2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2015 12:16 PM by Judge62

    Looking for advice for migrating old catalog from LR 4.4 to new machine with LR 6.x


      I currently run LR 4.4 on an old Vista machine.  I have some 250,000 images in a single catalog on that machine which are split between an internal G:\ drive and an external I:\ drive.  Approximately 25% are on the G:\ drive; the rest are on the I:\ drive.  Note that each drive, the G:\ and the I:\ also have backup drives associated with them.  I simply ran out of room on that G:\ drive about 2 years ago, so I added an external drive to keep additional images. 


      I just purchased a new PC which will arrive next week, and I am looking for advice on transferring everything over to the new machine.  I will upgrade to LR 6.x with the new PC.


      As mentioned, these images are all in a single catalog.  Very roughly, 50% of these images are personal; very roughly, 50% are professional images, and, again, these are spread out over that G:\ drive and the I:\ drive. 


      So I have two basic questions, one of which I have asked before, but I'd like to get current thinking on this.


      1.  This is the one I have asked before: does it still make sense to have a single catalog for all of my images, even with the quantities mentioned above?  I am seriously thinking about splitting my images into two catalogs.  One will have just personal pictures; the other will have just professional pictures.  In the past, my thinking was that one catalog just made it easier....if I wanted to view or edit any of my pictures, I would not have to switch between catalogs.  I also thought that perhaps if I wanted to search for all pictures using a single keyword, I could use just one catalog to easily find all such pictures with that keyword.  But I find that I really do not do that....search for images that might have common keywords between personal pictures and professional pictures.  So, I would appreciate any comments on whether or not it makes sense to split professional images from personal images into two catalogs.  And, by the way, if I do this, I'll also likely separate the images eventually between hard drives......personal on one drive and professional on another.


      2.  I'm just looking for some advice on doing the actual transfer.  Again, I currently have about 25% of my images on my internal G:\ drive; approximately 75% are on my external I:\ drive.  Note that the images on the G:\ drive are also duplicated on the I:\ drive, but those duplicates are not the ones LR points to and edits.  What I initially plan on doing is to simply copy the existing catalog over to the new PC for LR 6.x to use.  Then, I plan on moving the current external I:\ drive to the new machine.  One of my concerns is the following: when I unplug the external I:\ drive from my current machine and move it over to the new machine, it likely (I think) will no longer be the I:\ drive.  Maybe it automatically becomes, say, the F:\ drive.  Will this cause problems with LR due to the fact that the catalog now currently points to the I:\ drive (and the G:\ drive), but by moving that external drive to the new PC, I may no longer have that drive designed as a I:\ (or G:\) drive?  If that drive I move does switch drive letter designation, that probably means that the images in LR won't be able to be found, and then I'll have to do a search on them....it will be like moving the images to a new folder and having to then search for where they went to.   If I do this, will that then start a process to locate all images in my LR catalog in all of the various folders?  If this process starts, I think it will take a very long time to complete.  Or is another possibly better solution to when I move that external drive from the old machine to the new machine, should I just remap that drive on the new machine to use that same "I:\" drive letter designation?


      I guess a related question that just came up is should I upgrade to LR 6 on the new machine before I move the images to the new PC or after?  Now that I think about it, with such a large catalog, which I know works with LR 4.4, maybe it might make sense to just use LR 4.4 and transfer everything before I upgrade to LR 6.x?  If so, how would I do that with with any licensing issues?


      I hope someone can understand what I am saying and, if so, I'd greatly appreciate any advice, any comments, etc.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Looking for advice for migrating old catalog from LR 4.4 to new machine with LR 6.x
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Here are some easy steps to help you move Lightroom to a new computer:



          If the drive letters change on the new computer, Lightroom won't know where the images are located. Here are instructions on how to find images/folders that Lightroom thinks are missing:

          Lightroom thinks my photos are missing – how do I fix it?


          As far as whether or not you should use multiple catalogs, that is your decision. The general advice seems to be to stick with one catalog and then depend on keywords and collections to group images the way you want them. There is nothing technically "wrong" with using multiple catalogs. I use three catalogs. The one catalog is my master catalog. I have another one for experimenting with different techniques using images that I know I'm not going to want to share with anyone. And I have another catalog for my scanned images. I'm sure someone will tell me that splitting things up like that isn't necessary. But that's the way I like to handle it.

          • 2. Re: Looking for advice for migrating old catalog from LR 4.4 to new machine with LR 6.x
            Judge62 Level 1

            Thanks, Jim.


            I've read through that information, and I'll read it a number of times again before I migrate to the new PC.  It almost looks as if my easiest route will be to hook up my external drive to the new computer to see what it pops up as and then either change it to "I:\", as it is with my current configuration, or perhaps another letter down the line.  One article above suggests maybe using M:\ or greater.  I'm hoping that whatever I do, it will almost immediately take effect so there isn't a ripple through or cascading effect for LR on the new PC trying to find all of my images, which might take a long while. 


            As far as multiple catalogs vs. one, I used to have I think 4 catalogs.  I had one for personal pictures; one for professional, freelance work; one for pictures I received from others like my Mom who wanted photos edited; and yet another for miscellaneous things like scans, as you do.  Some years ago, the feeling I got from others was to put these all into one catalog, which I did.


            But one reason why I'm considering splitting this into at least 2 catalogs is the fact that I do currently have over 250,000 images in total.  It takes close to an hour to backup and optimize the catalog right now.  Consequently, I don't backup and optimize as much as I used to, simply because it takes so long.  I'm really hoping, and I believe this will be the case, that with my new PC (and more memory), that time will be greatly reduced, but I'm still suspecting that so many images still will cause a long backup time.  I do like the fact that with only one catalog, you don't have to search across multiple catalogs by keyword, but, as mentioned, I really don't do that any more (never really did....just thought it was a reason to have one catalog in the past!)


            Thanks again.