7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2013 12:40 PM by Kappy
SonjaOrme Level 1 Level 1

I am desperate to find someone who can help me out with this!


I have an old macbook (from about 2007) and I have now purchased a new macbook pro. I'm trying to transfer my iphoto library from the old computer (which is a large file!! about 60GB) to the new one.


Having looked around on apple support and having been into an apple shop - it appeared quite easily - all I needed to do was to connect my two laptops with a cable (which I have purchased and can manage this far) and then simply open up the old macbook hard drive and copy the iphoto library from the old computer into the new computers "pictures"....


However, I've tried this and it starts to do it at first saying that it will take several hours which I have no problem with, however after a few minutes it just says that it can't go ahead with the copy because some of the files from the old Iphoto aren't viable or something like that - can't remember the exact wording...


Is there any other way of getting iphoto on to my new computer? Or any ideas?



MacBook Pro
  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10

    Welcome to the Apple Support Communities


    The easiest way to transfer the iPhoto library from your old Mac to the new one is to use an external drive. Connect it to your old Mac, go to Pictures folder and copy iPhoto Library to the external drive. Then, connect it to the new Mac, copy iPhoto Library to Pictures folder and open iPhoto.


    The problem with Migration Assistant is that it will create a new user for the iPhoto library, so you will lose time copying the library from one user to your user account. Also, it sometimes fails

  • SonjaOrme Level 1 Level 1

    Hi there!


    Thanks for the speedy reply - I forgot to say in the first post - the problem is my old macbook won't turn on . In the apple shop they said that it needs the software reloading or something like that but they advised me to copy all my data on to the new computer before doing this. Therefore the only way I can get data off the old one is to connect it to the new one and essentially use it as a hard drive....


    Any ideas in this instance?



  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Either you've left some steps out or did not do it properly.


    Connect the two computers using a Firewire cable. Your old computer may only have a FW400 port so you will need a cable with FW400 connector on one end and a FW800 one on the other end.


    Boot the old computer into Target Disk Mode then boot the new computer normally. You should find a hard disk icon on the new computer's Desktop that belongs to your old computer. Drag the old iPhoto Library file from the old computer to the Desktop of the new computer. Do not drag it into the Pictures folder or you will overwrite your existing iPhoto Library file, if any, resulting in the loss of all the photos in the new file.


    A 60 GB file will take quite some time over FW400 perhaps up to 4 hours.

  • SonjaOrme Level 1 Level 1

    Hello again,


    So I just tried your advice Kappy- I dragged the old iphoto library file from the old computer on to the desktop of the new computer and it started to copy it and then after a few minutes it came up with this message:


    The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “iPhoto Library old computer” can’t be read or written.

    (Error code -36)


    So frustrating!


    Sorry folks - any idea how to overcome this?

    I thought this was going to be a really simple thing to do and is turning out to be a nightmare!

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    It means that there is content in the old library that is either corrupted (most likely) or has illegal characters in the filenames. See I-O error -36 « fuzzybrain|daisychain|blogdrain.


    Given your info that the library is quite old (not to mention extremely large) this may be the result of past usage. Possible things you might try:


    Apple iPhoto Library Upgrader 1.0 to update the library.


    You should do this Google search - "repair iphoto library" to find a large number of links to software that may be able to rebuild the old library and/or fix problems.


    Otherwise, create a new folder on your new computer's Desktop. Open your old iPhoto Library on your old computer (I assume that works) then start manually dragging small selections of photos from the library over to the new folder. Eventually you will end up with a long list of individual photos to import into the new iPhoto.


    Wish I have more to offer.

  • SonjaOrme Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you but as I said above my old laptop won't turn on-it works fine as a hard drive with the cable connecting it to the new one. So unfortunately I can't update the old ilabrary or do what you suggest. Thanks though!!


    Anyone other ideas?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Then I would remove the drive from the old computer. Get an external enclosure for it so you can connect it directly to the new computer. Perhaps you can find some tools in the Google search that will help you recover the data in the old iPhoto Library.