My external drive recently died, and my local backup failed (a string of bad bad luck). Good thing I have offsite backup, done with one of those cloud backup companies (backblaze).

Right now I'm requesting for a hard drive mailed to me with my files (4TB). I've never done this before, can I expect the files that come back to be the exact same? I have a hard time believing that because the backup system is not HFS I can only assume?

In particular, I'm concerned about things like my iPhoto library. In OSX I see it as one big file, but I know in reality it is just a "special" folder. Will the files come back as a proper iPhone library?


The data returned from Backblaze ought to be correctly recognised by the Mac. Folders like iPhoto have a special structure that the Mac shows you as a single file, but in reality it is just a folder.

In the same way, Applications are, in fact, folders too - but the Mac hides the structure from you by default.

This is what your iPhoto Library looks like on Backblaze…

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When you get your drive, you may have to point iPhoto & similar apps [Aperture, iMovie, Final Cut Pro all have similar structures for their Libraries] to that 'folder' initially, but it should then be treated as your regular Library.

I just tested this empirically by downloading my entire iPhoto Library from Backblaze.

When it arrived, it was in its original disk/folder hierarchy; so had that been an emergency situation I could have copied the entire structure right back to where it came from.

Initially, it looked like a regular folder, but [a step you may not need to take if everything is restored to its original locations] launching iPhoto with the Opt ⌥ key down to choose a new Library & selecting that folder - as soon as it had finished loading to iPhoto, the 'proper' iPhoto Library icon & 'hidden' structure was restored to it.

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