Jun 302009
 

I’ve written about this before, in Moving Folders to an External Hard Drive.  There is also a Geeks on Tour video: (Member Tutorial Video: Move Folders of Pictures to an External Drive)

I wanted to talk about it again because I don’t think people realize just how useful, important and easy it is to store photos on an external hard drive and use them in Picasa.  I have over 20,000 pictures that I’ve taken in our RV travels since 2004 and I love being able to browse thru all of them.  In Picasa I can search for ‘Odie’ and see photos of our dog throughout all the years.  Or I can make an album of photos from Austin, Texas which includes every time we’ve visited (2004, 06, 08 & 09.)  Picasa can make this album because it has access to all my photos.

But, those 20,000 photos take up a bit over 50 Gigabytes of hard drive space. On a 200 GB hard drive, that means that my photos would take up 1/4 of all the space available.  If that was the main thing on my computer it would be OK, but I need the space for lots of other stuff as well.  So, all the pictures more than a couple year’s old are stored on the external hard drive – a Western Digital ‘Passport’ drive which I have designated as drive letter P:

The screen shot below is what it looks like in Picasa.  I can’t even tell which folders are on my computer and which are on the Passport when I’m in flat folder view.  All 20,000 photos are in the library, they’re searchable, and they’re available for Albums, emailing, uploading, printing etc.

image

If you switch to Tree Structure view, you can see that the 200612 folder is indeed on the P: drive.

image

Here’s my system: Whenever I take pictures, I copy them from the camera to the computer into a folder for the current month.  All my pictures are in folders by month that they were taken.  I keep a year or two on my computer.  When I want to move some over to the USB Hard drive, I use Picasa to do it.  It moves the whole folder off of my computer and onto the external hard drive.  Using Picasa to make the move means that it keeps track of the new location for all the photos, this maintains their placement in any folders.

Works great!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

 

 

  13 Responses to “Storing Pictures on an External Hard Drive”

  1. If all my photos are currently on an external hard drive and that’s where Picasa finds my photos, do I need to do a back-up or anything to now use the hard drive on my new computer with Picasa?

  2. I store my photos on an external hard drive, but for me it doesn’t work so well, and I am not sure why.

    I’ve set Picasa to “Always Scan” the external folder so that any photos that are copied there, will be shown in Picasa.
    The problem is that if I start Picasa at a time when there is no connection to the external drive, it ‘forgets’ about all the photos. Next time there is connection, it starts scanning everything again, and it takes many hours before all the photos are available again.

    I’d like to prevent Picasa from ‘forgetting’ all the photos. Might the solution be to turn off “Always Scan” and only use the “Move folder” to put photos there? How do I then make the photos available to Picasa on various computers in the household?

    If anyone has experience with this and can help, I’d like to hear from you!

    Thanks,

    • I am having the same problem. Picasa seems to forget all the photos when the external drive is disconnected and then it scans them all again when the drive is connected.

      I see this question has been asked a few months back, please can anyone answer it?

  3. […] that hard drive so, when I view my pictures in Picasa I see all 30,000 pictures (see article: Storing Pictures on External Drive.)  But I know that only the 8,000 on my computer’s C drive are being backed up each […]

  4. yes my picasa 3 used to download to the western dig A FOLDER
    But no it shows it as a document which is no good so have to go to dvd
    has anybody had this problem and solved it?
    thanks

  5. yes my picasa used to download to the western dig A FOLDER
    But no it shows it as a document which is no good so have to go to dvd
    has anybody had this problem and solved it?
    thanks

  6. When I tried to copy the web address in your e-mail message and use it with my browser all I could get was a message that there was no such address. Have I done something wrong?

  7. How can I have the SAME picture in more than ONE folder?? Do i copy it or impoirt it 2x or?? When I arrange my folders other than date, I like to have some pictures in more than ONE folder, ex.: in July 09 folder and FAMILY pictures folder!! I do not want them in an album, or is that the only way to do that?

    Please advise
    Thanks Annemarie

    • I really, *really*, think that albums is the right way to do what you want. Did you read this past article? Use Albums.
      But, if you insist … you would either Export the picture to another folder, make sure to use original size. OR, you can File Save a Copy… which will copy it to the current folder – then drag it where you want.

  8. I am also having the same issue. I have my external drive set to “Scan Once”, because it’s just a backup drive and never changes, but every time I start Picasa when the drive is disconnected, it forgets all the photos and I have to start all over again. I am trying to make Picasa albums using photos from that drive, and it’s a frustrating nightmare to keep losing all my progress.

  9. I have found the drive letter to be very important in keeping the information. In a USB drive, it may be get assigned the letter F: – then when you plug in some other device, it gets assigned F: – no pictures on this one :-) If you assign a higher letter like P: then all the info ‘sticks’ better. See this video for instructions: http://www.youtube.com/user/2GeeksOnTour#p/u/13/ML21f4278-k

  10. I am new to Picassa, I love it so far. We recently bought an external hard drive and I copied all of our photos onto it. Now when I upload photos to my computer, Picassa “knows” to put then on the external hard drive. I think I set it up this way. This is great. My problem is that later when I click on the Picassa icon, it does not show the albums/folders from the external drive, only some misc photos/videos on the computer itself. (and yes the external hard drive is still connected). Why can’t I see the albums from the external drive? How can I “tell” Picassa to show those? Thanks!

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>