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Using external SSD to store photo files

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lomitamike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lomitamike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Using external SSD to store photo files
    Posted: 20 December 2021 at 00:19
I bought a mid 2019 iMac 2 years ago and I'm running out of storage. My iMac has a 2 TB SSD with the 4.2 I7 and 40GBs of memory. It performs fairly fast while processing photos and I don't want to loose that. But I do need to move all my photo's and videos onto an external drive before I run out of storage (currently at 1.73TB).

Do any Dyxum members have experience with moving and keeping their files on an external drive?

If so, do you have any advice or can recommend what works for you.

Thanks.
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 00:28
I use an external SSD drive for my video files on the Mac. Obviously a USB-C drive with high data transfer rates. It works well, accepting it’s not quite as fast as the the internal SSD, but the difference is pretty marginal.

The only thing to watch out for I guess, is the format of the SSD drive. Some are still formatted in archaic windows formats. So recommend reformatting for Mac before you begin.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 12:01
Originally posted by lomitamike lomitamike wrote:

...before I run out of storage (currently at 1.73TB)..


Theoretically you're already out of storage, recommendations are that SSD's are only reliable up to 80% of it's capacity and could crash like mine did at 90% full. I'd recommend to buy 4TB's of external storage, move all to that/those drives and then upload anything new to those drives in the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 12:50
A Thunderbolt 3/4 enclosure for a NVMe drive works nearly as quickly as the internal iMac SSD. I bought a Visiontek 512GB Thunderbolt 3 SSD and swapped the M.2 drive inside for a 2TB Intel 660p. There are some 4TB and 8TB M.2 drives, but there is a pretty good premium for them.

There are Thunderbolt enclosures for Apple's proprietary Samsung SSDs. I bought an adapter that allows using those in a standard M.2 socket. There's also the opposite adapters to let you use standard M.2 drives inside your iMac. A few third-parties sell larger capacity SSDs in the format Apple uses.

I have a 4TB 2.5" U.2 NVMe that was much cheaper than the large capacity M.2 drives but a Thunderbolt enclosure for that form factor is not inexpensive. There are cables to hook U.2 drives into M.2 sockets. I have the U.2 mounted on a cheap PCIe card in my Windows PC. It might take two adapters, but it could be used inside an iMac.

My 2017 iMac had an unused SATA port that I was going to use with a large capacity SATA SSD, but SATA is much slower than Thunderbolt. Note that Apple only supports 10GB/s USB via USB-C--the same speed supported by USB-A. That is still a bit faster than SATA, but it is only half the bandwidth supported by most USB-C SSDs and one forth the bandwidth of Thunderbolt3/4.

Edited by QuietOC - 20 December 2021 at 13:05
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 15:21
I'm running an iMac with a Samsung T5 1 TB drive for my photo files and a 6 TB Seagate drive connected via Thunderbolt (I think) for video files and archives, etc.. My LR catalogue and other stuff is on the Mac HD, which is one of those 2 TB hybrid drives.

I'll have to refresh myself about all of these as I see the Samsung is nearly full and I'll have to juggle the files, I suspect.

But the Samsung T5 is good and so far has been faultless.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 17:33
My 2p. I run a 2018 MacBook Pro 16 that only has 1TB of internal SSD storage, which obvious includes the OS and all my apps. None of my files, photos, videos, and stuff reside on the internal storage.

I use two separate 5TB drives (not SSD). One (a Seagate) is my main storage and is permanently connected to the MacBook through USB-C and is home for Lightroom catalogues, Photos, Videos, Music, Audiobooks and personal files. The other (a Lacie) is a duplicate that I backup from the Seagate at least once a week using GoodSync app.

I also have a 2TB SSD Western Digital that contains a weekly backup of the Lightroom catalogues and all my photos. This is for whenever I am travelling or on a residential workshop.

My external drives are not formatted for the Mac OS but Ex-Fat which the MacBook has no trouble reading and writing to. This means that should my Mac ever fail I can still access everything on a clean Windows 10 machine that I got mainly to run the Stereo PhotoMaker program. Although I am an Apple person (Watch, iPhone, Ipad and MacBook ) I still like to dabble with Windows and Linux and Raspberry Pis.

Finally I have an older mains powered WD MyBook 2TB HDD that is formatted for Mac purely for periodic Time Machine backups, usually monthly or whenever the fancy takes me!

It all works for me.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 18:25
Yes, Time Machine, I also have a 2 TB external HDD dedicated to that, backing up all the time, I believe.

Now to move some of those files off the Samsung to the Seagate ...
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lomitamike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lomitamike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 19:13
This is exactly the response I was hoping to get. I've never had the need to keep files off of my Mac but the time has come. I have a plan to off-load my photo and video catalogue onto a Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB. They're not cheap but the speed should be able to keep up with the internal SSD. I'm going to attach two WD 4TB HDDs for a dual time machine back-up and a 1TB samsung T5 that has my copy of Aperture Exporter on it.

I hope this plan solves my storage shortage problem. I figure this will free up over 1TB on my internal SSD which will let me breath a little easier.

Does anyone use a cloud back-up to add some redundancy?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 19:30
Evergreen warning: before moving any files in a Lightroom catalogue, use Lightroom's Folders panel to do the moving (I'm sure you know this).

I am an Amazon Prime subscriber and I'm thinking about using their cloud back up facility, so if anyone has first-hand experience I'd welcome that too.

I use Flickr as a backup for a lot of files (ones I have selected and processed) and that's great for me. It's my public record of what I've done or where I've been.

Apple and Google pester me to purchase backup plans, but I think the Amazon service could be what I need. I subscribe to Adobe for Photoshop and Lightroom, and I like the way I can work with files in LR across Android, IOS, Mac, Windows, and browsers. I haven't bought into their cloud offering beyond what I get with the plan though, so if anyone does I'd be interested in hearing about it as an alternative to Amazon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 19:39
That Sabrent drive looks pretty quick. I would just wonder about reliability. They were the company that came out with >2TB M.2 drives first. The Q stands for quad level cells which is also what my Intel 660p uses. You get a whole lot less flash cells and the drives should be much cheaper for it. These can get much slower as they fill up as they use empty cells as faster cache. Opt for the 4TB model if you plan to use most of the 2TB.

A slower TLC or MLC drive of the same capacity will degrade much less.

Edited by QuietOC - 20 December 2021 at 19:45
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 20:29
Originally posted by Howard_S Howard_S wrote:

Evergreen warning: before moving any files in a Lightroom catalogue, use Lightroom's Folders panel to do the moving (I'm sure you know this)


+1 Lightroom gets very fussy if files move behind its back
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 21:01
Originally posted by bonneville bonneville wrote:

Originally posted by Howard_S Howard_S wrote:

Evergreen warning: before moving any files in a Lightroom catalogue, use Lightroom's Folders panel to do the moving (I'm sure you know this)


+1 Lightroom gets very fussy if files move behind its back



Tell me about it!
Just spent (and still waiting) a few hours to get LR to get to grips where the files are, guess adding another external drive with same name made LR go bananas
And my plan for the evening was to work with my #150-projekt...

That said.
I have all my photos on external drives and different backups, one NAS, one Raid Lacie (this one have the copy I'm working with), one 3,5" in a dock that I swap and one 2,5 with a full LR backup at work.

Oh, did I mention, make backups and always move stuff in LR
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lomitamike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 21:03
Originally posted by bonneville bonneville wrote:

Originally posted by Howard_S Howard_S wrote:

Evergreen warning: before moving any files in a Lightroom catalogue, use Lightroom's Folders panel to do the moving (I'm sure you know this)


+1 Lightroom gets very fussy if files move behind its back


I learned a very valuable lesson about importing photos into a photo processing software. I used to have a very large Aperture library and we all know what happened with that. I will never again download my photos into a proprietary raw developer. Lesson learned.

I now have a Photo's Folder on my hard drive (soon to be external SSD) and have a chronological filesystem with a title for each photoshoot during that particular month e.g. 2021/12 December/photoshoot name.

The browser in my Raw processor can find anything on my HD.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2021 at 21:07
Originally posted by lomitamike lomitamike wrote:

Originally posted by bonneville bonneville wrote:

Originally posted by Howard_S Howard_S wrote:

Evergreen warning: before moving any files in a Lightroom catalogue, use Lightroom's Folders panel to do the moving (I'm sure you know this)


+1 Lightroom gets very fussy if files move behind its back


I learned a very valuable lesson about importing photos into a photo processing software. I used to have a very large Aperture library and we all know what happened with that. I will never again download my photos into a proprietary raw developer. Lesson learned.

I now have a Photo's Folder on my hard drive (soon to be external SSD) and have a chronological filesystem with a title for each photoshoot during that particular month e.g. 2021/12 December/photoshoot name.

The browser in my Raw processor can find anything on my HD.


Think that was the first thing I learned when iTunes entered the scene, NEVER let the SW "take care" of where your files should be stored and organized
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