I was asked an interesting question this week.

“Can I run all of my digital artwork from an external drive only?”

The simple answer to the question is yes, and I'll show you how you can do that.  However, please also read a few of my comments on that below after the how-to.

To move digital artwork to an external drive or any location other than the default location Artisan uses is fairly simple.

1. Start by creating the folder for the new content first.  If your plan is to move everything, drag the WHOLE folder to the new location on the external drive.  (The default location that Artisan stores your content in is in the Public Documents folder under the Public User.)

2. Now it's time to train Artisan to find the folder on your external drive.  To do this, open the Content Manager in Artisan and right-click on the Library dropdown.

Select “Add folder to library.”  A box will open allowing you to browse to the location of the folder that contains your Artisan content.

That's really all there is to it.  Artisan is now “pointed” to the new location for your content.  You shouldn't have to resintall anything or re-enter any activation codes.

A Personal Word of Caution:

There are a lot of factors that impact how Artisan will work for you.  The hardware configuration of your computer (the amount of Ram, the operating system, the amount of available storage space, the graphics card, etc.) as well as the details of your external drive (whether it has a USB 3.0 connection – which is faster – or an older 2.0 connection) will impact how Artisan is able to perform the tasks you give it.  I have frequently had external drives velcro'ed to my laptop lid for a consistent backup.  In fact, I have a 5 Gb external connected now.  One thing I have learned over the past decade is that you have to be gentle with that connection between the computer and the drive.  Eventually, it will get jiggled in place too much or otherwise unseated and it will disrupt the flow of information between the drive and your computer.  And just like inside your laptop, that external drive will eventually start to fail.  I'll have to take a picture of the dead hard drives I have stowed in my office.  I'm not sure I have enough fingers on both hands to count them.

In addition, I don't want to discourage you from working this way, with all of your content on the external, but in my experience, Artisan works a little better when it's pulling the big content files directly from the C: drive and not “long distance” through the cord connecting the external drive.  I've found the same when I've run my memory vaults in Historian from the external.

If you're running out of space, it's definitely a good option to try.  You don't really lose anything by trying this to see how it will work for you.  But please, make sure if you move all of your content to your backup drive that you have another backup method in place to save your content in the event that your external drive won't wake up one day.

Let me know if I can help!

Deb