10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2016 10:24 AM by trshaner

    achiving images to an external HDD in LR6

    chefianbarner

      Ok, so this feels like a silly question. I need to free up space on my laptop's hdd. I have an external USB 3 drive that I'd like to use for archiving. I get this message when I attempt to "drag and drop" the folder to the new drive. Why would I not be able to adjust changes I've made prior to moving the files, and why wouldn't I be able to move them back if that's what I wanted to do? Am I going about this the correct way? If not please point me in the right direction.

      TIA

      Screenshot (7).png

        • 1. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
          dj_paige Level 9

          I have never understood the wording of that message, as far as I know, if you perform the move you will certainly be able to continue to edit your photos.

           

          BUT WAIT DON'T DO IT YET!!!!

           

          There are a number of reports of people moving photos/folders in Lightroom and the photos simply disappear. A much better and safer approach is to follow the instructions in Part 2 of this document. Essentially, you use your operating system to COPY (not MOVE) the photos, then in Lightroom use the "Update Folder Location" command to point Lightroom to the new location, and when you are sure everything is working properly, in your operating system then you delete the originals.

          • 2. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
            99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Dropping and dragging folders is usually OK for small numbers of images. But there is the potential for things to go wrong when moving large volumes of files. I call that message “off-putting” but it can usually be ignored. I think it’s designed to make you think twice.

             

            The best method is to copy files using explorer, then update Folder Location – see link below – section 2. It’s then safe to delete the images from your internal drive.

             

            http://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

            • 3. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
              robgendreau Level 3

              I'm not 100% sure, but the move itself can't be reversed via an "undo" (but of course you could move them back at any time).

               

              More importantly, perhaps, is that the undo history is essentially erased, but not, I believe, the history of changes you see in the develop module. Just the "undo" button. But verify to make sure. The reason I remember is that I think this warning gave me a start when I first say it, but I musta checked the "ignore" button long ago.

              • 4. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                The safest way to do this is to use Finder to copy (not move) the folder from your internal hard drive to the external hard drive. Then open Lightroom and select that folder in the library. Right-click on the folder and choose to update the folder location. Find the folder on the external hard drive and choose it as the new location for the images. After you have verified that everything is there and as you expect it to be, you can safely delete the folder from the internal hard drive. All of your editing history will remain intact, and you can continue uninterrupted.

                • 5. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  In addition to all of the excellent advice here's one more tip to insure that no files are lost during transfer to an external drive.

                   

                  As recommended, when moving a large number of files use Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. Also, use 'COPY' and not 'MOVE.' This will allow you to check that all files and folders were are successfully moved to the new drive before removing them from the original source drive. Instructions here:

                   

                  Re: How do I move my pictures to external hard drive?

                  • 6. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                    robgendreau Level 3

                    I tend to disagree about using the system to move stuff.

                     

                    I think it's better to have a backup in place, so that even if you moved them from within Lr and the whole batch of them went up in smoke, you'd be covered.

                     

                    And there's another little gotcha I forgot to mention. It may be that you have images, sidecards, or other files in the photo folders that aren't moved by Lr. It will leave them behind, and you may have to move them manually. DxO, eg, leaves .dop sidecars in folders and Lr doesn't move them, same with some GPS files my camera imports. Lr does move regular  RAW sidecars however. Which also means that if you move stuff manually, you need to account for those sidecars as well. Odds are you may be moving the whole folder; fine, they'll be there. But if you just move files you'd need to consider moving the sidecars as well.

                    • 7. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      robgendreau wrote:

                       

                      I tend to disagree about using the system to move stuff.

                      Did you read my post at the link provided? There are some pretty compelling benefits to using the system to move stuff. Re: How do I move my pictures to external hard drive?

                       

                      robgendreau wrote:

                      I think it's better to have a backup in place, so that even if you moved them from within Lr and the whole batch of them went up in smoke, you'd be covered.

                      Agreed, and we assume the OP

                       

                      robgendreau wrote:

                      And there's another little gotcha I forgot to mention. It may be that you have images, sidecards, or other files in the photo folders that aren't moved by Lr. It will leave them behind, and you may have to move them manually.

                      Very good point! The OP should take note and make sure all associated files (XMP files, Export files, etc.) are copied over when moving individual image files rather than complete folders.

                      • 8. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                        robgendreau Level 3

                        Yep, I read it. Just didn't find it as compelling. I guess I value speed over the marginal safety gain, since I already have at least three copies of the images. A fourth? don't need that.

                         

                        It's a tough call for advice here. If one assumes the poster does NOT have a backup, using the Finder/File Explorer to copy would be safer. But OTOH we see bazillions of "how do I find my photos???" posts here every day.

                         

                        Other applications handle this with a bit more aplomb. Exiftool, for example, will by default only write to a copy of the file, leaving an "original" behind. Lr should do a copy, confirm success, and then throw a dialog asking "OK to delete from source?" type dialog.

                        • 9. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          One of the reasons I like to provide the advice above is that unfortunately, some people do NOT have recent backups (they may not have any backups at all). Furthermore, the existence of backups isn't normally discussed when someone asks a question like "how do I move photos to a different disk?". Perhaps it the question about backups should be asked, but it usually isn't. And even if a person has made backups, sometimes the whole process of restoring backups is something that some users can't do properly (yes, we have seen a few people like that).

                           

                          Thus the advice to play things safely and not move the photos from within Lightroom. If you feel the advice does not apply to you, that's certainly your choice, but in general, for the majority of people in this forum, it is good advice.

                          • 10. Re: achiving images to an external HDD in LR6
                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            robgendreau wrote:

                             

                            Yep, I read it. Just didn't find it as compelling. I guess I value speed over the marginal safety gain, since I already have at least three copies of the images. A fourth? don't need that.

                            My point is that if something goes wrong during the "move" process some files may be corrupted or not copied over to the new drive. When you update the backup drive 1) corrupted files will over-write the good backup copies and 2) files not moved to the new source drive will be deleted. It doesn't matter how many backup copies you have....they all will become unrecoverable. Yes, most backup software applications provide a report of the files that will be added (i.e. new), updated (i.e. changed), and deleted (i.e. no longer exist) on the backup drive. Reviewing this type of a report for issues is without a doubt time-consuming and subject to human-error.

                             

                            robgendreau wrote:

                             

                            Lr should do a copy, confirm success, and then throw a dialog asking "OK to delete from source?" type dialog.

                            I totally agree, but until Adobe implements this inside LR it's safer to "move" large numbers of image files from outside of LR. The procedure I outlined at the provided link does exactly what you suggest and it only takes a few seconds:

                             

                            1) Transfer the files with Copy & Paste using Finder or Windows Explorer. (The original files remain untouched on the source drive for verification of success.)

                             

                            2) Confirm success by comparing the top-level folder a) file count, b) folder count, and c) size on disk in bytes (not MBs). The source and destination drives should be identical. This is almost as good as using a checksum.

                             

                            3) Open LR, reconnect the moved folders, and confirm all is working properly.

                             

                            4) Delete the original image files on the source drive only after you have confirmed success in steps 2 & 3.