iPhoto + External HDD

Sep 12, 2014
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My girlfriend has an older Macbook (OS X, 2gb ram... I can give more specific specs later, but I do not have the computer with me). Anyway, it's been running very slow and I believe it's partially because she has over 38,000 photos on it.

Today, I gave her a USB hard drive to store the pictures on, but something went wrong during the transfer. Apparently, she opened up iPhoto, did a "select all" and proceeded to drag and drop everything into the new hard drive. It sat there for over an hour "thinking" before iPhoto crashed. Now, iPhoto is empty.

While none of the pictures made it onto the new hard drive, I did verify that they are still on the computer. They have just been removed from iPhoto completely.

I have two questions:

1) Is there a way to restore iPhoto so that the pictures go back to the way she had them organized? I believe she had many of them set up with facial recognition so that she could type a name and see every picture featuring that person.

2) Once restored (God willing...), can the pictures be moved to another drive and still retain the iPhoto organization?

I build and repair PC's for a living, but have no idea what goes on inside of an Apple. Any advice is extremely appreciated.



That was a bad choice for moving the photo library. It sounds like she let go of the mouse too early, and the computer attempted to copy the entire photo library onto the desktop, which of course would crash the computer.

Gather the pictures on the desktop or wherever they ended up, and move them to the external drive, then rebuild the iPhoto library by launching iPhoto with the command and option keys held down. Check every box in the repair options and let it do its thing.

Alternatively, you could just do a restore from yesterday using a Time Machine.
Sep 11, 2014
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Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Pro 13" 2012, 2.5 GHz i5, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Dual 25" Displays
I recently moved my iPhoto library to an external drive as well. Just go to the pictures folder in the finder window and find the folder within called "iPhoto" inside there should be an idem that is called iPhoto library. You drag this into the external drive, and it takes the whole library, all organized onto the drive. I actually deleted it off my internal HD after that to free up space. The next time you launch the program, it will ask you what libray you want to use, select the one you moved to the external drive. Now, whenever you use it, iPhoto will import the new photos you download directly to the external dive.

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