MacPro early 2011 - out of hard drive space


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My daughter has one of the above, she takes thousands of photographs. She has recently moved to El Capitan and now finds herself without available hard drive space.
What are her best options?
1. Changing and increasing the existing internal hard drive?
2. Adding an additional external hard drive?
if 2, is it possible to move all the photographs to the new drive easily? Also how will Time Machine react, will it backup both the internal and external drives?
I should say mention cost will come into this, so if you suggest a drive/make an indication as to cost would be really helpful.
I should also say that you are dealing with a couple of 'non technical' people here (to say the least) so it must also be fairly easy to do the migration.
I appreciate all the help you can offer.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

-What are the full specs of the MacBook Pro - i.e. 13"/15", processor type/speed, RAM, hard drive size, etc.?
-What software (including version) does she use to store/edit the photos - Photos, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.?

There are a few ways to solve this issue:
-Move the photos to an external drive - it will always have to be connected to add new photos and you can set Time Machine to back the external up along with the internal drive.
-Install a larger internal drive in the MBP - requires a little technical knowledge/ability and a Time Machine restore or the use of Migration Assistant to move the apps/files.

We'll see if we can recommend to best course of action for you.

C
 
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I use external hard drives for all my photos, very simple to add on and it backs up to to my Time capsule via Time Machine, no problem.
If you have a lot of photos the initial copying over can take a while.
 
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How big, in terms of terabytes, is your current external drive? Also, how many partitions do you have on that drive, and the size of each?

And, are there any other files/folders on your daughter's machine which can be deleted?
 
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Hi, thank you all for your comments I will try to answer as best I can,
Macbook pro, - early 2011, 17inch display
Processor - 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
Mem - 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3 (only just installed, previously had standard 2 x 2 GB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB
Drive - 748.79 GB (51.6 remaining)
OS - Sierra v10.12.3 (not El Capitan as I thought)
Photos are stored/edited using whatever Sierra provides, she was using iphoto before migrating to Sierra I think it will now be Photo.
She has only the one partition
She uses the machine for work also but I don't think much is stored other than emails and a few documents.
There is always stuff that can be removed if you know what you are doing. The bin has been cleared. I am sure there are photos that could be removed but it takes much time.
What has already been said looks promising. Thanks for your interest.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Thanks for the additional information.

If she is indeed using the Photos app, there is a fairly simply way to move the entire Photos Library to an external drive, then point the Photos app to use it when it opens. As stated previously, the external drive would need to be connected before starting Photos, to use the library on the external. She could then set Time Machine up (using a second external drive) to backup both the internal and the external with the Photos Library on it. Many folks that have very large Photos or iTunes libraries use this method.

Let us know if you have additional questions.

C
 
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