3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 8:46 AM by dj_paige

    What happens when you run out of drive letters?

    Hopper08 Level 1

      Hi,

      We've been running into this problem lately and I'm not sure of the best strategy to deal with.

       

      We've been shooting digitally for many years and keep our photos on external hard drives. These hard drives have always been partitioned in a couple drives  and as time goes by and image file sizes keep increasing so quickly, that drive space gets used up and new drives get added.

      We have many years worth of images in various LR catalogs spread across many external hard drives. We've even shifted mostly to a new computer, but some work is still done on an older machine.

       

      How does everyone handle managing their space and files? How do you not run out of drives over time? Do you take old drives of files and move them to newer bigger drives and then reconnect the catalogs in LR, essentially merging multiple old drives together in one to regain drive letters? Part of the problem too is we'll connect an external HD to different computers with LR, so we try really hard to not have drive letters change and have the same drive be called by 2 differently letters on each machine, but it's really hard to not have things get messed up.

       

      Do we just keep buying bigger and bigger drives and moving multiple old drives on it? Should we not use external HDs and do something else?

       

      We're not sure the best way to handle so much volume of files from over they years, and it'll only get worse as things go forward.

      What does everyone do?

        • 1. Re: What happens when you run out of drive letters?
          dj_paige Level 9

          Running out of drive letters in Windows shouldn't be a problem

          What happens when windows runs out of drive letters? - Super User

           

          I wouldn't partition drives without a very good reason. Partitioning as a default method of operation isn't really necessary.

          • 2. Re: What happens when you run out of drive letters?
            Hopper08 Level 1

            The reason for the partitioning, especially on the older drives was an attempt and preserving data in case something bad happened and a partition needed to be reformatted or went south. Then only the data in that one partition was lost or only that partition needed to be reformatted and not the entire drive, so the rest of the data in the other partitions was safe.

             

            Are you saying that these drives out now that are say, 5TB shouldn't be divided into partitions? What if something happens, you lose all 5 TB of data? That's a huge blow to take. How do you handle your setup?

            • 3. Re: What happens when you run out of drive letters?
              dj_paige Level 9

              Hopper08  wrote

               

               

              Are you saying that these drives out now that are say, 5TB shouldn't be divided into partitions? What if something happens, you lose all 5 TB of data? That's a huge blow to take. How do you handle your setup?

              No of course I didn't say anything like that!

               

              You are implying no backups whatsoever when you say "you lose all 5 TB of data". Any use of a computer to store data (in my opinion) MUST have backups that are made on an automated and regular basis, to a different PHYSICAL disk (not a different partition on the same disk).

               

              So, I have the largest drive I think I would need at the time, and I have another drive which is used only for backups, and I have also cloud backups.

               

              Partitioning might work in some cases to prevent data loss, but you also have to protect yourself against the entire drive (all partitions) going bad, and that boils down to protecting everything on the drive, and to protect yourself against that eventuality, there is no need for partitions, which won't help.