Skip navigation

Is it possible to Aperture Library by copying over the Contents?

946 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2013 10:23 PM by léonie RSS
1 2 Previous Next
macbuzzz Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 14, 2013 10:44 PM



My new Drobo 5D is having issues, and i'm not able to copy the Aperture File Directly over directly as its 530GB and the hard drive keeps failing in the last 30GB or so.

so I was wondering is it possible to copy over the contents bit by bit by using the show contents folder and then somehow recreating the Aperture file from the folder of Contents copied over?


Otherwise, is there any other solution?





iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.5), 2.5Ghz, 16GB Ram, 500GB HD
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)


    how is your Drobo formatted? If it is not formatted Mac OS X Extended (Journaled), you will not be able to open the Aperture Library on it. Aperture requires the drive to be formatted Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). Also, the wrong formatting usually causesthe kind of copy errors you are seeing, because of conflicting filenames. In that case, copying in smaller batched will not help either.

    So check the formatting of your drive, either with Get Info ("File > Get Info" from the Finder's main menu bar ⌘I)  or with Disk Utility.





    Added: To move an Aperture library in smaller bits, the only safe way would be to turn it into a referenced library:

    • Relocate the images from some projects to the new drive, so that the library becomes smaller (File > relocate originals).
    • If you have relocated enough projects, move the library as an entity by dragging it to the drive.

    Aperture 3 User Manual: Working with Referenced Images

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)

    My new Drobo 5D is having issues, and i'm not able to copy the Aperture File Directly over directly as its 530GB and the hard drive keeps failing in the last 30GB or so.

    From where to where are you copying? From the drive that is failing or to the drive with issues?

    Which file cannot be copied? Frequently it is a single image file or video that cannot be copied because of bad data or an illegal filename.

    If you open the Aperture library package (Ctrl the package in the Finder and use "Show Package contents" ) and compare, how far the copy went, you should be able to see where the copy stopped. If it is a thumbnail or a preview, you could delete the corresponding image or video from your Aperture library and try again.


    Do you have a backup of your Aperture library? If your library is on a failing drive, make sure the drive is backed up.

    You may have a corrupted file in your library or permission problems. After backing up, I'd try to repair the library, before trying to copy it again. Use the Library first aid tools to repair the permissions and the database, or to rebuild the library.


    Aperture 3 User Manual: Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)

    but the file because it hasn't completed copying more often than not is greyed out.

    but can you see the filename? Does it contain ethnic characters or white space?


    the copying halts somewhere in the thumbnails section

    You can force Aperture to recreate the thumbnails with the command "Photos > Create Thumbnails".


    So you could try to recreate your thumbnails before trying to copy again.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,555 points)

    Jumping in, probably somewhat ignorantly, but -- how is the failure to copy manifested?  Is there an error message?


    Also, have your repaired or rebuilt your Library recently?

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)

    Really good points, Kirby!

    I already suggested to repair/rebuild - macbuzz, have you done that meanwhile?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    In answer to your first question, can you copy the library in bits, yes. The Aperture library is just a collection of files and folders. As long as you get them back in the correct place within the library this would.


    As for kirby's suggestion of doing a repair or rebuild, normally that is the first step but in this case if you are sure the problem is with the Drobo (or even suspect it) I would not recommend you do this. If there is a hardware (or firmware) problem with the drive any more accessing of the library, especially writing, is likely to cause more problems possibly corrupt the library.


    Are there probllems copy other files off the Drobo?  How have you determined that it is a firmware issue?

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,555 points)

    Good point.  I had understood that the OP has not yet been able to get the Library on the Drobo.  My concern is that Library in its original location might have been, or might now be, corrupted.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    leonieDF wrote:


    Really good points, Kirby!

    I already suggested to repair/rebuild - macbuzz, have you done that meanwhile?

    It is not advisable to try to repair or rebuild a library if it is on hardware that is suspected of failing. The library needs to be gotten off the failing drive as quickly as possible, Any accessing of the library on the failing drive (especially write accesses) will most likely cause library corruption.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)

    - No Back Up - (as i just spent over $1000 on the drobo so i wouldn't need to do even more backup!)

    The reason I need to copy over, is because the drive has a firmware issue and keeps dropping offline, so i need to copy all my data off it, and reformate the drives and reinstall firmware to continue using it.

    Macbuzz, I am worried about this.


    What is your backup situation?  In our discussion I assumed we are talking about moving a backup copy of your library.  Is your original library in a working condition? There is no sense in spending time on copying a corrupted copy to another disk. You need a backup of your original data, i.e. your main aperture library on a disk that is working. Do you have that? If not, it would be more important to create that backup first.



    Any accessing of the library on the failing drive (especially write accesses) will most likely cause library corruption.

    Yes, my recommendation was trying that if a backup exists. My suspicion was, it is a data error and not a hardware error.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    Read all this before doing anything.


    You select the library in the Finder and right click it and do Show Package Contents. That will revel the inside of the library You would then copy the files/folders out to the other drive MAKING SURE you copy them so that they are in the same relation to each other as they are in the original.


    On the destination drive create a new empty Aperture library. You'll probably have the easiest time of it if you have two finder windows open, one on the original library and on on the destination. Revel Package contents on both libraries and then copy from the source to the destination replacing the items in the destination library with items from the source. Make sure you go from source (old) to destination (new). It sounds silly to emphasis this but once you start copying it will be easy to get disoriented and go in the wrong direction. Do something to make sure the source Finder window stands out from the destination Finder window.


    I wouldn't worry about copying the previews or thumbnails those will be recreated when Aperture opens the new library BUT don't do anything with the Dobro or previews until you are sure the new library opens. In a worst case scenario you could retrieve the previews and still salvage something from your library.


    Of course the possibility exists that you will hit the file(s) that are causing the error that is keeping you from doing this in a normal fashion. If so mark the file(s) that are having problems (color label will work well) and continue with the rest of the library. It is possible that the file(s) that won't copy are not of major importance to Aperture and the new library will open anyway. If not then there may be some other way to work around it. By labeling the files you'll at least know what didn;t copy.


    That should do it if you're unsure of anything post back before starting.


    good luck


    Ps. Read  this post  Re: New iMac, Pegasus & Aperture? from a recent thread on backups and RAID. In it I explain why RAID is not a backup replacement. Once you recover from this you will need to put a true backup procedure in place.




    BTW here is OS X's definiiton of an Error -36


    Type -36 error (I/O Errors (bummers)

    This file is having difficulty while either reading from the drive or writing to the drive. The file
    may have been improperly written data to the drive or the hard drive or disk may be damaged.
    This is almost always indicative of a media error (hard error on the disk). Sometimes (rarely) it is transient.

    Solutions: Try copying the file to another drive. Use a disk recovery software, such as Disk First Aid to examine the disk. You can try rebooting with all extensions off. Once in a while this will allow you to read the data. The file in question should be restored from a backup that was stored on a different disk. Regular backups can reduce the time to recover from this error.


    Message was edited by: Frank Caggiano

1 2 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.