The best way to make a backup: use the built-in Lightroom feature to make regular and automated backups of your catalog, to a different physical disk than the original. To backup your photos, you can use your operating system to copy the photos to a different physical disk, keeping the folder structure, folder names and file names unchanged; or use an automated backup program.
but I am afraid, in the end, LR will not find them upon restore.
You use your operating system to copy the catalog file and photos back to the exact same location that the originals were stored in.
If you're going to restore the photos on a different disk, keep the folder structure, folder names and file names unchanged and follow these directions in Lightroom (see Figure 4 and associated text): Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
Thank you for your prompt reply.
>>You use your operating system to copy the catalog file and photos back to the exact same location that the originals were stored in.
But, my new config will have the OS and LR on a SSD drive "C:" while I will be moving the photos to the "D:" drive with RAID 1.
So, I am "splitting up" the files from what I have today.
I wondered if I should "move the photos" to a temporary external drive now, test LR. Backup the LR files from the "C:" drive and backup the photos on the new External. Then load LR on the new SSD, find the photos on the external drive and then move them back to the RAID drive.
Does that make sense? I am not trying to be complicated, but I also want to be assured i will have Humpty Dumpty back together again.
I provided a link that explains what to do if you move the photos to a different drive. You don't need to move the photos from here to there to some other place. One move is needed, from the C: drive to the RAID drive.
If you're going to do some sort of test, take a few meaningless photos and put them into a brand new empty catalog, and try it that way, following the instructions at the link; and not following your stated method of testing above.
Thank you for your time. I will give it a try!