Forum Question: Hard drive full from pictures and music – recommendations?

Long time listener here – got a question that I hope you can answer. I have an iMac – original Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo) with a 250G hard drive. I’ve purchased a 1TB Time Machine, which I love, and recently an AppleTV, wireless mouse, and magic trackpad. My wife and I both have iphones and take a lot of pictures – a ridiculous amount, actually (we have two young children). As a result, I am down to about 10G left on my hard drive. I’m looking for a solution that won’t slow things down and will also back up properly.
I am thinking I should buy an external hard drive to move either my music or my pictures to. What I don’t want to happen is to have any lag time with streaming music and photos/video to the Apple TV. What is the best way to connect it? Through the back of the iMac or as a wireless drive to the Time Machine? Also, I want the drive to back up to Time Machine, since I will be adding pictures and/or video and music to it. Will Time Machine let me do that as well?
I’ve considered buying a new iMac with a 1TB internal drive, but would rather not since this computer seems to be running pretty good with everything I do with it.
I’m hoping you can give me some advice and/or recommend a fast external drive that will work! Thanks for providing such a great podcast.
Kevin Durr

Comments: 7 Responses to “Hard drive full from pictures and music – recommendations?”

    12/28/10 @ 4:57 pm

    Connecting directly to a computer is much faster than over a network. The speeds of a USB2 connection are just way faster than network transfer speeds.
    Time Machine will back up attached drives, yes.

    12/29/10 @ 9:50 am

    Are there any drives that are faster than others? And will an attached drive slow down photos that are being streamed to my Apple TV?

      12/29/10 @ 10:08 am

      Drives have speed ratings, yes. Faster drives are usually more expensive. And in this case, the bottleneck might be the USB2 connection — so the drive speed may not matter. An internal drive is always faster than an external one because you have a SATA connection internally, and a USB2 connection externally. So upgrading to a 1TB (or even 2TB — why not?) drive internally is your fastest option.

    12/29/10 @ 3:39 pm

    Why not consider replacing your internal hard drive with a larger one? If you have an Apple reseller in your area (I don’t know if Apple stores do this), they should be able to mirror your current drive, install a new hard drive and then copy your existing hard drive to it.

    This service is offered by my local Mac reseller and it’s the route I intend to take if the time ever comes.

    12/30/10 @ 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the advice. I’m giving the external drive a try to see how fast/slow it works. How can I add it to Time Machine to back up? It shows in the Options area of Time Machine, but it doesn’t allow me to choose it or unchoose it in the exclusions. I would really like to have Time Machine back not the entire drive, but the pictures folder that is in it and also a backup that I have of files from a video camera. Please help!

      12/30/10 @ 4:07 pm

      You should be able to choose it there in the exclusions. I’m not sure why you can’t. But if you only want to backup some of the drive, then Time Machine probably isn’t your best option. Doing it manually or using some other backup tool will work better for only partial backups.

    12/31/10 @ 8:34 am

    I figured it out, it is because it was formatted as a FAT (MS-DOS), which Time Machine will not back up. Reformatted and moved my photo library to the drive, set up Time Machine to back it up using the Time Machine editor and good to go! I now have 96G free for adding photo and video to. As for the lag on AppleTV, it’s not so bad – just a little bit longer. iPhoto takes a little longer to start up now, as it finds the drive and the photos – but I can deal with this for another year or two when I plan on purchasing a new iMac with a 2TB Hard drive! Thanks for the help. Great forum, great podcasts, great website. Been a fan for a long time now.

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