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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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My iphoto library says it has 3660 items, has info in left

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My iphoto library says it has 3660 items, has info in left column, but empty squares show up instead of pictures
Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

Can you tell me what version of OS X you are currently running?

Click the Apple Logo in the menubar at the top of the screen

Select "About This Mac"

In the window that opens, look for the "Version" information. Please let me know what it says.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

mac osx 10.3.9


Thanks Jan.

While you may only have had around 3600 photos, iPhoto creates thumbnails and keeps a cache of other versions of the same in it's library. This is why it may have indicated it was copying more items than you would expect.

In the Finder, click the Go menu at the very top of the screen and choose Home.

Then, open the Pictures folder. Is the "iPhoto Library" still present?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i found the pohotos while clicking around - i would like to create folders for the pics because iphoto has the dates - but i can't drag and drop them and i can't export them - do i need to copy all of the extra data like thumbnails? how can i create new folders and save the pics? is there a workaround for being able to use my external hard drive which of course is larger even though this computer cannot recognize the disk?


I need to clarify, are you saying that iPhoto is working ok currently and the pictures appear in iPhoto as you expect?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes - the photos are appearing as expected - i launched it from some place other than the iphoto icon - I have tried to rename this iphoto library so it won't get mixed up with other iphoto libraries on my external hard drive

Generally, it's best not to rename the default iPhoto Library itself but what you may wish to do is to create a uniquely named folder to copy each version or backup of the iPhoto Library into, as needed, on your external media.

Do you know what happened to the external hard drive?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nothing happened to the external hard drive as far as I know - I just presumed that since this is an older computer that because of its 'age' it could not read the external disk -

Was the external drive originally used with a Windows PC or newer Mac?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes - originally used with a newer mac - what is the best strategy in your opinion for backing up these pics from this older computer?

Are you merely wanting to have a backup or are you wishing to move the photos to another Mac?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like to back them up to my external hard drive - are you suggesting that I somehow transfer the photos to a newer computer and back them up from there?

Possibly but what you wanted to do with them in the long term might effect the answer I give.

If you have content on the external hard drive you want to keep or regularly still use it with another computer then there is not much we can do with it to make it work on the older Mac without risking the data on it.

How big is your thumb drive?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it was the biggest one at radio shack - 32 something - do i need all of the extra data that comes along with copying the library - or can i make things smaller by creating new individual folders with pics in them and a date/description and then transferring those folders to the thumb drive a few at a time and then load them via the same thumb drive to a newer mac?

Okay, possibly it's a 32GB drive.

Please do the following for me.

In the Finder, click the Go menu at the very top of the screen and choose "Home"

Open the Pictures folder

Right-click or Control-Click on the iPhoto Library and choose Get Info.

What does it show for Size?

If it's too large we can probably salvage just the original photos.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok - iphoto library 6 - which is what I renamed the library as - is 13.16 gb - i also have a folder there called iphoto library and it is 170.9 mb, and i also have pictures on something named palmOne photos which is 16.7 mb - what is the difference between iphoto library 6 and the iphoto library -

Okay, it sounds "iPhoto Library 6 " might contain the bulk of your original photos. I'm not sure about the other "iPhoto Library" but it could be empty. If it is a normal folder, you can double click and browse it to see if any photos are inside. If it does not look like a normal folder then control-click or right-click on it and choose "Show Package Contents".

Assuming the thumb drive has no other content then all three of these items (iPhoto Library, iPhoto Library 6, PalmOne Photos) could be copied to it with plenty of room to spare.

Once they are copied to the thumb drive, I would then connect it to a newer Mac where the external hard drive is recognized and you could copy them there permanently for safe keeping.

John T. F. and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

great! thanks!

You are very welcome! If you have any further questions, then please don't hesitate to ask.


I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. If you need further assistance on this or other issues, please let me know.