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I have about a day to move my 145 GB Aperture file from my 2009 iMac to a USB 3.0 drive. However, my iMac doesn't have USB 3.0 yet.

According to Finder, the transfer is expected to take 2 days. So I tried splitting my library into smaller ones per year, however that won't speed up the process.

What can I do to actually speed up the process?

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    Even over USB 2 145GB should not take anywhere near two days to transfer. Maybe a few hours. Are you doing anything else on the computer during this process? Quit all open applications that you can and don't touch the computer while it's going on, as that can slow down the transfer. – tubedogg Aug 28 '13 at 14:05
  • I agree with tubedogg, I would minimize any activity on the Mac. I've had many transfers initially give wild estimates (16 hours, 1 day, etc) only to then show more reasonable estimates (2 hours, etc) after 20-30 min of work. I'd let it run for a bit and see if it moves quicker. – Mr Rabbit Aug 28 '13 at 14:17
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You could speed things up by connecting the iMac to a newer Mac in target disk mode (connected over Firewire) and then try the copy letting the new Mac do the faster copy.

However, the estimate might be over inflated and once you get over copying the small files, the actual transfer might only take 5 to 8 hours even if the Mac is running mostly idle.

While the transfer is running, you can see both the instantaneous transfer rate in terms of data rate and IO rate. If your data rate are low, it could be the files are small or fragmented and you actually have hit an IO rate limit or that there are hardware issues slowing down the transfer.

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