I have data on 16 drives that I want to consolidate to one drive. The 16 drives are external with a firewire connection. Currently I have the one drive connected as an external drive on firewire. I can mount the target drive internally in my MacPro as an option. The total amount of data on the 16 drives is about 3TB. Four of the drives are 400GB the rest are smaller. Appreciate any help. I am in the process of copying one of the 400GB using Finder and it is estimating 15 hours and after 3 hours of copying, it looks like a fairly accurate estimate. Thanks for any help.

  • Please redo the math because 4x400 GB + 12x~300 GB=5.2 TB
    – klanomath
    Oct 9, 2015 at 20:14
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    Are the contents and directory structure of each drive unique or is some of it replicated in both content and directory structure? In an case I'd probably use rsync to consolidate the contents of the drives. Oct 9, 2015 at 20:18
  • Hint: instead of using the Finder for massive file copies, (both in size and in numbers,) use the Terminal command cp. It bypasses all the needless GUI overhead Finder imposes, and is much quicker. This page has details.
    – IconDaemon
    Oct 9, 2015 at 21:04
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    13TB is a lot of storage. What kind of device are you using to consolidate the files from these 16 Firewire drives?
    – IconDaemon
    Oct 9, 2015 at 21:06
  • I'd at least start with the donor & receiver drives mounted internally - that will speed everything up... though I'm still not sure what you're putting 13TB onto, unless it's an external raid array
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 10, 2015 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Doing the math, you want an interruptible tool so use rsync over Finder unless you really don't mind losing a day of transfer if finder chokes or a cable gets disconnected.

Barring the ability or inclination to command line - get a tool like Transmit or Kaleidoscope to sync the two folders. You'll lose far more time mounting drives than just connecting them and going. He limiting factor is probably not iops and instead drive throughput and not CPU or adapter speed.

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