the best way to backup iPhoto library?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by seedman76, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. seedman76 macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    My iPhoto library is 19,000 photos, about 171GB of HD space plus another 80GB of videos on my MBP. I need to back all these photos up so that I can delete them from my iPhoto library and free up HD space. What's the best method/option to back up this many photos? I'm no computer expert so the clearer the instructions/suggestions the better. Thank you!
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Get an external HDD or two, connect it to your Mac, format it/them with Disk Utility to Mac OS Extended and then copy the iPhoto Library file to that HDD or those HDDs.
    If you only copy it to one HDD and then delete the iPhoto Library on the source volume, it is not a backup, since a backup means having at least two copies of one file.

    Using Disk Utility - Formatting, Partitioning, Verifying, and Repairing Disks
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    As mentioned above in reply #2, if you just copy the iPhoto library to -one- external drive (and delete it from your MBP), the files are NOT backed up.

    You need ANOTHER COPY of the files, just in case. That means a SECOND external drive of some sort.

    One way to "juggle" multiple backup drives is with a "dock" type of drive adapter. To see what these are, go to amazon and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box, and you'll get many hits. These are cheap and useful devices, starting at around $20.

    You might use an external "enclosed" drive for your primary "archive" drive (the first drive to which you copy your photos). Keep that one near the computer.

    Then, use a USB3/SATA dock to create at least one backup of the archive drive. Keep this one in the house, as well. This serves as the "immediate backup" of your "archive" drive.

    If the pics are REALLY important to you, you probably want a SECOND backup, as well, stored "off-site" (different building than which the computer is in). What happens if there's a fire, or theft ?
  4. seedman76 thread starter macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    Fishrrman, thanks much for the information. I did research the "dock type" data drives but being a novice I'm still a bit confused here. I understand the differences between ways once can connect a drive (e.g. USB2.0/3.0, Firewire, esata, etc.) and storage space (e.g. 1,2,4TB etc).

    What I don't understand is what's the difference, advantages, disadvantages of the type of drive you reference in your post vs. the type of external desktop HD I'm using currently (e.g. Seagate GoFlex)??? Thanks.
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The type of drives you are using are absolutely fine. I generally think of them as an advantage over "docks"... because the drive is better protected in casing, etc. With a Seagate GoFlex... you can also keep just the adapter connected to your computer, and change the drives.

    However, the advantage of a dock drive is that you can use less expensive "bare drives" and plug them into the dock. Hence, the advantage is mostly cost. It comes at the inconvenience of dealing with bare drives, which have exposed circuit boards. That inconvenience is minor in nature, but it is a bit more "crude".

    I have docks that I use with bare drives, but I primarily use drives that are incased in enclosures such as you have.

    In the end... they do exactly the same job... it is just a matter of packaging.

  6. seedman76 thread starter macrumors member

    May 4, 2011

    Jim, thank you for the excellent information. You spelled things out clearly and straight forward.

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