5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2013 7:32 PM by William Lloyd
JZPics Level 1 (0 points)

My Aperture library is stored on an external hard drive so as not to take up space on my computer. I want to create 2 back ups on 2 other external hard drives. Can I simply copy the Aperture library from Hard drive #1 and paste it to hard drive #'s 2 & 3? And if so, how would I update these back ups when I have new images on hard drive #1?

Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Copying the Library using Finder works, but, as you seem to indicate you know, there is no way for Finder to copy only the changed parts within the Aperture Library, and so you have to wait while Finder copies all of the data, even though most of it may be identical to what is already on the back-up drive.  What you are asking to do is to make a differential backup (good primer here, though the product is for PCs).  Time Machine, OS X's built-in backup application, does that.  Many users use Time Machine for one back-up, and purchase other software that clones external drives (or Folders) for other back-ups.  (For external drives the need is even greater.)  The two commonly used and widely recommended products for Macs are SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner.


    I use SuperDuper.  For each Library on an external drive, I have two additional external drives of the same (or greater) capacity.  Every day I work on a Library, I clone the drive containing the Library to one of the back-up drives.  I keep one of these off-site, and never have all three copies of the Library (the working copy and the two back-up copies) in the same location.


    SuperDuper uses something it calls "Smart Update" (iirc).  This does exactly what you want: it copies (or changes) only the files that have changed since the last back-up.  In practice it is fast.  (I am sure CCC has the same function.)

  • JZPics Level 1 (0 points)

    Kirby, thanks for replying. This sounds like what I need. I will download the program and give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes.

  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,047 points)

    Why not use Aperture's vault functionality for this?  It's great for this.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Excellent suggestion.  IME, Vault stopped working flawlessly once Libraries got to be more than c. 50 GB, and I stopped using it.  It may have been improved since then.

  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,047 points)

    I have been using Vaults since the inception of Aperture.  I have a 520 GB managed library. I've never had a single problem.