13 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2012 9:25 AM by Eric Root
Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

I used to have a 2 TB hard drive in my iMac. One of the users contains all my music, photos and videos. It's a very large file, of course.


I have just swapped out the 2 TB drive for a 120 GB SSD and reconnected the 2 TB drive as an external HD. The problem is, I've only got 60 GB of space left on it and that's not enough room for my media user. It's sitting on the external drive but I can't figure out how to access it.


I would like to be able to (1) run the media user from the external drive or, if that's not possible, (2) move the media user to the SSD but store the music, photos, video etc. on the external HD.


Any tips? Thanks!

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,458 points)

    I'm not sure I understand the term media user (it is one of your accounts?).


    I have a very large iTunes collection on a networked hard drive. I made an alias of the folder and put the alias in the music folder on my Mac. When I start iTunes it goes to the networked hard drive to get the music, apps (iPad), and so forth. The network hard drive does need to be mounted in Finder.


    Maybe you could set up something similar.

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks for the tip. By "media user" I just mean the user where I'm storing all my photos, music and videos.

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,458 points)

    You are welcome. If the tip works, please post so I know.

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks, I know about those things but they don't apply in my situation. I've got a user in place already (the "media user") but it's on my external drive and I can't move it to my SSD b/c it's too large. I can't even log into it right now b/c it's on the external drive and isn't recognized by the OS as a user.

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,458 points)

    I am not suggesting you move the media user to the SSD. I understand it is too big. Create a new media user account on the SSD in System Preferences, and then place the alias in the new account Music folder. You will need to remove the new user link to iTunes in the Music folder before putting the alias in. You also need to open iTune's preferences, go to the advanced tab, and in the top box point it to your external drive.


    iTunes may spend what seems like forever updating itself.


    If I could figure out how to make a screen shot, I'd post it. I'm currently working in SL (my hard drive has a SL and a ML partition) and Grab isn't making an image I can post.

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,458 points)

    I don't know if the same thing will work for iPhoto since I don't use iPhoto. If you don't report it does work, I'll load iPhoto and try it (I have iLife '11).

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    Great, thanks, I'll try that and report back. I'll definitely need some similar workaround for iPhoto and iMovie, since my video files are even larger than my iTunes files.

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    Cool. It worked, once I changed my permissions to allow access to the files. So that's progress. I'm going to explore a bit now and see if I can do something similar for iPhoto and iMovie.


    Thanks for your help!

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    I was able to point iPhoto to my external drive's photo library. First I changed permissions on my external drive's pictures folder (and enclosed items) to allow my new user (the "media user") access. Then I launched iPhoto holding down the option key. It then gave me the option to point to a new photo library. I surfed to the iPhoto library on the external drive and selected it. Done. No need to use an alias in this case.


    Now on to iMovie. Hopefully I can do the same thing.

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    I couldn't do quite the same thing on iMovie, but I was able to get the desired result using aliases. First I changed permissions on by external drive to allow my media user access. Then I put aliases in the Movies folder of my media user. You need aliases to iMovie Projects, iMovie Events and iMovie Sharing.


    That seems to have done the trick, although I won't know for sure until I start using the app. It looks good though.


    Next: Photo Booth! Not that big a deal, but I do have quite a few Photo Booth videos and photos on the external drive.

  • Gib Van Ert Level 1 (15 points)

    OK, here's how to do it on Photo Booth. It's a little different for every app, it seems.


    On Photo Booth, you don't use aliases. The app doesn't like them. Instead, start by deleting the Photo Booth Library file in the new user. (You only want to do this if you have no photos in Photo Booth, I assume. Remember I've started with a completely new user.) Then launch Photo Booth. It will tell you there's no library and ask you to either create one or point to one.


    Then point to your Photo Booth Library file on your external drive. (Again, permissions have to be set to allow the SSD drive access.)


    By the way, I am not an expert in any of this. There may be better ways of doing all this, but I couldn't find them on discussions so I'm recording them here in case they help people in future. Feel free to chime in with a more elegant solution, if there is one! But this all does seem to be working so far.

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,458 points)

    I'm glad it worked. If you mark the thread as "This solved my question" I think it tends to stand out more. When I refer people to threads, I usually start with the solved ones. Obviously, that is an opinion.