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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #1
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safe data transfers...

This is one that I should know, but clearly I do not. The question is for my traveling gear, 15" G4 Powerbook, LaCie 250 gig firewire 800, FCP 3, OS10.2.8. Prior to adding the external LaCie drive, I had partitioned my "60" gig internal for system, programs and media. This was done primarily to preserve the media files in the event of problems with the programs, which to date, thankfully have not occurred.
Now, with the external drive, I want to move all of the media files to this, (most of this I've done), erase the partitioned drive (to allow more space for the system) and re-install the programs (FCP, iLife, etc) and still maintain the links I currently have with FCP projects, render files, iTunes music links (my arrangements), etc.. History has shown me that any disturbance of these files whatsoever will inevitably create issues at some point.
The question is in two parts, can I maintain links with this procedure and how can I "save" my iTunes library so that existing links will not be lost. Obviously, with the Apple-mandated use of the iLife package on the boot drive, which will be erased, there is a curious problem of how and where I can move these music beds/transitions so that they will be "found" on reinstallation.
Any hope here? Or will I spend the next months "reconnecting media?"...Maybe...
Thanks
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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #2
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Why are you erasing the drive?
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Old September 17th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #3
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safe data transfers...

Thanks for your quick reply, Jeff.

The reason, in short, for my wishing to erase the drive is infinite ignorance in my original partition allocation. I felt, at that moment of quandry, that I needed a maximum area for media, less for programs and still less for the system drive. Not well planned. As anyone with a wit of Mac savvy knows, the system is a hungry beast and more so when burning dvd's.

Anyway, unless I am once again plunging into the abyss of stupidity, I believe (and was told so by a self-styled McGuru), that to re-configure the partition sizes, I must erase the drive. Ouch. Not part of my workflow at all. I will take any and all reasonable bids to avoid this. My earlier post was with this end in mind. If anyone would care to help my rewrite the end, I await your submission.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #4
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Don't erase your drive. I would either copy the drive to your FireWire drive with Carbon Copy Cloner or repartition with iPartition.

Carbon Copy Cloner will copy all the contents of your drive to your FireWire drive. Then partition your internal drive and copy the files back onto it. This will take more time but the shareware only costs $5. iPartition will allow you to repartition the drive without moving or harming the contents in any manner. However, you'll pay $20 for the ease and convenience of just repartitioning the drive. Either is preferable to reinstalling all the applications.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 01:26 PM   #5
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Jeff,
Sorry about the delay in responding...work does that. Anyway, thanks for the sage advice...but of course, I have a further question. Have you used these applications? Or, indeed, has anyone in the forum done so? I am looking for some real world pros and cons, benefits and risks of these or other such "tools" for partition change.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 01:38 PM   #6
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One thing to keep in mind after you make these changes and put your FCP files on the external drive. In FCP3 you will need to go to the scratch disk item under preferences and set it for the external drive, otherwise all your big capture and render files will keep being saved to the internal drive.

There is one "gotcha" to beware of however. If you ever start up FCP and the external drive isn't available, the scratch disk preference will revert to your documents folder on the internal drive. FCP will not even warn you of this (unless it's looking for a file it can't find). The problem is, next time you have the external drive connected and resume working on a project, FCP will not automatically switch the scratch disk back to the external drive and it will continue to put render and capture files on your internal drive. You need to manually set the scratch disk back to the external drive if this happens.

This "feature" has bitten me a couple times, and the result was that some render files I needed were on the internal drive of a computer that I didn't have with me!
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Old September 27th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #7
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Carbon Copy Cloner is used a lot, it is based on Unix tools that ship with Mac OS X and is basically just a graphic front end to a tool that Apple itself uses quite a lot. You would want to check the disk for errors before cloning though. CCC doesn't actually do any partioning and I have never used iPartion so I can't say how it works. But I've used CCC a ton and UCLA uses it in conjunction with other tools to create easy to restore systems, so it is pretty tried and true...
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Old September 27th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #8
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CCC is great and I can highly recommend it. iPartion is nearing the same recommendation. Earlier versions were a little buggy on some systems. But I've used it at the college and it does great on 10.3.5 I think you should be able to use it without any issue on a new OS, such as 10.3.5
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Old October 8th, 2004, 04:30 PM   #9
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data transfer...

Thanks, gentlemen for the astute, clear and well-turned responses. As I am an editor first (from the old three-point days) and a computer "guy" second, (which is becoming a rapid, if painful, learning curve), I have some done some investigations on these two apps, CCC and iPartition. It appears there is a generally positive feedback from users which mirrors your own feelings. And then there are those who are somewhat afraid of the unknown, and in ignorance are quite negative. And, of course, there are those for whom a bit of knowledge has presented a trove of (usually) self-imposed problems, such as losing data files altogether, lack of "bootability" or drive "damage."
As I am currently defining myself as both somewhat fearful and consummately ignorant, I have to again present my own list of equipment models and numbers for your educated rejoinders. I have a G4 Powerbook running OS 10.2.8, FCP 3 and a firewire 800 LaCie 250 Gig external drive. More importantly, I am in the midst of two important projects, which naturally I would prefer to leave in their current states. I am looking not for a guarantee, but some positive encouragement that if I follow the instructions (remember, I am a bone-head), that I have a better than reasonable chance of copying and transfering the data to the external drive, repartitioning (or un-partitioning) the internal Mac drive, reinstalling the apps and data and then having all of this work. Is this possible with either (or, from what I gather, perhaps both) of these programs?
I hope that this will be viewed less as whining than learning, although admittedly it smacks of whining, even to me.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 07:09 PM   #10
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My number one rule is never changes things during a project. I can almost guarantee you'll have some issues with some media files. If you want to create more work and misery for yourself (and I mean lots of misery) start changing your system and media files.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #11
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I second Jeff's advice - if at all possible, wait until you have enough time to deal with the inevitable glitches. You are courting disaster to do this under the gun in the middle of a big project.

If you are out of disk space and have to do something then you might try moving your FCP files but not messing with the PowerBook internal drive. This way you would also be creating a backup copy of your projects, and could go back to the version on the internal drive if there's a problem with the copy.

Use the finder to copy all your FCP files to the external drive. Copy the entire folder hierarchy where your project resides to the new drive. Unless you have specified somewhere else you will find all the files on your startup drive here:

/Users/[your username]/Documents/"Final Cut Pro Documents"

After copying everything to the external drive, startup FCP and use the preferences to set your scratch disk to the external drive (see my earlier message about "gotchas" when this drive is unavailable). Now open one of the projects you've copied to the new drive. It should complain about not finding render files and clips. You will need to reconnect these and show FCP where the new files are, and then you should be able to work on projects using the new drive. Now there is a chance that when you open the project on the external drive that it will continue to use render files from the internal disk. If so then it won't complain about not finding files. If you're afraid this is happening you could temporarily move the files on the internal drive to another folder and force FCP to reconnect.

When you work with an external drive as a scratch disk in FCP3 it creates the same folder hierarchy found in the above example at the root level of the drive. Just be sure to verify that all new render files and clips are indeed getting stored on the external drive.

But getting back to Jeff's advice, I wouldn't attempt any of this unless its absolutely necessary right now....
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Old October 10th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #12
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Okay, let's presume for the moment that I have completed my current projects and I am ready to re-partition the internal drive. I will add here that this partitioning was done with poor planning in the first place (with a tech person who is NOT a video person and was not aware of the enormous consumption that the "boot" or system partition would demand, particularly with DVD burning), and, indeed, as Mr. Ostroff suggested, I sit now with 707 MB available on this partition, several gigs shy of what I need to burn DVD's or even create bed and transition music (in GarageBand). This in itself is a workflow headache, as I do all of this myself.
However, as I said, let's presume I really am finished, projects laid to tape and archived. I religiously use the disk repair utility to repair the disks and to repair permissions. As it takes only a short while, I do this after every session. Is this what Mr. Sloan means by "check the disk for errors?" Or, is there some more technical, perhaps third-party utility for this? Also, as indicated by Mr. Ostroff, I am using the external disk currently for these two projects and I have had, (knock on titanium), no issues at all in the use of this system (even before the external disk was added). I did set the scratch disk for the LaCie and things are going well. However, I have not yet moved other projects there. I will attempt this today. What's next?
My hesitation is that I am not always certain how FCP finds all of the data necessary for smooth editing and playback (or for me to really know that I have moved the files or simply created an "alias," or link to the "original" files and I am concerned that this will be corrupted when I temporarily "move" the archived projects (which are of a type which clients regularly modify, update and "retool"). Some of these are broadcast commercials and others are "documercials." In any case, my few attempts at "reconnecting media" have had mixed results, leading me to re-capturing and re-rendering clips, music and so forth more often that not. I am beginning to see Mr. Donald's "misery" (or, worse, the "lots of misery) and I hesitate to go there.
Now. having said this, I am really uncertain that there will be a vacation or break time from my current and past projects as they are really never "finished" in the usual sense of this word. But, I am clearly out of space on the system partition and I need to realign these partitions for more complete and necessary work on music and DVD's. I feel I am on the sharp horns of a dilemma with no easy way out other than that long and lonely walk down Misery Boulevard.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 01:32 PM   #13
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I would make a cloned copy of my three partitions and put them on the larger, external drive. Repartition the drive and clone the info back to the new internal drives. Check you FCP projects and see how bad a shape your in. If it's not too bad burn you DVD's, and fix your projects. If it's real bad, just burn the DVD's you need to free up space and delete the original files you just burned. Partition the drive again just like it originally was and clone the files from the external drive back to their original partitions.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 01:43 PM   #14
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I agree, but if possible I'd suggest going one step further. Get a second external drive (you can never have too many.... I have 8!) and use it to clone your internal drive. This way you won't have to fragment or partition your other external drive, and you won't run any risk of interfering with the projects there.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 02:06 PM   #15
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I suppose that this is a logical solution in the short term, but it doesn't solve the more longterm issues of insufficient system headroom for workflow down the road. I am gathering that there is really no easy, certain or even recommended approach to this. I feel that I am requesting something arcane, mystical and that there is a fair amount of voodoo in the CCC and iPartition applications. I cannot imagine that I am the only one with this problem but I am getting that feeling...
Also, as I just saw Mr. Ostroff's reply and, while I would love to own many more, I am not in the economic position to buy another drive at this time (house remodeling is pinching these resources). And I was not planning to partition the external drive, though I presume in your comments that there is an inherent risk of "interference" in the seemingly broad landscape of 250 (now 210) gigs if I do not do so. Ouch, the more I search for answers, the more lost I become.
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