After I edit and keyword my photos I copy them, and the current catalog, onto two other drives using Windows Explorer. When I import them into LR there's no edits or keywords.
Why doesn't this work? If my hard drive crashes I want RAW backups with all my edits intact. How do I do this?
The proper solution with backup files is to restore them (photos and catalog file) to their EXACT original locations, and then everything works, and your edits and keywords will be present.
Re-importing is never a good solution, and as you can see, it has major drawbacks.
The edits and keywords exist in the catalog.
If you import the images into a new catalog, you left behind al the edits and keywords in the old catalog.
You can copy all that data from one catalog to another by "export as catalog" and "import as catalog".
Copying the images and catalog is a good way to make backups. You just need to make sure that you do the copy and restore in such a way that you do not lose the relationship between the image files and the Lightroom catalog.