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  1. #1
    External hard-drives for idiots

    Member Since
    Aug 30, 2012
    Posts
    2
    Question External hard-drives for idiots
    Hi all,

    New to this, apologies if I'm posting it in the wrong place!

    My dad bought an iMac last year after being dazzled by what it could do in the shop - he forgot that once he got it home he would have to do all that stuff himself and it's been a nightmare. I know my way round a PC pretty well but I'm nearly as lost as he is on a Mac.

    So. He's been filling it up with his pictures and videos (the main thing he uses it for) and now it's nearly full. So we need an external hard-drive. In simple terms (and I do mean simple!), what is the best way to transfer files to an external drive, and then remove them from the iMac's memory? I'm used to dragging with a PC, and of course this doesn't work. And to be honest the Time machine bit is a bit of a mystery to me too. I just want to transfer files so they'll be accessible, but not clogging up the memory.

    How?!! Grateful for any advice.

  2. #2
    External hard-drives for idiots
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    8,179
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3
    Grab any external HD that suits your fancy..you can try USB or FireWire. If the iMac has a Thunderbolt port, you can try that too..

    Once you get the drive, plug it into the iMac. Open up Finder and it will appear on the left. Now browse to the folder on the iMac where all the pictures and videos are find the top-most folder you can find that contains them all, then just drag that over to the external HD on the left sidebar. The files should begin copying and you will get a progress indicator.

    Once it's all done, spend the time to ensure that all the pictures and videos were transferred properly. Then eject the external HD from Finder (by clicking the eject icon next to the name) or by dragging the icon that appeared on the desktop to the trash (when you begin dragging to trash, the trash icon will change to the eject icon)..

    Now unplug the external HD. Wait a moment, plug it back into the iMac and it should once again appear in Finder and the desktop, now browse and re-confirm the pictures/videos are there.

    Once all that is done, you an then safely remove the files from the iMac knowing you have everything on the external HD.

    The steps might seem laborious and unnecessary, but we'd like to avoid you coming back in a day or so asking about how to recover pictures/videos..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  3. #3
    External hard-drives for idiots

    Member Since
    Aug 30, 2012
    Posts
    2
    Great, thank you. That seems simple enough to follow (though it may be a different story when it's in front of me!!) On that basis, does this look a good one? Seems a very reasonable price for 2TB, and good reviews.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/cr/B00...359276&sr=8-70

  4. #4
    External hard-drives for idiots
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    8,179
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3
    Youre going to have to tell us a bit more about the iMac before we can recommend specific drives. That drive in your link is a USB 3.0 drive, not sure if the iMacs have support for that..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  5. #5
    External hard-drives for idiots
    Ghost Rider's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 14, 2011
    Posts
    231
    Specs:
    Imac 21.5 2011 Stock with Time Capsule. Ipad2 Colecovision
    I have an old 250gig that I use for my iMac the drive is as big as a car but it still works after all these years.

    I believe most USB 2 hard drives will work with macs. mine was used with a PC for many years and when I plugged it into my IMac it recognized it and reved up right away.
    Newbie of the year 2011

  6. #6
    External hard-drives for idiots
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    8,179
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3
    USB 2.0 has been around for a very long time, USB 3.0 however is the newer specification and is slowly making it's way into the mass market. USB 3.0 devices are, however, backward compatible with USB 2.0 and will degrade performance if plugging into a USB 2.0 port..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  7. #7
    External hard-drives for idiots
    RavingMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 07, 2008
    Location
    In Denial
    Posts
    7,763
    Specs:
    4GB Mac Mini 2012, 13" MBA, 15" MacBook Pro OSX 10.7, 32 GB iPhone 3GS, iPad2 64gb 3G
    Need to make sure the HD is formatted FAT32 or OS X Journalled. If it has been formatted NTFS for use on newer Windows machines the Mac won't be able to write to it.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

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