8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2017 11:14 AM by JimHess

    Backup strategy ...


      Question pertaining to backup strategies ... my current setup, then a question:


      My LR images are imported to an external OWC RAID1 drive (2 5TB drives) connected to my iMac.  The LR catalog is backed up weekly via TM to a separate external drive.  Catalog & images are backed up via export to yet another external drive.


      Question ... I have been terrible at culling images on a timely basis so I'm using these cold, wintery days go back and clean up past years work.  What have you all found to be the best way to backup image files and do the catalog backup and image backup need to be done together? Second question, when 're-backing up' what is the best solution to ensure I'm not duplicating but only backing up changed images?  Hopefully my questions make sense ... thx in advance.

        • 1. Re: Backup strategy ...
          dj_paige Level 10

          I can't answer all of your questions, as I'm not a Mac user and don't use Time Machine.


          However, I will make a couple of points. Exports of photos are not backups. They may be considered partial backups in some sense, but you cannot recreate your catalog from exports, and exports will not contain all of your work and all of your user-provided metadata.


          Next, if you're not using the built-in Lightroom catalog backup feature to make backups of your Lightroom catalog, then you need to start doing so immediately. The built-in backup feature performs important tasks -- check integrity of catalog and optimizing catalog -- that reduce the risk of catalog corruption and improve the efficiency of the catalog, and these important tasks cannot be performed using any other method. If you do this, then you can have Time Machine make a backup of the LR backup if you want. I don't really see any need to export catalogs as a method of backup either, the built-in LR catalog backup feature is automated and repeats at regular intervals, exporting is not automated and subject to human forgetfulness.

          • 2. Re: Backup strategy ...
            Smackoh Level 1

            I do use the built in LR catalog backup feature and do use TM to do another backup as well.  My question really pertains to the image backup ... how do you backup your image files (and the 2nd part of that question ... how does the catalog know where the backup images are if you don't export them together as a backup?)?   Thx!

            • 3. Re: Backup strategy ...
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              If Time Machine backs up your entire photo collection including the folder structure then if the time comes that you need to restore those images you just restore the entire image backup to where it was previously and the catalog will work normally.

              • 4. Re: Backup strategy ...
                Smackoh Level 1

                I don't back up the photo images w/TM (178,000 images ... ) ... to date they have been exported w/catalog (by specific year) ... the issue I have is doing 'in-year' or relatively current image backup's.  As mentioned in my initial post, I typically have images from a shoot that need to be deleted, then a set that I typically "get to" when time permits ... what I don't want to do is backup images that I won't edit/use so I tend to wait until I have determined my workable images before backing them up.  The LR catalog however, is backed up weekly.  Make sense?

                • 5. Re: Backup strategy ...
                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I guess everyone has their own way of doing things. But I think you are walking on thin ice by not backing up your images. I don't know anything about Time Machine. I'm a Windows user. I have software that I have configured to back up all of my images on a weekly basis. I keep the last two backups. So if I go in during the weekend and delete some images they will be gone from the next backup. That way I sort of have control of the size of my backups. Are you aware that images that you have edited are still in their original state on the hard drive?  The only place those edits are stored is in the Lightroom catalog, and Lightroom applies the edits when the images are displayed in Lightroom. That's why I recommend that you have a complete backup of your images including the folder structure as well as  timely backups of the catalog. If I need images that contain all the edits I will export a copy and use it for it's purpose. But then that copy is deleted.

                  • 6. Re: Backup strategy ...
                    Smackoh Level 1

                    Jim .. I do backup my images (via the export method) but I believe you're partially answering my question in that whatever you're using for backup's recognizes the changes and does incremental backups?  What are you using as your backup application?  Thx much!


                    PS ... I do understand the LR catalog structure and it is backed up weekly.

                    • 7. Re: Backup strategy ...
                      dj_paige Level 10

                      There is "clone" software that will make an exact copy of one disk onto another disk, so if you want to delete pohtos and then also have the photos deleted from you backup disk, the clone software will do that.


                      I'd have to believe that this, or even standard backup software, is a better solution than exporting catalogs, which was never intended to be a backup method.


                      how does the catalog know where the backup images are if you don't export them together as a backup?


                      The catalog doesn't know. It's not designed to know about backups. You have to restore the photos to the original location, which is function of the backup software. Or you, the user, can copy the backups to the original location, it's incredibly simple.

                      • 8. Re: Backup strategy ...
                        JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I'm afraid my backup strategy might be a little too simplistic for some. Although the software I use will do incremental backups, I have elected to perform a full backup of my  images every week. I only keep the last two backups. So if, during the week, I'd delete images from my Lightroom catalog and also from my hard drive, they will be gone from the backup that is created the following week. I also have the software configured to backup my C Drive on a monthly basis as well as my operating system on a monthly basis. I'm comfortable with the way it has been working. The software I use is called EaseUs Todo Backup. There are a lot of different software programs available that will perform backups for you.  The software I use offers a paid version as well as a free version. I have elected to use the free one.