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.