Photos Library Drive

In keeping with my plan to rework my Photos Library of late, I have decided to just move the whole thing (about 200 GB) to an external SSD hard drive. That will free up a bunch of space on my iMac HD and hopefully, give me more speed in working with images.


External SSD Components

I did some research online and decided on a 1 TB Crucial MX300 SSD drive and Inatek USB 3.0 UASP HD enclosure. The Inatek enclosure is supposed to be designed for use with SSD drives. What is UASP you ask?

USB Attached SCSI (UAS or UASP) is a computer protocol used to move data to and from USB storage devices such as hard drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and thumb drives. UAS depends on the USB protocol, and uses the standard SCSI command set. Use of UAS generally provides faster transfers compared to the older USB Mass Storage Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) drivers.
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The bottomline is, UASP is supposed to allow faster data transfers over USB 3.0 which especially accommodates SSD drives. The Inatek enclosure can hold a 2.5” or 3.5” drive. Here is the Crucial SSD I chose:


It is one of their top of the line SSD’s. Here is the Inatek enclosure:

Admittedly, this setup is a little pricey, but what price do you put on your photos? For me, this is a long range solution to an ever expanding Photos Library.

The Hardware Setup

The setup of the Crucial SSD and the Inatek enclosure is pretty standard stuff. You slide out the HD bay, plug in the SSD, slide in the HD bay, put in a couple of screws and you are done. Here is what that looks like:

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Here is a little closer view of the SSD connection:

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Once I got the hardware put together, I just connected the enclosure to my Anker 3.0 USB Hub. Of course, the Mac comes up with the usual HD Initialize window:


This brings up the Disk Utility app. All you see initially is the hardware enclosure with no formatted partition:


When you click “Erase”, Disk Utility formats the SSD offering the usual GUID partition scheme:


When Disk Utility is finished, you have a formatted external SSD enclosure:


All I did after that is drag over my Photos Library which took several hours to copy. There are other things you have to do to set this up in the Photos app, more on that in another article.


There are probably other ways to do this, but if you have an ever expanding Photos Library this is one solution going forward.