11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2016 10:27 PM by SurendraPal

    Alternate Backup for Organizer

    Al_Cof WSFL

      i"m using PSE 15 on an iMac (macOS 10.12). I've been using PSE for 5+ years, but never Organizer. I used iPhoto to organize my photos, but Apple has stopped supporting iPhoto in favor of Photos which has no link to PSE to edit photos. I decided to bite the bullet and migrate everything (200+K photos) to Organizer. Things are progressing, so it is time to run some backups. I have successfully created full and incremental backups of some of my catalogs.  I have two concerns about backup. First I don't like being asked to run a backup when I open a catalog. I usually want to start editing photos and would run a backup occasionally during my editing project. Second, even though I'm writing my backup to an external hard drive, the backup gave each picture a unique name not related to the real picture name. I have faith it would get restored with the original  name, but for other reasons I would like to have the original name. (Is this a bug?)

       

      After all that, my question is can I use an app like ChronoSync to backup my photos and the Organizer's catalog directory and create files that could be used to recover a catalog? Would backing up /Users/alan/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Elements Organizer gather the necessary files? The main reason for this approach would to be able to regularly schedule backups to run during off hours.

        • 1. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
          MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Using the backup from the organizer or from another backup solution:

          That's an old question:

          Photoshop Elements 6/7/8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

           

          Using the external solution as you suggest has strong advantages: it's easer and much faster for incremental backups.

          The drawback is that it will restore both catalog and media files library correctly on the same original location, but if you restore on another computer or drive, the links in the catalog to the location of the files will be lost. All your files in the catalog will be shown as 'missing', and you'll have to use the 'reconnect' function, which is not easy.

           

          So, a good solution would be to use your external backup solution as described in your post, and the organizer backup when you want to migrate to another computer.

           

           

          First I don't like being asked to run a backup when I open a catalog.

          Turn off that warning in the Edit >> preferences menu.

           

          Second, even though I'm writing my backup to an external hard drive, the backup gave each picture a unique name not related to the real picture name. I have faith it would get restored with the original name, but for other reasons I would like to have the original name. (Is this a bug?)

          No worry, the files will be restored with their original names (stored both in the catalog and in the backup.tly file). That's necessary to keep all your files in the same 'flat' backup folder to avoid filename duplication.

          • 2. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
            Al_Cof WSFL Level 1

            Thank you for your response. I'm more confident that the alternate backup solution will work. I hope I won't need a new computer for 5+ yrs, but will remember your advice if I do migrate to another computer.

             

            I changed the preference.

             

            The comment about the backup files having a unique name is contrary to what Adobe's document "Elements Organizers Help/ Backup or Restore a Catalog". According to the document, files written to a CD/DVD or external drive should keep the original name. However, as you stated, there is a benefit to the unique name if you are migrating to another computer.

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
              MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              alanc29886605 wrote:

              The comment about the backup files having a unique name is contrary to what Adobe's document "Elements Organizers Help/ Backup or Restore a Catalog". According to the document, files written to a CD/DVD or external drive should keep the original name. However, as you stated, there is a benefit to the unique name if you are migrating to another computer.

               

              Thanks again.

              Where do you see that? Maybe an outdated help file?

              Elements Organizer Help | Backup or restore catalogs

              What is written is:

              "If you back up to a folder on your computer’s internal hard drive, Elements Organizer renames the files with alphanumeric codes. This renaming prevents multiple files with the same name in the same backup folder. However, Elements Organizer restores the names when you restore the files."

               

              I think this help file needs to be corrected.

              Why?

              - Whether you back up to a folder on any of your internal hard drives or any external USB ones, the files in the backup folder will be renamed.

              - practically nobody still uses CD/DVDs for backup now. I have never tried, but I doubt that the files would keep their original names.

              - The contents of a backup folder are independent of the media they are stored on. You can move or copy the catalog folders as you want

               

              I'd like to stress for other users with the same question, that it is important to know how to find the folder containing the catalog to include it in your own backup solution. Menu Help >> System Information, as you have found.

              • 4. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                Al_Cof WSFL Level 1

                What is written:

                 

                • It’s best to back up to a CD, DVD, or external hard drive.
                • If you back up to a folder on your computer’s internal hard drive, Elements Organizer renames the files with alphanumeric codes. This renaming prevents multiple files with the same name in the same backup folder. However, Elements Organizer restores the names when you restore the files.

                 

                I interpreted this to mean only if you backed up to an internal hard drive would the file be renamed with an alphanumeric code. Rewording the help file would help.

                 

                • 5. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                  SurendraPal Adobe Employee

                  Hi Alan,
                  Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency. Yes, as Michel described, Organizer will always rename files while taking backup. I have forwarded the request to the concerned team. Will updated you once its been corrected.

                   

                  I hope all your queries are answered by Michel. Can I help you with something?

                   

                  ~Surendra

                  • 6. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                    SurendraPal Adobe Employee

                    The page is updated now. Please let me know if there are any other inconsistencies.

                     

                    ~Surendra

                    • 7. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                      MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      SurendraPal wrote:

                       

                      The page is updated now. Please let me know if there are any other inconsistencies.

                       

                      ~Surendra

                      Thanks very much, Surendra.

                      This help file has been seriously updated and I don't see any other inconsistency (at least on Windows, I don't know anything about Macs )

                      Perhaps one suggestion: when restoring to an external USB drive, after:

                       

                      If you select a hard drive, Backup Path specifies where the files are backed up on an internal hard drive or network hard drive. To change the location, click Browse, and select another location.

                      I would add: "Don't select the root folder, select or create another master folder for the destination."

                       

                      And finally, another question: from my experience, the restore on a 'custom' destination does restore both the media files library and the restored catalog folder under the chosen destination folder. Users can choose the option to 'move' the catalog to the default location from the catalog manager (for speed reasons...) or to leave it on 'custom' location, which enables sharing a catalog and library on an external drive that you plug in alternatively to two computers with the same Elements version.

                      • 8. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                        Al_Cof WSFL Level 1

                        Thanks, I think the naming has been clarified.

                         

                        Since you asked, I have not found any documentation for the Incremental backup. I understand File | Backup | Incremental Backup , but the next screen "Destination Settings" is not intuitive. The 3 fields "Name, Backup Path, Previous Backup File" are not defined. After a 1 hour Chat with Adobe, I still did not get an answer. (The Chat person walked away!). After more googling, I think you need a .tly file, but am not sure if this is for macOS only. Is there a more detailed backup document?

                        • 9. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                          MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          alanc29886605 wrote:

                           

                          Thanks, I think the naming has been clarified.

                           

                          Since you asked, I have not found any documentation for the Incremental backup. I understand File | Backup | Incremental Backup , but the next screen "Destination Settings" is not intuitive. The 3 fields "Name, Backup Path, Previous Backup File" are not defined. After a 1 hour Chat with Adobe, I still did not get an answer. (The Chat person walked away!). After more googling, I think you need a .tly file, but am not sure if this is for macOS only. Is there a more detailed backup document?

                          Don't use incremental backups if you don't understand the special concept in Elements. Don't trust incremental backups until you have tested the process and verified it works as expected. You don't gain much time by this process. External backup or synching softwares (I do use Windows SyncToy) are much better for that. And the problem is not to backup, it is to restore such backups.

                           

                          First, keep in mind that a backup folder stores everything needed to restore the catalog and the media library, even on another computer.

                          A backup folder, full or incremental, contains a renamed copy of the catalog database file: catalog.pseXXdb renamed to catalog.buc. It also contains a special file, backup.tly which holds all the information to restore all renamed components in the backup folder to the original name and the original path (same place in the folder tree).

                           

                          When you start the restore process, you have to select the backup folder and tell where (which drive, which folder) you want the restore to take place. The restore process uses the backup.tly file for that. If backup.tly is missing, that's a clear sign that the backup was faulty.

                           

                          Now, what about incremental backups?

                          They are 'normal' backups... except that they only include the files which are new or modified since the last incremental backup. They also contain each a full copy of the catalog database. The correct and up to date catalog is the one in the very last incremental backup. That explains why you need to start an incremental restore by the last incremental backup, and to navigate to the previous ones as specified by the restore dialogs.

                           

                          Don't make the mistake to select already used folders as the destination, create a new folder for each incremental backup.

                          Suggestion:

                          Master folder : 'My PSE backups'

                          With subfolders named 'BackFull 2016-11-23; 'BackIncr 2016-11-25; BackIncr 2016-12-05; etc;

                          • 10. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                            Al_Cof WSFL Level 1

                            Excellent explanation.

                             

                            I built a small Test catalog and ran a full backup, added some more photos and ran an incremental backup-1, added some more photos and ran incremental backup-2. All backups ran smoothly.

                             

                            I deleted all the photos and the Test catalog and ran a restore from Incremental backup-2 (.tly). When it finished, a file manager window opened with no instruction as to what to do next. After some experimenting I browsed to incremental backup-1 and ran it, and finally browsed to the full backup and ran it. The catalog was recovered and seemed to work as expected.

                             

                            As another test, I deleted all the photos and the Test catalog and tried to restore the catalog from my alternate backup method and it worked as expected also.

                             

                            The test was very instructional. I just wish the documentation was better.

                             

                            Thanks again for all your help.

                            • 11. Re: Alternate Backup for Organizer
                              SurendraPal Adobe Employee

                              Hi Alan/Michel,

                              Thanks for your feedback wrt to Backup/Incremental backup feature. I will forward it to concerned teams.

                               

                              Thanks,

                              Surendra