5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2010 9:04 AM by MadisonP
anthj Level 1 Level 1
I have a 250 gb iMac and a 1 tB external drive (Seagate). My iMac is getting quite full, so I tried moving some files to my external. It told me that I couldn't because these files needed OS X to operate. How can I move files to my external so I can clear up my iMac drive?

iMac 2.4, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.ilife
    iLife
    What files are you moving? As a general rule move your data - documents, photos, music, and not apps and definitely not System Files.

    Regards

    TD
  • MadisonP Level 5 Level 5
    Greetings,

    Is the drive you are moving files to the drive you use for your Time Machine backup? If so, don't do this. Any files you put on that drive are not backed up by Time Machine (Time Machine cannot backup it's own drive. That would be like performing brain surgery on yourself.) If you are running out of space, get an additional external drive to store them on so that they can still be backed up by Time Machine.

    Here are some general ideas on how to free up space: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/8358.html

    The most common items that people tend to have that use up all their space are iTunes (Music/Movies), iPhoto (Pictures), and iMovie (Movies).

    You can move all 3 of these to an external hard drive if you like. Again, do not use your Time Machine backup drive for this purpose. That is for making a backup copy, not for holding the originals.

    Once you have another drive you can move the afore mentioned large items if they are indeed taking up a large amount of space.

    iTunes: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449
    iPhoto: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1229
    iMovie: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iMovie/8.0/en/19555.html

    Hope that helps.
  • anthj Level 1 Level 1
    I'd be trying to move things like photos and movies only (things that are taking up gobs of space). Should I move the Movies or Photos folders over to my external? How can I do this? Does it affect speed when I'm trying to call up these files again?

    Yes...not the sys files.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.ilife
    iLife
    Are your photos in an iPhoto Library?

    Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    1. Quit iPhoto

    2. Copy the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.

    3. Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.

    4. Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.

    Regards

    TD
  • MadisonP Level 5 Level 5
    Should I move the Movies or Photos folders over to my external? How can I do this?

    You can. See the 3 articles I listed above for the steps (you can see TD's post for how to do the iPhoto Library as well.)
    Does it affect speed when I'm trying to call up these files again?

    It can. Getting a faster drive with a faster connection like Firewire is a good idea. You can check your computer to see if your have a Firewire port: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1151
    If you do make sure the drive you purchase has Firewire.

    When shopping for a drive also look for the speed of the drive. Most drives come in either the 5400 RPM variety or 7200 RPM. 7200 RPM means faster access to data.