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I have an external HDD and I want to back-up my iPhoto library to it. Can I just copy the iPhoto file/folder onto my HDD? I don't want to use Time Machine to do this.

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Just copy your iPhoto library to the HDD with iPhoto closed.

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You can use rsync, which gives you the potential to do incremental backups - after you do your first full backup, during subsequent backups you can define the call to only copy the new files.

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Take a look at Carbon Copy CLoner...

You can schedule it, do incremental backups and exclude whatever you don't want backed up...

Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project — your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous, repetitive clicking noise coming form its hard drive. With ordinary backups, you'll spend your day rushing out to a store to buy a new hard drive and then sit in front of your computer reinstalling the operating system and restoring data.

With Carbon Copy Cloner, your data and the operating system's data are all preserved impeccably on a bootable volume, ready for production at a moments notice. When disaster strikes, simply boot from your backup and get back to business. Replace the failed hard drive at your convenience, and then restore all of your stuff in one easy step.

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