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.


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


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!

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