8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2013 6:39 AM by AppleMan1958
lowcountrygrits Level 1 (30 points)

First post and is this going to be a doozie.


I recently had someone come to my home and move all my iPhoto, iTunes and iMovie items to an external hard drive. He was an Apple official consultant but when it came to iMovie he moved them via FINDER and NOT within the iMovie Application. I realized that this was a mistake only after getting into my iMac and trouble shooting. Disclaimer: While I’m OK at iMovie making, I'm not technically savvy when it comes to issues with my iMac, hence the reason I hired some outside help. I had to move all the libraries b/c the space on the iMac was down to 10% and we were getting disk failure warnings often (this is stuff you probably would’ve guessed).


The external hard drive is formatted for iOS extended and the projects can be pulled up from the external hard drive although there are a ton of missing video clips for my projects (yellow triangle warning symbol). Almost all the music and iTune audio recordings I used within my projects aren’t working either. I think my solution for each is the following but would love to get some input from the community. Treat me with kid gloves; I fully recognize my newb status when it comes to navigating my way around the iMac. My wife calls me a “right clicker” and reminds me that I’m not good enough to be working on a Mac.


  1. Re-implement the video clips within each project. This could be a fairly big effort but the good news is that all the clips are on the external hard drive.
  2. UNDO the move of all the iMovie and iPhoto files back to the iMac and then redo back to the external hard drive.
  3. Not sure what to do about the iTune clips within each iMovie project


I may need some screen shots or video tutorials to help me walk through what I should do. I don't know what operating system the iMac is.



iMovie '11
  • KarenSelena Level 4 (1,960 points)

    Did they move both the "iMovie projects" and the "iMovie Events" folder to the external drive?


    - do you use time machine?  - if you do, we can restore the "iMovie events" folder first, then the "iMovie projects" folder to see if we can be it back to a state before they did this

  • lowcountrygrits Level 1 (30 points)

    Yes, I believe they moved the projects and the events (via finder). I can now open iMovie - which looks at the external hard drive and the projects are recognized - but idividual raw clips within each project and songs/audio recordings which had been imported into iTunes - are NOT recognized (yellow warning sign).


    I should have mentioned that at the same time this consultant did this, he created a new user for both my wife and I to use on our iMac. This was done to consolidate all the iPhoto videos and photos so that my wife has easier acess to them.


    I used to use iMovie like this: iMac > lowcountry grits user profile

    Now I use iMoie like this: iMac > Shared userprofile

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    Hi LCgrits. Are you from South Carolina? I am up the road in Charlotte.


    I would suggest that you move Projects and Events back to your internal hard drive under your original user ID.

    If possible, move the iTunes library and iPhoto library back where it was.  If there is not enough room (which is why you did all this in the first place), move the photos and itunes back. Then move the Projects back one at a time. Then move just the Events used by that one project. Then move the Project to the external drive. Then use the Consolidate Media command to put the Event, Photos and Music for that project to the external drive.

    Then do the next project and events. If you can open the project and there are no yellow triangles, then all is well.


    However, I fear that with all the moving in the Finder, that you will not be able to get everything back together. There is probably no way to get it back exactly without a Time Machine copy. It may be that the best you can do is to get the iMovie Project and iMovie Events linked back up, but then go back and manually add the music and photos.


    Here are the relevant instructions for moving within iMovie.


  • lowcountrygrits Level 1 (30 points)

    re: SC. negative. I married a gal from the Low Country (headed to HHI, SC this weekend in fact).


    re: solution. I spent an hour plus working in the new instance (my terminology) of iMovie on the new user profile (see above) and just started recreating the video sections. The good news: the iTunes audio clips (music and my iPhone's audio recording) and iMovie stock sound clips are all working. Before, I thought that they were NOT. Stoked. I only have 2 major projects in development so it shouldn't be too hard to re-do the video clips. Bottom line: I'm not in as dire of a situation which I thought I was in earlier in the week.


    Plus - to try to undo and then redo everything...well, I don't think I'm the right person for that. THANKS a ton for all the help and feedback.

  • lowcountrygrits Level 1 (30 points)

    Follow up item which is related to rebuilding all the of the previous projects which are in progress: is there a way in iMovie to reveal the file name of any photos (used from iPhoto) or video clips (again imported into iPhoto)? What I'm finding is that I can't remember where to find photos or videos - that are in an in progress iMovie project - within iPhoto. Since I'm having to rebuild these iMovie projects it would be awesome if there was a way for iMovie to reveal the original source file name; this would allow me to easily search iPhoto for the file and then re-add it to my iMovie project for proper rebuilding.



  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    Sometimes you can hover your mouse cursor over the yellow trinagle, and it will tell you what it is looking for.


    Another way, which I only recommend if you are technically savvy, is to open the the project package in the finder. OPen the project file within the project package in a hexadecimal text editor, like BBEdit. Then you may be able to read the paths that it is expecting, but it is not obvious where to look. You have to take care not to modify anything in the text editor, because you can make the whole project unreadable. Or better yet, if you do try to edit directly in the text editor, make sure you have a backup copy of the file. This is like brain surgery, and probably beyond my personal abilities.

  • lowcountrygrits Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks AppleMan but that sounds a little out of my technical reach. I'll see if the yellow triangle reveals the information I need.


    One last follow up question: I know that I'm going to rebuild the iMovie projects which are "in progress" but what do I do about projects that are completed? They still show up in my projects list but now don't work. In my mind, I don't even need these projects here anymore b/c I've completed them. The "final" project file is somewhere on my external hard drive but I can't remember where. Should I delete these projects? Other suggestions?

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    You can delete them if you want.

    You can select them in iMovie and delete them from there.


    These are not large files so it doesn't hurt to keep them. If you want them not to show up in the iMovie Project Library, you could move them to a different folder. Then if you ever wanted to recreate one, you could move it back to the iMovie Projects folder and you could work on replacing the missing clips.


    Also, when you shared these projects in the past, you probably created a copy of the final movie which is stored within the project. You may want to keep these unless you have a good copy somewhere. To find these, go to the project in the Finder (in the Movies/iMovie Projects folder) and right click. Select SHOW PACKAGE CONTENTS. Then open the Movies folder within the package. There you will see any finished movies that exist. Hopefully you have these elsewhere as well, but it wouldn't hurt to check before you delete them.