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Backing up Mac External Drives
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05-14-2015, 05:23 PM Bob Stocker
I keep my photos on a Mac external hard drive. For several years, I've been using Time Machine to back up both my internal disk and my external photo disk to a second external drive. Several people at Apple support have told me that Time Machine is only designed to back up an internal hard drive to an external hard drive. One person at Apple Support who seemed more knowledgeable than the others told me that I was using Time Machine appropriately.

I'm not sure who is right, but there's enough confusion to make me think that I should find some other way to do automatic backups of my external photo drive to another external drive. Do you have any recommendations for software? Ideally, I'd like something like Time Machine that allows me to retrieve backup copies of files that have been deleted from the photo drive.

05-14-2015, 05:59 PM Terry Mieger
Hi Bob
I use a program called GoodSync (about $30) for backing up the image files from the primary external drive to 2 other external drives. I use Timemachine only for the internal drive. It is great for that. Because of the method Timemachine uses it is best for complete restores and not for individual file searches. Timemachine has rescued me many times. It is magic, but IMO not for images. I have a separate external just for Timemachine. So I am running 4 2TB externals, 1 for Timemachine, 1 for images, 1 as BU 1 and 1 as BU 2. Two TB external drives are very reasonable now. I just got one for $85

As you know I do EVERYTHING in Lightroom. It's where I do anything that has to do with file structure. Your wanting to retrieve back up copies of deleted files could be a problem. Backup software usually give 2 choices, The first is Synchronize which makes sure both folders are the same. The other and the one I use is Backup which considers the primary folder as the one you want and adds to or deletes from the BUs to match the primary. I only delete an image from LR if I never want to see it again because it will disappear from this planet when I BU. I have about 140,000 images about 1/2 of which I would not show to anyone else but you never know. So they are all still linked to LR. More questions just ask


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