9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2013 7:37 PM by LarryHN
pelegrinotrek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

12,000 photos on my internal G-5 computer drive has slowed its entire operation to a crawl. However, all my iPhoto 6 photos are also backed up on an external WD drive. How can I choose to access the stored photo files from this external drive vs. using the ones on my internal hard drive? If possible, that would allow me to purge the photos from my hard drive, right, solving the computer slowness problem. Thanks for any tips!


iPhoto '08, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • 1. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,670 points)

    Moving the iPhoto library is safe and simple - quit iPhoto and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity to the external drive - depress the option key and launch iPhoto using the "select library" option to point to the new location on the external drive - fully test it and then trash the old library on the internal drive (test one more time prior to emptying the trash)

     

     

    And be sure that the External drive is formatted Mac OS extended (journaled) (iPhoto does not work with drives with other formats) and that it is always available prior to launching iPhoto

     

     

    And backup soon and often - having your iPhoto library on an external drive is not a backup and if you are using Time Machine you need to check and be sure that TM is backing up your external drive

     

     

    LN

  • 2. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    ufauxreal Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I have over 200gb's in my iPhoto Library. I now keep it on a 2Tb external HD. I also purchased an additional 2 Tb HD and use that to back up the iPhoto one. I have Carbon Copy Cloner scheduled to back up one to the other once a week. If i download a large number of images between scheduled backups, i open CCC and do it manually. It is well worth my peace of mind to have both hard drives.

  • 3. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,670 points)

    Have you considered using a backup applicaiton that does incremental backups automatically?  I use Synk Pro which back incrementally backs up my library as soon as I close iPhoto.  You can opt to have it backup while you're using it but I find that inter fears with the operation a bit. Only new or modified files are backed up. It's automatic and quick.

     

    OT

  • 4. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    ktpoy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Larry,

     

    I tried launching my iPhoto library from an external drive the way you described and got this message: "The iPhoto library is a Time Machine backup, and so cannot be used as the main library. Reopen iPhoto with the Option key held down to choose another library."

     

    Does that mean I can't open it? Ever?

     

    The thing that concerns me is, I saved the library from my MB Pro, and "upgraded" to a MBAir, and I'm afraid my hard drive now isn't large enough to do a full restore of the library (in fact, Migration Assistant told me as much when I was booting up the new toy).

     

    Thoughts on how I can still access my old photos from my new computer?

  • 5. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    ufauxreal Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thanks for the link OT. however, it is designed for OS 10.8, and I'm still on 10.6.8. Would be nice.

  • 6. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    "The iPhoto library is a Time Machine backup, and so cannot be used as the main library.

     

    That means you're trying to open a backed up version of iPhoto that's in Time Machine. You need to select the iPhoto Library that you copied as per Larry's instructions.

  • 7. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,670 points)

    The site just says that it is 10.8 compatible.  Download and give the demo a try.

  • 8. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    ktpoy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Problem is I didn't see his suggestion to simply copy the iPhoto library until after my computer, which I backed up regularly to Time Machine, bit the dust. I have no copies of that library except the Time Machine copy. That's why I asked if I will ever be able to open that library again. It looks like not.

  • 9. Re: How can I access iPhoto files from an external drive?
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,670 points)

    To use a time machine backup you must use the Time Machine Application to restore it to your main drive and then open it - you can not directly access the Time Machine backup

     

    LN