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Thread: Storage questions

  1. #1

    Default Storage questions

    Currently I have an iMac with a 3 TB internal hard drive. I use Time Machine to back everything up to a pair of 6 TB external drives.

    Since I started getting into shooting and editing video, I'm rapidly filling up my internal drive. It's already about 2/3 full. I know i need more storage but I'm not sure what kind or how to keep it backed up. I can't put a larger drive into the iMac.

    I've heard people say they keep their video data on a separate drive, so it's not using up all their internal drive, but I don't know how that would work. Can Time Machine back up data that's not on the internal drive? What if you can't keep it plugged in to the iMac all the time? There are only so many USB ports and they're already in use.

    Any guidance on this stuff would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2


    Firstly it IS possible to put a bigger storage in an iMac. I've done this about a year ago for a friend who didn't want to do it himself.
    That is however just a temporary solution.

    Get external hard drives. Use them to archive your work when you're done with that project.
    Don't use Time Machine to move the files to your external hard drive, use Finder. Once you have moved the files you can disconnect the external hard drive and put it on a shelf.
    Another option that allows for more frequent access to your external files is a network drive. Needless to say this costs a little more but then again you also get more.

    It boils down to:
    1. You only want to archive your work and don't plan to access them frequently: Normal external HD solution
    2. You frequently want to access your work: Network HD solution

    Let us know which choice suits your needs and we can go further in depth. (Or go to the nearest Apple store and ask the "genius" at the counter
    The cats are watching us...

  3. #3


    Thanks. I think I'll go the archive route for now...move all the older files to a couple external drives just to free up some room on the internal.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dunakin View Post
    Thanks. I think I'll go the archive route for now...move all the older files to a couple external drives just to free up some room on the internal.
    Wise plan
    The cats are watching us...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Remember always have at least two copies of anything you don't ever want to lose.
    Wise words I once read:

    When you have a master and a backup and your master becomes corrupt, you no longer have a backup.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Remember always have at least two copies of anything you don't ever want to lose.
    Yeap, hard drives are not forever. Unless you are ok potentially losing the data down the road once it is in storage, you have to adopt a standard of always having 2 copies of your stuff. (And even then, a hard drive sitting in storage cannot be expected to be functional past 10 years or so - it probably will be, but don't assume or expect it.)

    That means that if you start putting things in external drives, you want to make 2 copies (so 2 mirrored external drives). There are 2 ways you can go about that:
    1. Buy 2 identical drives, then copy your files to one and use software to mirror the other (or manually copy to both).
    2. Use a desktop raid system. These days these are pretty easy to use - you basically buy a box that's about $100-$150 and accepts 2 drives. You load the 2 identical drives and configure the machine to use mirroring, and the machine takes care of the rest. On your computer it appears as 1 drive, but the box is silently making copies of all your files.

    When the drives fill up you have 2 options:
    1. Put the drives away and start again with new drives
    2. Consolidate and reduce your backups to save space

    I know of a video production company that got tired of needing large rooms full of drive storage. Their process now is to get rid of the raw files once the project is completed, approved and delivered. For small projects they just keep the high-res export, for other projects they keep a bit more but dump most of the raws and unnecessary takes. They end up saving something like 90% of the drive storage space. However, I was just talking to the guy and he showed me some work they did 3 years back that they need to touch up for reuse, and they probably can't do it because they dumped the original source files thinking they wouldn't need them again.

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