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  1. #1


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    How library system works in Mac
    So, I got my 2.5 inch 2 TB external hard drive and put all my archive in there. The more important stuff are also in another internal drive which I connect to computers by a disk case.
    That means all my videos, music and photos are in this new hdd.

    To reach the full potential and use apps like iPhoto and iTunes with my content, I'm considering to add them to their libraries.

    But I wonder what they do when I add them to the libraries. For instance, if I add my photos to iPhoto archives, does the app copy them? Or just writes their info to a database?

    And what happens when I try to access to my photos when the disk is not connected? Does the app remove it because it couldn't access it?

    If it just copies them to a folder on my Mac's SSD, it would be meaningless, because I have 50 GB free and my photos are 13 GB and music is 50 GB. That renders having an external drive useless.


    Also, I am considering using the same drive for Time Machine backups. I will try to have a 250 GB partition on it dedicated to the backups. And I'll format it Mac file system (whatever the name is). Is this good?

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    I found my answers and I am experimenting some scenarios right now.

    I can share them when I have time if anyone asks or wonders what I found. Or I may add them just in case someone can improve my findings.

    However, my question with the HDD partition continues:
    Also, I am considering using the same drive for Time Machine backups. I will try to have a 250 GB partition on it dedicated to the backups. And I'll format it Mac file system (whatever the name is). Is this good?
    And, how do I create a new partition on my hard drive without losing anything on it? It is formatted NTFS, so Disk Utility is not good for it or I couldn't find how to do it.

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
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    Also, I am considering using the same drive for Time Machine backups. I will try to have a 250 GB partition on it dedicated to the backups. And I'll format it Mac file system (whatever the name is). Is this good?

    And, how do I create a new partition on my hard drive without losing anything on it? It is formatted NTFS, so Disk Utility is not good for it or I couldn't find how to do it.
    We do not recommend using the same drive for Time Machine backups and storage of other data. Keep your Time Machine backups separate. Also, Time Machine will only work if the external drive is formatted to HFS+.

    Copy any data you need off the drive first and then reformat it to HFS+ before using for Time Machine. Or just purchase another drive for Time Machine use and keep the NTFS drive for data if you choose. You will need a driver to write to NTFS. The only driver we recommend is Paragon NTFS. $19.95 from Paragon Software.

  4. #4


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    Thanks for the answer.
    I cannot afford another disk right now. So that is not an option. And I know that was the ideal solution.

    But, I have another solution on my mind:
    I have read about Time Machine both in this forum and in others, and it is recommended to have a disk twice bigger than your system disk. So, my disk should be the second partition of the hard disk.
    Mac can read and write FAT file system. This gave me an idea. I create a new 250 GB partition on the disk using a Windows machine. Format it FAT. So, Disk Utility can find the 250 GB partition. Then I format it HFS+. Then I make my backup.

    Is this doable?

    And, if you don't mind me asking, why don't you recommend this (having two partitions on the same drive, one for Time Machine and one for my other data)?

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
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    Mac can read and write FAT file system. This gave me an idea. I create a new 250 GB partition on the disk using a Windows machine. Format it FAT. So, Disk Utility can find the 250 GB partition. Then I format it HFS+. Then I make my backup.

    Is this doable?
    Yes, but be careful. Other partitions on the disk may be effected. Make a backup first. Actually, Disk Utility can also "see" any partition formatted to NTFS and is able to partition the drive accordingly. The problem, however, is that it can not do it without losing data. As far as I know, you would have to use a utility such as "Partition Magic" from Symantec software to non-destructively re-partition a NTFS or FAT-32 drive without losing data.

    And, if you don't mind me asking, why don't you recommend this (having two partitions on the same drive, one for Time Machine and one for my other data)?
    Because you're now putting your backups and data at risk if something should happen to the drive. I will admit there are plenty of other folks who do the same thing - use a large Time Machine backup drive for backups and data storage.

    Here in the US, large external hard drives are inexpensive but I realize that might not be the case in your home country.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mesut View Post
    Thanks for the answer.

    Mac can read and write FAT file system. This gave me an idea. I create a new 250 GB partition on the disk using a Windows machine. Format it FAT. So, Disk Utility can find the 250 GB partition. Then I format it HFS+. Then I make my backup.

    Is this doable?
    Am I understanding correctly that you want to create a drive with two different filesystems on the same drive(HFS+ and Fat 32)? If so you might find this thread helpful. The initial goal is set up in the first post. I tried this briefly for while and then dropped it because I no longer needed that functionality.

    If you try this I strongly suggest the following:

    1. Make a backup of anything important.
    2. Read the entire thread (some of the posters made modifications to make the process easier and eliminate the mounting issues I had.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Thanks
    @chscag
    They are not very expensive but I am a student and I need to be tight on money. Moreover, having two hard disks is an overkill to me.
    I won't lose much data if my computer crashes, because I immediately copy them to the external drive. However, the computer itself, the OS itself is at risk right now. I feel like I have to provide the minimal backup solution, at least.

    @Slydude
    Thank for the link! Yes, you got my intention right, and the thread is very helpful. It is bookmarked now.
    It seems my idea which seemed simple is not that simple. I need to make it compatible with both OS (Windows - Mac OS), and that seems a little tough to achieve.
    What people said in the thread made me understand what @chgcas tried to tell me

    But thank you, both of you, for your opinions and help.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    I used the initial procedure describe in the thread and it was tedious but not difficult. the method that is described in the last comment on that hint seems much simpler. In either case I think the following caveats are in order:

    1.Danger Will Robinson. Backup the drive. Arms flailing and robot voice shrieking.
    2. If you follow the Terminal version of this hint be dead certain you know which drives / partitions are assigned what numbers.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    So, I asked the question but did not stop there and continued my own research. And I think I told that I'll share my results if I find something whether my question is replied or not.

    So here it is;

    iPhoto archives
    - With the default preferences, the app copies the photos to the archive. The archive is in UserName/Pictures folder (I am sorry if the folder names are different, I'm using Mac in Turkish - Same goes for the preferences or options names as well). It is named iPhoto Archive.
    - You can choose not to copy the photos to the archive. Just go to Preferences (cmd + ,) and get to Advanced menu (Gearwheel icon). You can see it says "Importing*] Copy the items to iPhoto archive" If you do not choose it, then it does not copy them.
    - But I haven't tested its effects yet - I mean I don't know what happens if you don't import the photos to the archive and try to access to the photos without connecting the disk to the computer.

    - You have another option: Having your iPhoto archive in some other disk. With the introduction of low capacity and high performance SSDs, having 20 GB of photos on the computer is not an option for the most of us.
    - So, how do we do that? Press Option (Alt) key when clicking iPhoto icon to be able to select an iPhoto archive or create a new one. You can create your archive anywhere, on a USB disk, on an external disk or on another partition. Then import your photos to the archive.

    This eliminates the question "What happens when iPhoto can't access the photos?" If you chose to import the photos to the archive, then all your photos in the archive and there is no way iPhoto can not access them.
    If iPhoto can't access the iPhoto archive you just created, it just prompts you to create or define one. So, if you forgot that you didn't have an iPhoto archive on your SSD, this would be a reminder for you to mount the device you have your archive.

    The same principle goes for iTunes as well. If you don't want to keep your archive on your SSD with precious space, then all you have to do is pressing Option button while opening the app. It also has an option not to add files to the iTunes folder when adding the content to the archive. It says "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding files to archive". I haven't performed any tests on this one. Because my music archive is very big and I haven't found the time to test the behavior of the archives when they don't have the files in the archive. -- Both in iPhoto and iTunes.


    ----------

    I had another question and it was about using the same disk with both Time Machine and my own content and backup.
    Slydude provided a very useful link for me. Thanks again for that And chscag pointed that it is not an ideal solution. But I had to do it for the reasons I told.

    The process was very simple for me. I split the disk into two parts (1600 GB for my archive and 250 GB for the Time Machine) using Windows. Windows 8 has a tool called "Disk Manager" (I think Windows 7 has it too), which can be found under Administrative Tools (Names might differ, again, my friend uses it in Turkish).
    -First, I decreased the size of the only partition by 250 GB. That left me with a 1600 GB NTFS partition and an unformatted space of 250 GB.
    -Then I formatted that 250 GB space exFAT. And I assigned a letter for it in Windows (This can be done when formatting it). -- I think that is where people had the mounting issues.
    -I was expecting that at least one of the partitions not to be recognized (mounted), but they were both recognized. I double checked this by copying files to both partitions.
    -Then I went to Disk Tool (Name may not be that), and formatted the exFAT to Mac file system (The one that is not case sensitive).
    -I checked if it works by copying files to both partitions. They worked.
    -I am now running Time Machine.

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