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Transfer Photos From Drive To Drive

Sandyjas

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Feb 5, 2013
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160
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Michigan
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Hi!
Not sure which board to post this to? I’m transfering again to backup Lightroom. It is not a Lightroom question.
I have a Nikon D800E camera and an iMac desktop running 10.8.4. I’m still on LR 5, but that does not come into play with this question. I have various external hard drives, bought around 2013. One of the portables has all my photos that are on, or going to be on Lightroom. They are all, also, identically backed up on another external hard drive. I want to copy all my photos to another external hard drive (4TB) besides. I know there are now newer drives with more space available than 4TB, but I still haven’t used any on this one. It was bought for this. I don’t know if I should buy a new drive for this transfer or depend on the older 4TB. I got the 4TB about 2015. It is either Western Digital or Seagate and is not solid state. None of my drives has ever failed. I know that the easy way is just drag or copy and paste the top level folder with all my photos from my main portable drive to the 4TB drive and wait. I’m the leery kind. Since my computer has never failed to work for me, but always has felt light and finicky, not solidly professional, I guess. I baby it. I don’t do too much at once and let it rest for a time before I shut it down. I never keep it plugged in. My external hard drives have never failed to work. I worry about file corruption when transferring. I as yet don’t want to go to the trouble of checksums. I prefer to use no external hard drive software. I just usually drag or paste. I use no third party backup software. I use Time Machine. And these photos are not in Time Machine. So to move them I can not verify anything, as I think ChronoSync does. I have ChronoSync but never got on to using it. I will be transferring (or copying) from the portable drive through the computer to the 4TB drive. Causes of photo file corruption? File corruption causes could be in either drive or the computer, right? This does not happen very much? Right? I need your advice or suggestions on this. Would it be safer to slow all this down and rather than transfer the top level folder to the 4TB drive and let nature take it's course, I would make an identical folder tree in the 4TB and then transfer all my photos into this tree, folder by folder? Or split the difference and transfer them in by the year subfolders? I have a top level folder, then year subfolders, then lastly all the photo folders belonging to that year under that. I know this is what computers are for, to compute! But, as I said, mine works fine, but never has felt solid. I have 8GB of RAM. If you need anything else ask and I will get back. My D800E NEFs lately have been 74MB, but they were mostly around 40MB. I have some smaller Tif and Jpeg files from the D800E mixed in too. Maybe one half of the photos being transferred are from my D100 camera and some of those were Tiffs at about 17MB each and some Nefs smaller than that. I’m up to 223 photo folders total at approx. 70 – 120 files in each. This is a one time endeavor and nothing else with the computer is going to be running (background?) while I am transferring – no matter how I do it. I’ve thought of not doing it at all – I have two copies. But if one EX HD fails, I have one copy, and is that okay? I feel safer with three. I have no saves of these photos anywhere else. I don’t trust the Cloud and have not had the time to burn any to optical disk for the D800E. I know that you can not say for sure what will happen, but maybe an educated suggestion. (I know one time in a past discussing about checksums I asked why the checksums wouldn’t be as prone to corruption as the photo files, and it was said that the checksums themselves would probably be less prone to corruption than the photo file. I never forgot.) These photos have never been copied anywhere else, except my D100 photos are on CDs. Would it be in a safer area if I transferred the photo folders, folder by folder, no matter how long it takes? My pictures are very important to me. My number of D800E photos are growing. I feel I have to cover this. What do you think, or suggest or who else I could I contact?

Thank You Very Much for all the help or idea or suggestion on this,

Sandy
 

Replytoken

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Hi Sandy,

You have a lot of questions in your post, and I am finding it hard to read as one large paragraph, but I will try to offer some general advice that can hopefully answer some of your questions.

If your drives are older and have seen a lot of use, it is possible that it may just be a matter of time before one can give you problems. So, if you want to move your images to another drive, and you can afford it, I would suggest adding a new drive to your equipment list. SSD drives are limited in capacity, so you should be fine with a platter drive if you are needing 4TB or more.

If you are concerned about your hardware, as you seem to have indicated above, then it is fine to move the files in small batches to the new drive. This will prevent the drive from possibly overheating from trying to move all 4TB in one move. How you break up the files in small batches is not really important as long as you are methodical and make sure you do not miss any files/folders. As long as you are copying, you should have little to worry about if you work in small batches. If something should go wrong, you still have copies on the other drives. Just do not erase or move anything off of the other drives until you are sure the new drive is working well, has all of the images, and most importantly, is backed up by another drive (or is the back up to another one of your drives. Redundancy is your friend and safety net.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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the Netherlands
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Hi Sandy,
Has your iMac desktop a Thunderbolt 2 or 3 port?

Martin
 

LouieSherwin

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Hi Sandy,

You are probably over thinking things a little bit. After reading your post I think that I see two questions. 1) Do you need to move to the larger 4TB disk. And 2) If so what is the safest method for accomplishing that.

Regarding the first, how much free space do you have on the disks that hold your current archive of image files? If you have 10% or less free space then you probably want to either move to a newer larger disk or just add an additional drive and start adding new photos to the new drive. Lightroom works just fine using multiple drives to store your images. The down side of using multiple drives is the requirement for extra power and interface ports on your computer.

An additional factor as Ken has already mentioned is how old are your current drives. Older drives are going to be a little more likely to fail. So five years old it could be getting to the point where you want to consider replacing them. Although I have a number of 2 TB and 3TB drives purchased in 2011 that are still operating without any indication of any errors. Regardless of whether or not you decide to replace your current drives you really want to have a robust backup plan in place. Because the truth of the matter is that any drive new or old can fail at any time.

For the method of copying using Finder drag and drop to copy the whole image archive in one operation is usually just fine. If you want to be extra cautious then use Chronosync and make sure you enable the file verification option. It is off by default. This will take quite a bit longer but you can be assured that each file reread from target disk and checksumed to the source file. I would not worry about trying to break this up into smaller chunks. It is more likely that you will forget to copy one part than the risk of any problems during a long process. If the target drive does overheat or have some other problem than it is better to know about it now and scrap the drive. I would not want to rely on such a flaky device in any case.

Finally, I strongly encourage that you upgrade your Time Machine drive to be big enough to backup your entire computer including your disks that have all your images. This is the best way to protect your self from any kind of future disk failure. You probably only need a drive that has 2X the capacity of the actual current total file usage. Even if this eventually fills up Time Machine will automatically make space by removing the oldest versions and there by keep your current change history up to date.

I hope that you find this helpful.

-louie
 

Sandyjas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Michigan
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Hi Sandy,

You have a lot of questions in your post, and I am finding it hard to read as one large paragraph, but I will try to offer some general advice that can hopefully answer some of your questions.

If your drives are older and have seen a lot of use, it is possible that it may just be a matter of time before one can give you problems. So, if you want to move your images to another drive, and you can afford it, I would suggest adding a new drive to your equipment list. SSD drives are limited in capacity, so you should be fine with a platter drive if you are needing 4TB or more.

If you are concerned about your hardware, as you seem to have indicated above, then it is fine to move the files in small batches to the new drive. This will prevent the drive from possibly overheating from trying to move all 4TB in one move. How you break up the files in small batches is not really important as long as you are methodical and make sure you do not miss any files/folders. As long as you are copying, you should have little to worry about if you work in small batches. If something should go wrong, you still have copies on the other drives. Just do not erase or move anything off of the other drives until you are sure the new drive is working well, has all of the images, and most importantly, is backed up by another drive (or is the back up to another one of your drives. Redundancy is your friend and safety net.

Good luck,

--Ken
My other two drives were bought in 2013. The drive I wanted to move them to was bought around 2015. Of the 2013 drives that house my pictures, one is just an archive drive to hold pictures and sees no activity except to add more pictures. The other is the drive Lightroom references to. It sees some activity when I look over photos in Nikon NX2 for deletion before I make up my formal folders. Sometimes I connect it for Lightroom to keyword. I don't do this all the time. So this drive sees more to some use, but I don't think this is heavy use. Both of these dirves are not any where close to being full or even half full. Thank You so much for the information on moving the photos in small batches. I would have to be home to give you the exact GBs I am moving. It is not going to fill up 1 TB or come close to doing that. The 4GB drive has next to nothing in it. I will think about buying a new bigger drive. I feel safer with moving in small batches. I will go on to read the next poster. Thank You So Much For Your Help

Sandy
 

Sandyjas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Michigan
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Hi Sandy,
Has your iMac desktop a Thunderbolt 2 or 3 port?

Martin
No I don't think my Mac desktop has a Thunderbolt 2 or 3 port. I also bought my Mac in 2013. I would have to look in specs or could you tell from the year it was? I think my ports ar 3?
 

Sandyjas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Michigan
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Hi Sandy,

You are probably over thinking things a little bit. After reading your post I think that I see two questions. 1) Do you need to move to the larger 4TB disk. And 2) If so what is the safest method for accomplishing that.

Regarding the first, how much free space do you have on the disks that hold your current archive of image files? If you have 10% or less free space then you probably want to either move to a newer larger disk or just add an additional drive and start adding new photos to the new drive. Lightroom works just fine using multiple drives to store your images. The down side of using multiple drives is the requirement for extra power and interface ports on your computer.

An additional factor as Ken has already mentioned is how old are your current drives. Older drives are going to be a little more likely to fail. So five years old it could be getting to the point where you want to consider replacing them. Although I have a number of 2 TB and 3TB drives purchased in 2011 that are still operating without any indication of any errors. Regardless of whether or not you decide to replace your current drives you really want to have a robust backup plan in place. Because the truth of the matter is that any drive new or old can fail at any time.

For the method of copying using Finder drag and drop to copy the whole image archive in one operation is usually just fine. If you want to be extra cautious then use Chronosync and make sure you enable the file verification option. It is off by default. This will take quite a bit longer but you can be assured that each file reread from target disk and checksumed to the source file. I would not worry about trying to break this up into smaller chunks. It is more likely that you will forget to copy one part than the risk of any problems during a long process. If the target drive does overheat or have some other problem than it is better to know about it now and scrap the drive. I would not want to rely on such a flaky device in any case.

Finally, I strongly encourage that you upgrade your Time Machine drive to be big enough to backup your entire computer including your disks that have all your images. This is the best way to protect your self from any kind of future disk failure. You probably only need a drive that has 2X the capacity of the actual current total file usage. Even if this eventually fills up Time Machine will automatically make space by removing the oldest versions and there by keep your current change history up to date.

I hope that you find this helpful.

-louie
Both my disks that are archiving my photos (a portable and a stand up) are 2TB. They are both 1/3 to 1/2 full. I bought them in 2013. One has seen no activity and the portable drive houses the Lightroom working photos,( or are what Lightroom points to). I delete photos in Nikon NX2 and keyword in Lightroom with the portable. It has seen little to moderate use. I don't always have it connected when I'm keywording in LR. Both these drives are disconnected from the computer when I finished using them. I've never failed to disconnect and then pull their connection cable. My photos that I want to copy are 1/3 to 1/2 of a TB. The drive I was going to move them to is 4TB and has next to nothing on it and has never been used. I got this approx 2015. Hopefully I can bring my specs tomorrow to clear this up. I guess I never had errors (?) I can't go back and check every picture I add unless I have verify. I will have to give you my version of Chronosync, I downloaded that in 2013 too. I'm thinking of coping them to the 4TB drive and buying a new bigger drive and transferring them to that also. Thank You so MUCH for the information. Lately I look at that little portable drive that LR references and worry worry worry. It works so good and is so handy, I wish it would continue forever. These drives I'm talking about only have my photos on them, never anything else. I have other drives (2) that have Time Machine on them. I've had a Blu Ray burner ready to go for burning photos but haven't had the time yet. Optical saving was still given the go a few years ago that I know about as a means of archiving photos. I will try and get back tomorrow with exact numbers. Thank You so much for the guidance. I'll get back.

Thank You,

Sandy
 

Replytoken

Senior Member
Staff member
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Joined
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1,845
Location
Puget Sound
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5.x
If the total amount of images that you wish to copy is only 500GB, then you only need to break it up into a few small batches. You probably could move the whole lot in one move without stressing a drive, but if you prefer to break it up, just a couple of batches should be fine. And if you are not running out of storage and have backups, a new drive is not an immediate necessity.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

Sandyjas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Michigan
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
If the total amount of images that you wish to copy is only 500GB, then you only need to break it up into a few small batches. You probably could move the whole lot in one move without stressing a drive, but if you prefer to break it up, just a couple of batches should be fine. And if you are not running out of storage and have backups, a new drive is not an immediate necessity.

Good luck,

--Ken
The two drives holding my photos now are a Seagate 4TB portable bought in 2016. USB 3.0. It is 480GB full. That is the size of what I will be copying. And I am going to copy them from this drive (?) Probably doesn't matter which one. The other drive archiving these photos is Seagate 2TB bought in 2013, USB 3.0. I want to move them to a Western Digital standup drive 4TB bought in 2015, USB 3.0. and/or a new one.
I have two other drives for Time Machine. Another 2TB Seagate standup, bought in 2013 and a portable Western Digital 2TB bought in 2015. Both USB 3.0. I also keep my computer disconnected (not plugged into electrical socket) when I am not using it. On the computer I have 854.85GB free of 999.35GB space wise. I looked and looked and could not find any reference to the number or kind of ports I have. I have 4 USB and three others from the factory. I never go on the Internet with it. It has been on a few times though. I have never installed any new hardware in it - if I could. I have an Epson scanner I use with it, but I need a new printer and have not used my old one with it much. I have 3 thumbs, two of which I have used. I have one plug-in in Lightroom and have another I haven't installed yet. That is the usage. I make and save various documents on it and run Nikon NX2, Photoshop CS6, and Lightroom 5 mostly. Sometimes open Bridge and recently I got Filter Forge installed. I also run a few other small applications that came with the computer. I'm mostly transferring new photos to my portable drive from card reader and coping to the 2nd archive drive, indexing them in LR and choosing a few to edit in PS or LR (as copies, not changing the original) . Also running LR backups to most of my drives (not Time Machine yet) and backing up Time Machine with some exclusions.

That is most of my specs. I don't think my TM drives are very full either. If everything you said above has this covered, no need to answer. I wanted to thank you people so much for the help. And I also wanted to say, that I have imported enough into Lightroom that at times I now am using it to help with any forgotten keywording. Searching with the Metadata Filter is a powerful tool! Lightroom is so wonderful a program for organizing photographs that I can't believe it. There are so many uses and helpful things with this program, I would never want to be without it. It's fun to run and index and can help you out on a zillion things if you stop and think how things are put together. LIGHTROOM DOES ROCK!

Thank You and everyone again,

Sandy
 
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