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Moving LR catalog to external hard drive

Nov 18, 2012 4:13 PM

Tags: #lightroom #4 #catalogs

I am new and in the process of learning LR.  Currently all my photos are stored and developed in my laptop, however it is getting too much for its hard drive.  I am thinkinng of moving the entire LR catalog to an external harddrive.  Would someone please give me some advice how to do this safely and also how to point the LR to its new location when I open it from the icon.

 

Thanks much.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 5:10 PM   in reply to F5Duke

    Please note:

    When we talk of the "catalog" in Lightroom, it means the database where Lr stores everything. It does not mean your photos.

     

    The catalog (i.e. the database, i.e. the file with the ending <  .lrcat>) does not have to be on the same drive where the photos(the image files)  are.

    So you can move your photos to an external hard drive and leave the catalog where it is now. Where is it? Go >Edit >Catalog Settings ? General tab. It tells you the name and location of the catalog.

     

    Before you do any moving of your photos, please note: Lr stores - among the many other things - in its catalog also the location of each one of your image files. This has the consequence that if you move the image files in Win Explorer / Mac Finder Lr does not find the photos in the location stored in the catalog and sends you the much feared "?". How to solve this, see here: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/lightroom/using/WS3BC0B0A1-D48C-4271-891D- DA04EF388E29.html

     

    So, there are two ways to move your photos to an external drive:

    a) do it within Lr and Lr will keep on top of the moved files;

    b) If you want to move the image files in Win Explorer / Mac Finder it is best you create one (1) parent folder that contains - in various sub-folders - all of your images. Do this in Lr.

    Then - in Win Explorer / Mac Finder - you move the parent folder with all its sub-folders to the external drive. When you open Lr again it will show - in the folders panel - a question mark besides each folder. You then have to do the <Find missing folder> routine:

    Locate missing folders

    If a folder is moved in the operating system instead of in Lightroom, the link between the catalog and the folder breaks, and a question-mark icon appears on the folder in the Folders panel.

    1. To restore the link, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) on the folder and choose Find Missing Folder from the context menu.
    2. Navigate to the file path of the moved folder and click Choose.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 8:13 AM   in reply to F5Duke

    If your G:\ drive does not show in the folders panel check first if it shows on the left side in the <Import Dialog>.

    If it does show there then do this:

     

    In Win Explorer / Mac Finder create a copy of one of your image files and rename it; then move it to a folder on your G drive.

    Then import this photo into Lr with the Import Dialog by using the feature <Add> in the top center of teh Import Dialog.

    The renaming of the photo in Win Explorer / Mac Finder makes it a "new" photo for Lr - or else it would refuse to import it - unless you uncheck <Don't import suspected duplicates>.

     

    Alternatively you could use a photo that previously had notbeen  imported into Lr.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 8:22 AM   in reply to web-weaver

    After you move the images to the new drive, if you did it using Windows Explorer or Finder, the next time you open Lightroom the folders panel in the library will have a question mark on the folder containing our images.  This indicates that Lightroom cannot find the images in that location.  Right click on that folder, and one of your options will be to find missing folders.  There will be a browse button.  Click on that button and find the folder on your new drive and click on it.  That will synchronize everything and you can continue with your work.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 10:43 AM   in reply to F5Duke

    Keep the Lightroom catalog on the fastest drive you have. This may be obvious, but moving it to a slow, external drive, will slow Lightroom right down, whereas putiing it on a different drive to your photos will speed things up.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 6:57 AM   in reply to F5Duke

    I have copied alle my images (one folder with all its subfolders) from my Imac-internal hd to an external drive.

    Now i want to use the external hd in Lightroom, and delete the internal folder.

    But i cant find the external hd in LRs Folder and therefore move the images.

    Now i am very unsure what to do. Can somebody help? Have i done something wrong in this operation?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 7:37 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    fotonatur13 wrote:

     

    I have copied alle my images (one folder with all its subfolders) from my Imac-internal hd to an external drive.

    Now i want to use the external hd in Lightroom, and delete the internal folder.

    But i cant find the external hd in LRs Folder and therefore move the images.

    Now i am very unsure what to do. Can somebody help? Have i done something wrong in this operation?

    Hello, fotonaur13

     

    This thread contains all the information you need to fix the problem, particularly (if I understand you properly) the link given by Web-Weaver in reply #1

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 7:58 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    No, i m sorry that this is not the problem.

    In Library"Folders" (the left side panel) i have the internal hd with the photos.

    And i have the external hd with the same photos that i want to "change" with the internal hd.

    But the external hd is not showing in "Folders".

    I suppose i have done something wrong. Should i in the first place maybe have dragged the imagefolder from mye internal hd"Folders" to the external hd hopefully showing up in Librarys "Folders"?

     

    Or should i erase the internal folder with all my images and import the images from my external hd? And will the images sync with the catalog?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 8:14 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    Right-click on a top level folder in the LR Folder Panel, select Update Folder Location, then point to the equivalent folder on the external HD


    By the way, for future reference, if a thread doesn't cover your situation, start a new thread

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 8:50 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    Yes i have tried to right click in the LR Folderpanel, but get no choice to update.

     

    First time in adobe forum!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 9:03 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    According to this, you should have "Update Folder Locations"

    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/lightroom/using/WSE828B644-9097-46ab-98A7- E2719BBB6647.html

     

    Do you, or do you not, have question marks on your folders?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:26 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    Ok, i think it going my way! Just one more question: When i have imported all the photos from the external hd to LR Library Folder, can i point the catalog to the new (ext) hd folder?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:28 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    Let's stop right here.

     

    You should NOT be importing photos.

     

    If you really are importing photos, STOP. This isn't the solution.

     

    My suggestion above was not to import anything, it was to fix the links in your catalog

     

    Please clarify what you are doing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:36 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    First, i appreciate that you will help me, thank you! I have just imported one folder just to test, but i can delete it. But when i do, the external hd dissapear from Librarys "Folder". So it seem that to import is the only way to get the ext hd into LR.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:43 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    So it seem that to import is the only way to get the ext hd into LR.

     

    Let me say emphatically that this is incorrect. We can link the LR catalog to your photos on the external HD without importing.

     

    Let me also say that I would like you to not go and do things on your own, because this will lead to more confusion and problems.

     

    Ok, let's get back to my earlier question ... I think that when you right-click on a folder name in the Folder Panel, you should see a menu item that says "Update Folder Location". You said no such item appears. So ... when you right-click on a folder name in the Folder Panel, and a menu pops up, what are the items in this menu? Make a screen capture, or write them down and then type them in and let me know.

     

    I also asked this next question, and I would appreciate it if you would provide me with an answer.

    Do you, or do you not, have question marks on your folders?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:53 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    Yes you are right, my mistake: When i right click on the folders, i get the option "Update folder location". I rightclicked on the hd itself, therefore no such option. I do not have question marks on my folders.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 11:00 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    Oh my god! It was so easy, when i finally understood it! I just go to the folder and as you told: Update folder location, and after a few seconds, all the images with its adjustment etc is under the ext hd! How can i thank you for helping me??

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 11:04 AM   in reply to fotonatur13

    Well, next time we're in the same coffee shop, you can buy me a donut.

     

    Glad to see it worked, and now you know it really is that simple.

     

    If I could be so bold, I think you might want to spend some time learning about how the cataloging system in LR works, and how photos on your hard disk are referenced in LR. A good video on the subject is "Dude, Where Are My Photos".

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 11:08 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    So simple, but thats until you understand it!

    If you want to see some of my work, you can like my new Facebookpage

    https://www.facebook.com/janrolsenfoto?ref=hl

     
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