I have recently had an older computer that was destroyed, but I had the whole computer backed up using Backblaze online. I paid for them to send me an external drive which has everything from my old computer's system on it. I have been trying to restore my last LR catalog backup, and have tried several different methods. First I tried unzipping the last backup catalog, but when I try to open that catalog in LR, it shows all the files as missing (see below screenshot). My understanding of backups from LR is that the original RAW files should still be there. Does LR not import the files themselves? If so, these original files should have been backed up as well, I thought.
I've also tried restoring the previous catalogs from the cloud since the previous computer also used the same LR version on CC, but I cannot access the latest backup that way either. I would really love some help here if anyone has experience with this, I have searched the forums and not found solutions anywhere.
Lightroom only backs up the catalog, not the images.
And the images are not "in" Lightroom, but the catalog contains references to their location.
So you need to copy (don't move - copy is safer, and leaves you with a backup) the images from the external drive to the new computer, making sure the folder structure is the same as you see in the Folders panel in Lightroom. So all folders under Pictures will need to be in the Pictures folder on the C drive on the new computer.
You should search your backups from backblaze for NEF files. Those are your original data files. The LR catalog and attached files only holds your edits, meaning what parameters need to be aplied during export to get your edits applied to the exported files.
If you have no NEF files, I'm sorry for you, but then your backup system failed and you lost your files. If you find your NEFs, you are saved, because all you have to do is to attach them again to the LR catalog. That is done easiest by moving them to the same location as they where on the old computer.