11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2018 5:36 AM by dj_paige

    Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one

    Zeppax Level 1

      I have over 416,000 photos on a 2TB external HD in Lightroom. I would like to move them to a 4TB one. Is there any reason not to do this?I really want one drive because I use a MacBook Pro as a main computer and it restricts the number of USB ports directly attached to the tomputer (but I might move back to an iMac fairly soon). From searching the web I find a frequent recommendation is NOT to move (even within LR, as I would try) to a different external drive.

       

      There are a large number of problems I am not on top of. Once I tried to copy the folders to a second HD within LR, but I made a mistake and now lots of photos are no longer linked because it seeks some on one HD and some on the other. My future plan is to have a second HD and use CarbonCloner for the backup.

       

      I am tempted to reimport from scratch, but this would presumably remove all the work I have done on photos in the past. Very many of my photos are no longer of interest, but before I delete them (within LR) I need time and bandwidth to handle my latest big photos, often burst photos of birds.

       

      I also find it hard to find photos, even though I sometimes use keywords. I am very indecisive. But it's a chicken-and-egg situation - I need to get my catalogues and folders in order first.

       

      Many thanks for any advice.

        • 1. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
          F. McLion Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          DO NOT reimport*

          My advice: If you want to move the data to another drive, use the OS and not LR. Important: Move the entire structure 'as is' and do not change the folder structure while moving! You can then re-link the topmost folder in LR and everything below that folder will re-link to the new location automagically.

          https://improvephotography.com/49790/how-to-move-your-lightroom-photos-to-an-external-driv e/

          • 2. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
            Zeppax Level 1

            Thank you. Yes, I have a top folder 'Photos' and many others below that. So it sounds as if there's no reason not to get a 4TB drive.

             

            Reimporting I agree is probably a bad idea, but I meant it as a separate issue.

            • 3. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
              F. McLion Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I'd always keep the catalog on a very fast internal drive. For the photos, IMHO, it's perfectly ok to have them on an external drive or NAS or whatnot.

               

              And yes, you are correct .. when re-importing you loose all the work done.

              • 4. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                dj_paige Level 10

                Zeppax  wrote

                 

                I am tempted to reimport from scratch, but this would presumably remove all the work I have done on photos in the past. Very many of my photos are no longer of interest, but before I delete them (within LR) I need time and bandwidth to handle my latest big photos, often burst photos of birds.

                This would be very bad. Do not be tempted to re-import. Good things will not happen. Bad things will happen.

                 

                From searching the web I find a frequent recommendation is NOT to move (even within LR, as I would try) to a different external drive.

                 

                The best recommendation in my opinion: copy the photos using your operating system, then reconnect the photos inside of Lightroom, and then using your operating system, delete the copies on the original drive. Full instructions are here (scroll down to "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location") Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

                 

                I also find it hard to find photos, even though I sometimes use keywords. I am very indecisive. But it's a chicken-and-egg situation - I need to get my catalogues and folders in order first.

                If you have 416 photos, maybe the use of keywords and other metadata are not needed. If you have 416,000 photos, it seems mandatory to me that you use some organization system, and in my opinion, using keywords and other metadata is mandatory as well. Keywords and metadata are the most powerful and most flexible solution to organizing, and I can't really imagine any other successful method of organizing 416,000 images. As far as the chicken and egg situation ... I don't think "getting catalogs and folders in order first" is the way I would go. You could add keywords and other metadata to your photos using LR regardless of any folder organization (or lack thereof). But, you could do this in either order and get the same results.

                • 5. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                  Simplest thing to do on Mac OS X is to give the NEW DRIVE the same NAME as the old drive. And Rename the old drive to something else. Copy all the files, including all the folders in the same Folder Structure, from the Old drive to the New drive. Connect Only the New Drive, Open LR and LR will NOT know the difference.

                   

                  LR References drives on OS X by the Drive Name and nothing else. So you could have 14-30-50 drives, all with the same name and the same folder and files on them and disconnect one and plug in any of the other and both OS X and LR wouldn't know the differences.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                    Zeppax Level 1

                    Of course the catalogue will stay on the internal SSD drive.

                    • 7. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                      dandes Level 1

                      Where is the re-link command? I have selected a top folder & can not find re-link you mentioned... in top bar or b right or left mouse clicks.

                      • 8. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                        dandes Level 1

                        Found it... Find Missing photos not re-link.

                        • 9. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                          JoeKostoss Adobe Community Professional

                          IMHO, I would not move the old files to the new drive.  I would leave them on the 2TB drive and start anew with a 4TB drive starting with new 2019 photos.  If you want to keep both EHDs connected, you can purchase an inexpensive powered USB hub that will add more USB ports for connecting several EHDs at the same time. 

                           

                          You mentioned that many of your photos are no longer of interest.  In a year or two you may find that most, if not all, of the older photos will no longer be of interest as you move forward and you will be working with only the new photos on the new EHD.  Moving 416K photos is a lot of work for very little return.  By moving the old files, you have instantly used up 50% of your new storage and now have an old EHD that is no longer useful.  If I were to buy 4TB of storage, I would want all of it available for new photos.

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                            Zeppax Level 1

                            I've already got a USB powered hub which I use all the time with several things on it, but I thought it was faster if I attached the photos drive direct to the computer. Is that not so?

                            But you are right, this is my question: new 4TB drive or keep the old. Incidentally, I don't think I will only be working with the new. That is something I have to know for myself. I could of course decide to move only the last five years to the new, which would be a half-way measure. The photos that are not of interest are scattered throughout.

                            • 11. Re: Move folders from one external HD to a bigger one
                              dj_paige Level 10

                              Speed of the drive, or speed of the drive connection, has such a trivial effect on Lightroom performance that you will never notice the difference between a fast drive/fast connection and a slow drive/slow connection.