How Do i Copy Projects and samples to an external hard drive.

Hello, i was wondering how i can copy all my files, samples, projects, and songs from ableton into an external hard drive? so far all we have done is record and set up stuff for live shows in ableton. we will not perform for a couple months but i am terrified at the thought something might happen to my computer and not have anything that we have worked so hard for. is there anyway i can copy everything from early, and future work on to both my computer's hard drive and an external so i can have both and be safe?


CruzMagnets 5 years ago | 0 comments

3 answers

  • Funk N. Furter
    129 answers
    123 votes received
    2 votes

    Why not clone your whole hard drive in a bootable form on an external hard drive? I use SuperDuper on a mac. I also backup online with Carbonite.


    more tips at

    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • kulutuu
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    IMHO you need to be extremely careful with backups of your work. I've been writing music now for about 6 years and in that time I've lost several hard drives, but thankfully none of my music.

    Here's my strategy for what it's worth. 

    My hard drive which stores my Ableton Live projects is cloned every day to a second external hard drive (bootable). This external hard drive is a portable USB (USB powered) so if I'm on the road and the main hard drive fails I can still access my MacBook Pro.

    I have a time machine back up of the main hard drive to a Lacie 4 drive RAID array with exchangeable drives; so if one drive fails it can be replaced. The RAID setup means that the data from the old drive that's been taken out can be rebuilt on the new one.

    I back up my Sample Disk and my Ableton Live Library which are stored on a 2TB portable Firewire Western Digital Hard Drive to a Western Digital Thunderbolt RAID 1 array; so data is mirrored onto two separate drives each of which is replaceable.

    Finally to guard against my house burning down and loosing all of the drives that way I have a DropBox account to store my Ableton Projects and Library on line. I use a program called MacDropAny to set up aliases in my DropBox folder so I don't need to have two copies of everything. DropBox recently expanded their range of products to Pro Accounts. I have a 500Gb account. It works like a charm. File and forget literally. Although I suspect there are cheaper options available I've gotten used to DropBox just working in the background.

    All of the above isn't cheap, but it gives me peace of mind, which I guess some would describe as being priceless. However, just storing stuff on line and on a simple external drive is relatively cheap and a good starting point.

    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • Sebastian
    5 answers
    5 votes received
    1 vote

    Thanks. I do know how to make a bootable back up to an External HD but that would take up more space than necessary on the External HD because its a copy of the entire laptop vs just the docs.The Mac laptop with all my music only has Ableton files/projects and music related docs. No photos, personal docs or anything else.  Thoughts?

    3 years ago | 0 comments

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