19 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2015 7:38 AM by John 4641

    Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?

    John 4641

      Hi,

       

      I run LR(CC) on my iMac desktop with my catalog and library on an external drive. I also have a PC laptop on which I also run a PC version of LRCC.   My question is. Can I connect the iMac external drive to the PC laptop and access and change that (iMac created) catalog without compromising either set up?  I know that simultaneous access would not be possible. The external drive is formatted - Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Am I correct in assuming that this could be a problem and if so what would be a sensible solution?

      Thank you.

      John

        • 1. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
          john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          John 4641 wrote:

           

          The external drive is formatted - Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Am I correct in assuming that this could be a problem and if so what would be a sensible solution?

           

          That's probably the key to it. I share drives between Mac and PC but I set up the drives with large NTFS partitions. Tuxera is a Mac utility which lets you write to NTFS drives. I've not tried writing to HFS drives on the PC, but a quick Google led me to Paragon. Maybe others have tried it or have other solutions.

          • 2. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
            john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            PS I have had the catalogue on the NTFS drive attached to my Mac. I can't recall any problems, though when I attached the drive to my PC I may have needed to fix the folder location, but that's easy enough.

            • 3. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
              John 4641 Level 1

              Hi,

               

              Thank you very much for your prompt reply. Regrettably it was very much what I expected. My interest in this is more of a  "would be nice to have" rather than a necessity so I am unlikely to pursue this further in the near future. I do appreciate the time you have taken to help me.

               

              Regards

               

              John

              • 4. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                As long as you don't have any ONE FILE exceed 4GBs in size you can use FAT32 as a drive format and share that drive between Mac OS X and Windows.

                 

                If your Catalog file is larger than 4GBs then you can split it up so any one catalog files isn't larger than 4GBs.

                • 5. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                  john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I'm not sure why you should be disappointed. Those two options are cheap, simple, and in my experience they are reliable.

                  • 6. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    DeJa Vu -  exFAT should work fine with OS X Snow Leopard and later versions. You may need to format the drive with Windows to use it on both OS X and Windows systems:

                     

                    http://lifehacker.com/5927185/use-the-exfat-file-system-and-never-format-your-external-dri ve-again

                     

                    I even use an exFAT formatted USB external HDD with my Samsung Note Pro Android tablet.

                    • 7. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                      John 4641 Level 1

                      Hi,

                       

                      Perhaps I should point out that I have an existing catalog of some 36K images (440GB) located on my external drive. Unless I am totally mistaken, to achieve my goal there would be a considerable amount of work and time required. As I understand it I would need to reformat my external drive which would presumably require me to temporally move my entire catalog to another drive and then move them back again. I have no pressing need to share the catalog directly between the iMac and the PC, though there would be some benefits. If I have totally misunderstood the work/time aspect I would appreciate it if you would please let me know.

                       

                      Again thank you all for your interest and support.

                       

                      John

                      • 8. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        John 4641 wrote:

                        I have no pressing need to share the catalog directly between the iMac and the PC, though there would be some benefits.

                        What exactly do you mean by "some benefits?" Once we understand what you are trying to accomplish perhaps we can provide a "simpler" solution.

                        • 9. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          If you already have the files on a HFS+ formatted disk, the simplest solution is to use a windows utility to access that disk. I have not much experience with those but one was mentioned above by John. That way you won't have to do the moving of files, reformatting and moving them back and you keep the files on a natively formatted disk for your main editing machine. I would worry a little about file corruption though and make sure to back this system up regularly.

                          • 10. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                            john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            John 4641 wrote:

                             

                            Perhaps I should point out that I have an existing catalog of some 36K images (440GB) located on my external drive. Unless I am totally mistaken, to achieve my goal there would be a considerable amount of work and time required. As I understand it I would need to reformat my external drive which would presumably require me to temporally move my entire catalog to another drive and then move them back again. I have no pressing need to share the catalog directly between the iMac and the PC, though there would be some benefits. If I have totally misunderstood the work/time aspect I would appreciate it if you would please let me know.

                             

                            Yes, you have misunderstood. By installing simple utilities you would achieve your goal.

                            • 11. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                              John 4641 Level 1

                              Thank you.

                               

                              Forgive me I am no computer expert so many of the terms are meaningless to me.

                               

                              So, if i am now understanding it correctly, I should install a utility such as Paragon on my PC laptop. That will enable me to unplug my USB external (Mac OS Extended (Journalised)) hard drive from the iMac and connect it to the laptop. I could then use it together with my catalog on the laptop and at any time re-connect it to the iMac and all activity and changes will be available as if it had never been disconnected.

                               

                              My iMac external drive and internal drives are all backed up daily to two other external drives. The catalog is also backed up regularly. My laptop is never backed up I’m afraid as I basically use it only in conjunction with my projector.

                               

                              I am just a bit concerned about jao vdi’s “worry a little about file corruption” statement.

                               

                              This whole scenario has come about because I think it could be convenient on occasions to use the laptop away from home or my desk.

                               

                              Confirmation of my interpretation would be appreciated.

                               

                              Regards

                               

                              John

                              • 12. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Your interpretation of it is correct. I can't speak at first hand about Paragon, but I use the similar Tuxera utility on Mac and haven't seen any signs of corruption. One should always be concerned - and therefore have proper backup, as Jao also said. And you do discuss backup too.

                                 

                                Another idea for you is to keep the catalogue on Dropbox. Have you thought about that approach? Your pictures could remain on the external drive, if you want. And to take it further, the Dropbox catalogue might have smart previews which would mean you could open the catalogue on your laptop without the external drive being attached. There are one or two other details, but it can be a viable way to work.

                                • 13. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                  Actually the simplest solution is to BUY a new external drive, format it either FAT32 or exFAT (not recommended because of possible loss of file do to exFAT corruption) and copy your image to that new drive.

                                  • 14. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                    John 4641 Level 1

                                    Hi again,

                                     

                                    Thank you all for your contributions. I see I have a bit of research to do on software. This probably sounds daft but I am presuming I should be looking at Paragon to go on the PC and NOT Toxera for the iMac?

                                     

                                    Regarding the option of buying a replacement External HD has appeal. However, would the limitation of the size of the catalog being limited to less than 4GB still apply? If so this would not work as I do not wish to reduce the size of my catalog.

                                     

                                    The use of Dropbox would possibly be useful in certain circumstances but being reliant on internet connections would not for me be practical.

                                     

                                    Cheers

                                     

                                    John

                                    • 15. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      The best option is to use Paragon HFS+ for Windows, which keeps the external drive formatted in HFS+. The 4GB limit is only for FAT32 format (32 GB max. capacity). I would assume your PC's HDD is formatted in NTFS....unless it's partitions are <32 GB.

                                       

                                      HFS+ and NTFS are more reliable file systems than FAT32 and exFAT. ERGO–Using Paragon HFS+ with your current HFS+ formatted external drive is probably the most reliable solution. I would still backup everything to another drive using Time Machine.

                                      • 16. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                        Check the Actual size of the Catalog file. The Catalog file is not the total MBs/GBs of images you have.  I have over 16000 images for a total of 210GBs of images and my Catalog file is only 255,000KBs (248MBs) in size. The Preview folder is larger but that is broken up into 17 second level folders with multiple Sub-folders under those 17 second level folders.

                                        • 17. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                          John 4641 Level 1

                                          Hi,

                                           

                                          trshaner - Thanks for the clarification.

                                           

                                          Shootistbond007 - I realised last night that I had earlier provided misleading information on my catalog size (I think i gave my library size) For the record my catalog size is 496.8 MB.

                                           

                                          I am presently in the process of tidying up my library. I am a hoarder!

                                           

                                          One of the reasons for starting to use LR has been to help me sort out my images and get rid of the trash I have been keeping over the years. My images were originally filed in conventional Explorer/Finder structure which I have used as the basis for implementing a hierarchical keyword system. When I have completed this process to a realistic degree my Library should be correspondingly reduced. I will then implement the laptop strategy you have all so kindly contributed to.

                                           

                                          Thank you once again.

                                           

                                          John

                                           

                                          PS - Look out. Your willingness to help will almost certainly lead me to ask further advice in the future!

                                          • 18. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            John 4641 wrote:

                                            I am presently in the process of tidying up my library. I am a hoarder!

                                             

                                            One of the reasons for starting to use LR has been to help me sort out my images and get rid of the trash I have been keeping over the years. My images were originally filed in conventional Explorer/Finder structure which I have used as the basis for implementing a hierarchical keyword system. When I have completed this process to a realistic degree my Library should be correspondingly reduced. I will then implement the laptop strategy you have all so kindly contributed to.

                                            Please be very, very careful about "reorganizing" your files & folders. If you move folders or files from outside of LR they will become disconnected from the LR catalog. There's really very little need to use folder and subfolders to  "organize" your image files. I have a top-level folder for each camera and then Import image files into one subfolder using YYYY_MM_DD naming per session. Everything else is done using Keywords, Collections, Ratings, etc.

                                             

                                            I highly recommend this book on the subject. It's for LR5, but everything in it still applies to LR6/CC.

                                             

                                            Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 5 - The DAM Book

                                            • 19. Re: Is it possible to share use of external drive between PC and iMac?
                                              John 4641 Level 1

                                              Hi,

                                               

                                              I thought that may have opened up a can of worms!!

                                               

                                              Some months ago I imported my images from Finder (a year earlier from a PC) folder by folder using my filing structure headings as a means of keeping a tab on them as I was unsure as to how much I could trust LR (or should I say me using LR). So far all has been successful barring the odd panic as I get my mind round LR. I was not confident that I could break away from my previous filing method to rely on Keywords or dates. It has only been recently that I have started developing the keywords into a hierarchical structure simulating what I've been used to.

                                               

                                              I did read the book you refer to together with many other articles so am very conscious of only moving files from within LR.

                                               

                                              Thank you for your concern.

                                               

                                              Regards

                                               

                                              John