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moving picture from laptop hard drive to larger external hard drive

Sep 25, 2013 6:37 PM

Tags: #pse10

I am not changing anything in my system.  I am using windows 7 and will continue to.  No change in elements version (10).  Please give me a step by step instructions on how to move my pictures from my computer hard drive to an external hard drive (this will NOT be a back up) but the primary locaton for my pictures.  I will keep elements program on my computer and when I want to work on my pictures or download more pictures from my camera  I will connect to the external hard drive. 

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    Sep 25, 2013 10:02 PM   in reply to Jan9368

    You may connect the EHD to your system and then move the files from hard drive to EHD from within Elements Organizer.

    Simple drag drop of the folder hierarchy containing your pictures, from hard disk to some folder on EHD in Folder Location view should do what you are intending to do.




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    Sep 26, 2013 6:54 AM   in reply to Jan9368

    Have a look at this paper: og-photoshop.html


    The move by drag and drop suggested by Andaleeb is the simplest way. Why do you find people who are reluctant to do so ? Two reasons. First, in any other case of moving files from the organizer/finder or any other application, you may encounter unexpected software or hardware problems. That's why we generally prefer to do a copy first, then a delete afterwards. The second reason is that older versions of Elements were known to have bugs when moving files to locations which already had pictures with the same filenames. Recent versions are safe, but the best idea is to do a full backup before moving big quantities of files. You never have enough backups !


    The procedure via backup and restore is safe. It restores both your pictures folder trees and the catalog on the new drive. That's not your exact situation, you only want to free space on your internal drive and don't want to move the catalog (speedier operation if the catalog stays on the default location on your internal drive). The advantage of having the catalog on the external drive is if you want to share the catalog and pictures from another computer with PSE.

    If you choose the backup/restore way, select the option to restore on a custom location (new empty master folder) with keeping the folder structure.

    The old catalog and pictures will still be active if you want. There is also an option to move the catalog back from the external drive to the default location on the internal drive. As you can see, plenty of safety and customization, but not as simple as the simple drag and drop after a full backup for safety.

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    Sep 27, 2013 12:21 AM   in reply to Jan9368

    Jan9368 wrote:


    If I use this drag and drop method do I just take all my photos and drag them over to the new EHD and then delete them from my computer and pSE will know where they are?  don't I need to tell it or connect them.  I have read that if you still have the pictures on the computer when you connect to the new EHD the program will still be pathed to your computer. 


    I cannot believe that elements does not have a step by step directions (like the back up directions) for MOVING YOUR PICTURES TO A HARD DRIVE and leaving the photshop elements program on the computer. I want to get this right because transfers and buying upgrades of elements have been a nightmare each time for me and I do not want this to be another nightmare..

    If you use the drag and drop method, the picture files will be moved to the new external drive. You have nothing else to do.


    - The organizer takes care of updating the paths  in the database of the catalog

    - The moving of picture files is done exactly as if you did a drag and drop of folder trees from the explorer / finder... Because the organizer issues a command to the explorer / finder to do this job.

    - It's a real move : the pictures are no longer in the original drive

    - The catalog (the whole folder containing your database and accessory files) is still on your internal drive. It's not moved, only updated with the new paths.

    - There is no difference between moving to another directory on your internal drive or to an external drive.

    - You can have a catalog of pictures on several drives, even on removable media like DVDs.

    - It's a one step operation, the only hard thing is to believe it.

    - If I mentionned doing such a move after a full backup (which hopefully will not be used) it's because you could have a hardware problem, a mains shortage...


    The backup and restore process is different as you rightly mentionned : after the restore, you get a copy of your catalog and a copy of your files in the new drive. Everything is duplicated. If all goes well with the restore, you can safely delete the old catalog and all the picture files it manages. You still have a valid backup plus one good library, no need to keep the original. That solution is best for people moving everything to a new computer with possibly a new OS version.

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    Sep 27, 2013 8:08 AM   in reply to Jan9368

    Jan9368 wrote:

    A few questions

    When I drag and drop my pictures am I looking at my pictures in elements organizer?

    No, there are two ways to see your folders in PSE11 and PSE12 :

    By default, it's the 'My Pictures' view. It shows a flat list of all the folders containing images registered in the catalog; all the folder of the last level, without the tree organization. You may have missed (like many, many users...) the 'Pictures' view which you obtain in clicking on the small yellow icon in the title bar of 'My Pictures'. You are shown all your folders and subfolders, all your different drives. It's very close to the folder view of Windows explorer, and you can do most of the operations you would do in the explorer.

    You'll understand better if you take the time to play with the 'Pictures' view, where you can collapse or expand subfolders, or right click to show 'display all folders' when they are collapsed.


    Let's say you have all your pictures under the default 'Pictures' folder of Win7. You should see the list of your drives in the lower part of the same left panel.

    I suppose you don't want to change the default 'Pictures' location in Win7. If your external drive has the letter F:, you'll create a new master folder : 'F:/My Pictures bis' for instance. To test the process, you'll select one of your folders under Pictures, drag and drop on F:/My Pictures bis. Then you can check the result by viewing your pictures in different order, by testing your tags, albums etc. All should work exactly the same as before as long as your external drive is plugged in. (If it is not, you'll get 'missing files' warnings which will disappear if you plug in your external drive).

    When you are satisfied with the process, you can move other folders (their subfolders will follow).

    You could move only the upper level 'Pictures' folder of Win7 in a single step, but you'll feel more secure by doing this in several moves, since moving a big amount of files takes a long time (not longer than a move via the explorer,  moving a library of 150 GB like mine requires maybe 2 hours...)


    Since you are on Win7, be sure to give all the access rigths to your external drive...

    Another Windows trick : the catalog will remember and register the letter drive, F: in our example.

    If you plug-in another  accessory in the meantime and the drive is now assigned G:, you'll have problem.

    The best way to avoid such a case would be to assign a letter like M: so that your external drive will be recognized in all cases.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2013 11:13 AM   in reply to Jan9368

    Sorry, I did not recall you are on PSE10.

    The folder view in the left panel is different, but the principle is the same. Forget the difference between 'My Pictures' and 'Pictures' for PSE11 and PSE12.

    I don't have PSE10 on my present computer, I'll have to check on another one and come a little later.

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