You may keep the images on an external driver, however please keep the catalog on the external drive.
So whenever you want to access Lightroom , you may always open the catalog that is on the external drive and Lightroom will be able to connect to the images on the external drive.
Im confused. I have an external drive that has images and a catalog on it. Im trying to add these images to another hard drive. I copied the files in Finder and I saved a Backup catalog to the new hard drive as well but those files will not appear in lightroom unless I "Find Missing files" from the "?"file on the old drive. Then I only have one working copy. I think I must be doing something wrong. I am trying to get 2 copies of files, but I don't need the entire hard drive copied
There are two steps to obtain working backups.
- Copy everything to a different disk.
- Take action to make these backups work.
You now have correctly made backups of everything. Step 1 is properly done.
However, copying a catalog file to a different drive doesn't change the facct that it still expects the photos to be on the original drive. That's why the ? mark icons appear.
To obtain a second working copy, you do have to fix the question mark icons with the Find Missing Photos command, OR you can use your operating system to copy the photos from the backup drive to the original drive and put them in the exact same location and folder structure as before.
Re-importing the photos is the worst thing you can do.
Thanks, that does make my backup copy effective but it still removes the folders in Lightroom from whatever hard drive I am not using. Do I just have to relink missing files every time I switch from one hard drive to the other?
Since we were discussing backups ... I think it is a mistake to use your backups of your photos and use your catalog file backups. In my opinion, when you make a backup, you ought to let it sit there on the backup disk, untouched and unused, forever and ever, except in the case where your originals get destroyed or corrupted somehow.
So,if you really want to use your backups in the way you described -- don't. Terrible idea. And if you go ahead and do it anyway, then yes, you'd have to relink the missing files every single time you switch.