Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

How to Backup iPhoto to an Extra External Drive

14998 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2010 1:10 AM by Terence Devlin RSS
whiskey sour Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 17, 2010 9:01 PM
Hello. I have my iMac backed up to a Lacie HD with Time Machine but would also like to do an extra backup of my iPhoto photos on to a small Western Digital(WD) Passport HD. Both HD's are hooked to the iMac and showing as icons on my desktop. Do I just go into my PICTURES folder and copy the 'iPhoto Library' and paste it into the WD HD? I also see a Folder called 'iPhoto Slideshows' and 'iPhoto Library Recovered Photos' in the iMac Folder--would I copy and paste these also? Thanks.
iMac 27 i5, 1TB., Mac OS X (10.6.2), 4 GB RAM, Lacie 500GB d2 Quadra, WD Passport 160GB
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,865 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2010 10:11 PM (in response to whiskey sour)
    just drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity from the pictures folder to the external drive

    LN
    2.1 GHz iMac G5 with 500 GB internal HD, Mac OS X (10.5.8), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 8:48 AM (in response to whiskey sour)
    Copy and paste is a great way to move text around a document. It's not a reliable way to copy large numbers of files from one volume to another. It's very likely that you're iPhoto Library is larger (in gigabytes) than your RAM. An iPhoto 09 Library will contain - literally - thousands of files, a large one hundreds of thousands.

    The iPhoto slideshows folder contains slideshow you have exported from iPhoto as QuickTime Movie files. These movies are no longer part of the iPhoto Library. Ditto with this Recovered Files folder. iPhoto has no ability to manipulate anything outside the Library.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • DP Miller Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 2:48 PM (in response to whiskey sour)
    I just moved my iphoto library to my 500 GB external HD about a week ago because I had no more room on my computer. Everything has been fine since then, but last night I was working on a photobook when the firewire became unplugged without ejecting the drive. It said that unsaved data would be lost, which is fine, but now when I open the iphoto library there are no pictures, albums or books at all! I looked at the information on the HD and it still says it is 22 GB in size and has folders for originals and modifies where all my pictures are. Is there a way to access the iphoto library the way it was before it was disconnected? Also, will the book show up again somewhere, or should I start over....?
    MacBook White 2006, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 3:22 PM (in response to DP Miller)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussions.

    When the drive got disconnected the app was writing to the Library database, and because the connection was dropped the database has been corrupted.

    Option 1
    Back Up and try rebuild the library: hold down the command and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild. Choose to Rebuild iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup.

    If that fails:

    Option 2
    Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. This will create a new library based on data in the albumdata.xml file. Not everything will be brought over - no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your albums and keywords, faces and places back.

    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • xixindi Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 7:19 PM (in response to whiskey sour)
    Agree sith this, drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity from the pictures folder to the external drive
    dfgfdhxbv, Mac OS X (10.5.2), cbvhzsv
  • DP Miller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 9:25 PM (in response to xixindi)
    Terence-I tried pressing command option to rebuild my iphoto library, but it did not do anything. I checked the 'rebuild library' button and it acted like it was working on something for a while and then disappeared, but no pictures were in my library still.

    Xinidi- I don't quite understand what you are suggesting because my iphoto library and all the pictures are already on my external hard drive.
    MacBook White 2006, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 10:49 PM (in response to DP Miller)
    DP Miller

    Then move on to option 2.

    Xinidi was responding to the person who created the thread.
    Regards

    TDg
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • elenting Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2010 8:30 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)
    Hi TD, Wondering if you can help me. I have almost the opposite problem others have. I have a large iPhoto collection, 82k photos organized into albums (never got in the habit of using Events since had albums since iLife 06 or earlier) with keywords attached to EVERY photo, stored on an external drive. Since the library is on an external drive I believe that Time Machine will not back it up. I have been burning to DVD groups of albums, but when I put a DVD back in to attempt a reimport it appears that only the EVENT structure is preserved and NOT the albums. Is there a way to burn this large library to multiple DVDs and preserve all of the metadata? Especially the ALBUMS and KEYWORDS.

    I have had tons of performance problems with slideshows locking up and very lengthy burn times. I've tried the Apple rebuild options multiple times without improvement. Would buying the Library Manager software and rebuilding be a good idea?

    Or, do you have a better idea to get this large library backed up and performing better?

    Thanks so much. I always look for and appreciate your advice on these forums.

    EL
    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac8,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2010 12:59 AM (in response to elenting)
    Or, do you have a better idea to get this large library backed up and performing better?


    The best way to back up the Library is to another external HD. It's simple, can be automated using any of a number of apps, and when you consider the number of DVDs you'll need to back up 80+k in photos, it won't take long to pay for itself

    As to the DVDs = how are you restoring? The designed method is to drag the pics/event/albums from the disk to the Library - in the iPhoto Window. Don't use File -> import.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • elenting Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2010 9:13 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)
    I am probably going to get another hard drive, but since I have had so much trouble with iPhoto 09 (behaving incredibly sluggishly with slide slows even though I am not near the 250,00 limits and it takes several minutes minimum of watching the spinning beach ball after hitting the burn button just to burn a disc) I thought I would try burning the albums to DVD and then reimporting them into a new library to see if somehow the performance would improve rather than just cloning the already poorly performing library. A couple more questions for you if you have time.

    1. I would really welcome any suggestions you have because I am at my wits end with this. My favorite way to relax is to hit the photo library icon in iPhoto and then hit the slideshow button (set to shuffle the 82k pix) and just watch the pix randomly on my monitor or hooked to our flat screen while enjoying a coffee. I haven't been able to do it since the upgrade to 09 because so sluggish and/or crashes even though the new iMac has much more power than my previous which had no problems.
    2. I would also love your suggestions on any programs that would be good at incremently backing up my iPhoto library, rather than this crazy method. Even copying the iPhoto library package to another drive is time consuming and it doesn't do it incrementally. I can't use Time Machine because my library isn't stored locally on the mac and Time Machine won't back up ext drives. At least I don't think it will.
    3. Lastly, is there any way to burn the dvd and maintain the photo ALBUM structure and names. It seems that only events are possibly maintained and since I had used ALBUMS long before the events feature I have continued to do so.

    As always, thank you for your insights and time! Thanks for the reminder on reimporting the dvds into a new library!
    Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2010 1:10 AM (in response to elenting)
    1. Speed Issues

    These can be a bit of a problem to sort out. Did you migrate the Library from the old machine? DId you also migrate the app?

    Some things to try:

    Rebuild the Library: Back Up and try rebuild the library: hold down the command and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild.

    Use an app like [Onyx|http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11582/onyx] to clear out the iPhoto caches. A corrupt cache can really slow things down. Next time you run iPhoto it will take longer to get going as it re-creates the cache but it may well see an improvement once it does.

    More radical: Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. This will create a new library based on data in the albumdata.xml file. Not everything will be brought over - no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your albums and keywords back.

    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.

    I really wouldn't go for number 3 until you've tried all the others.

    2. Back Up

    There are a lot of apps that will do incremental back ups of the Library. I use DejaVu because it stores the Library in the Finder and makes testing the back up really easy. Others swear by apps like Chronosync or the [Sync|http://www.decimus.net/index.php] family, others prefer [SuperDuper|http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html]

    However, I'm not sure that TM can't back up material on an external, but I would post on the TM forum for more on that.

    3. Share =>Burn

    I believe the trick is to select the Albums and go Share -> Burn. Then when you pop the disk into the Machine you click on the Disclosure Triangle next to the disk in the iPhoto Window and it will drop down and reveal the ALbums.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • 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.