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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2013
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    3
    should i get an external hard drive for my new imac or?
    i have an imac i7 27' 2012 model. and its really great but i am paranoid on installing microsoft office, photoshop, lightroom, bit torrent etc i was thinking i should get an external hard drive and download all the programs i am neglecting to download on the external and keep the internal hard drive clean but i feel like maybe i am wrong and you cant do that?

    plz help so i dont buy useless crap, i am a photographer and need photoshop and have been waiting till i got an external till i download idk if i need that

  2. #2

    osxx's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location
    houston texas
    Posts
    4,695
    Specs:
    09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
    I would definitely get an external drive for Time Machine.
    Most of my photo bug friends have a dedicated drive just for photos something you may consider depending on the size of your library.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2013
    Posts
    3
    i understand getting a external for just photos but i am talking about is there a way i can install my programs i wants (photoshop,microsoft office,lightroom etc...) on JUST my external and keep it off my internal?

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    22,237
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    G'day and welcome to the forums./

    Yes and no.

    Applications which are drag and drop can be installed on the external subject to its being formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Applications that come with an Installer, such as Office as you mention and Apple applications, are better on the boot drive.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    35,339
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanvegas View Post
    i understand getting a external for just photos but i am talking about is there a way i can install my programs i wants (photoshop,microsoft office,lightroom etc...) on JUST my external and keep it off my internal?
    You really do want to install those applications on your iMac's internal hard drive simply for the reason that the applications will launch faster...and saving & retrieving files will be faster from the internal HD.

    There really isn't a problem installing your applications on the iMac's internal HD...that's what it's there for!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    What Nick said.

    Is it POSSIBLE to keep apps on an external drive? Yes.
    Is it a good idea? No, not really.

  7. #7

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    6,157
    Specs:
    2015 rMBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and two MacMinis
    Apps generally aren't large, if that's your concern. My largest app is 1.5 GB (a game with lots of graphics). Most are in the under 100 MB range. My entire applications folder is only 35 GB. You didn't say how large your hard drive is, but I doubt that the space your applications will consume will take up a significant portion of it. I tried putting applications on external drives, and although it worked, it was slow and no all of them took to it that well. Many assume that they are on the boot drive, and look for components there at run time. So as chase_m, harry and nick have said, it can be done, but should not.

  8. #8

    flowrider's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2007
    Posts
    111
    Specs:
    Mac Mini i7, MBP 2.2GHz, Hackintosh (retired)
    Install all your photo apps to your main drive, as others have said they don't take up much room. You may try to use an external USB3.0 or thunderbolt display as your scratch disk though. I use Lightroom and have found that it works much quicker for previews if the catalogue is on the main drive as it accesses quicker.

    - My work flow for photography looks like this.
    - Import photos using Lightroom to main drive.
    - Edit photos, do photoshop work saving photos in original folder.
    - When I'm finished working on a particular set of images I drag the folder within Lightroom to a new folder on the external drive. (You need to create a folder first on the external with one photo that you can import so you can map the drive in LR). You must move the folder in Lightroom to retain your changes or the files will show up as missing.

    This all being said you have no back up this way as all files will eventually only be on the external. The solution is to run 2 externals and either Carbon Copy Clone a drive or use Super Duper to just back up the Photo folder.

    I currently use 2 3tb externals and upload all my photos to Smugmug as high quality .jpgs.

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