24 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2007 1:17 AM by (Jim_Jütte)

    Move tags along with photos when changing computer

      I've just bought a new PC where I installed PAS 3.0. I now like to move all my tagged photos from my old PC (where I also have PAS 3.0) so that I don't have to re-tag all my 3000 photos again. How do I do that????
        • 1. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
          I'd like to know the answer to this as well...
          • 2. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
            Level 1
            Create a backup and then restore to the new PC.

            Cheers
            • 3. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
              how exactly does this work with Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.0 on the old an Photoshop Elements 5.0 on the new PC.
              • 4. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                Level 1
                I assume that you mean you now have PSE 5.0 on the new computer... well,
                when you restore from 3.0 to the new computer, it will put everything in
                place as though it were still on the old computer.

                PSE 5.0 will simply take up the old 3.0 catalogue and convert it to its own
                format and then you proceed as per before.

                Cheers
                • 5. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                  Hanna, I`ve asked that many times and have not gotten an answer. The problem seems to be that there is no backup facility with Photoshop album and the inability to transfer tags and settings will force you into upgrading to Photoshop Elements.
                  So, I`ll re-iterate the question for you. How do you transfer settings and tags from an old computer to a new computer taking into account that te rive letter that the files are contained in may be different.
                  • 6. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                    Level 1
                    I saw your other post. I don't know if you can. Have you considered backing
                    up, restoring to the new computer on a drive that you do NOT want it to go
                    to, then MOVING the images to a different drive and reconnecting en masse?

                    It's extra work I know... but if it works...

                    Cheers
                    • 7. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                      Level 1
                      Thanks, but I don't think that Photoshop Album SE has backup features.
                      • 8. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                        Level 1
                        I just thought of something, you could use a third party software to back
                        up, restore and then proceed as I suggested earlier.

                        Sorry, I don't use it in the way you want to.

                        Cheers
                        • 9. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                          After getting a couple suggestions from tech support today, I think I have succesfully moved tags (and photos) from my old computer to a new one running Photoshop Album Starter Edition. Here is what I did:

                          1) Upgrade to v3.2 (if needed): Download and install v3.2 on the old computer and install it on the new computer. (Open it on the old computer to ensure that all the tags and files are still linked properly.)

                          2) Move Photos: Move all your photos from your old computer to the new one, preserving the same file structure. (in my case, all photos were in various folders inside My Documents\My Photos. (The file tree structure has to be identical - more on that in a moment)

                          3) Copy your catalog file: Tags and links are maintained in a file in a (normally) hidden folder called Application Data. (THi is also the case for Photoshop Elements). You can copy this file from the old system into the same place in the new system to move tags. You are looking for a file called "My catalog.psa". It can be found by going to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Album\Catalogs.
                          [NOTE: YOu likely need to show hidden files in order to find this file. To do so, go to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.
                          Once there, go under the TOOLS menu to Folder Options. Click on the View Tab. On the view tab, click the radio button for "Show hidden files and folders", then click "OK"

                          4) Place a copy of "My Catalog.psa" into the same folder on your new system. YOu will be asked if you want to replace the file by one with the same name. Click yes.

                          5) Open Photoshop Album on your new system to check tags and links. If you truly have identical files structures on both computers then you should be working.

                          Mine did not work at first. Why?: On my new computer, I had a new user name rather than the same user name from my old system. That meant the file structure was 'almost' the same but each path started with the new user name instead of the old. This caused me to have to reconnect files to the catalog. I have about 3000 photos and it took about 30 minutes. If you get blanks with question marks then you have to reconnect the catalog file data with the photo files themselves. USe the Reconnect All Missing Files command under the File menu. Let the system find the files. It found everything on the new system with the same file pat/name but asks you to verify and clock ok to each one. This is a pain but takes less than 1 second per photo.

                          Hope it works for you.
                          • 10. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                            Level 1
                            Michael,

                            This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

                            Cheers
                            • 11. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                              Level 1
                              Hi:
                              Unfortunately I do not have the same file structure. Photos on the old pc were on the 'G" drive and on the new pc they are on the "C" drive. I really have too many photos to sit around and click ok as the program tries to re-link all the photos. Surely there must be a way to use microsoft access to change the file directories? Don't be fooled by the .psa extension..this is just a database file. However when I use access to change it the program will only run off the backup.psa file and will not recognize the one I've changed. Clearly there is another "Adobe safeguard" at work here. Aside from the obvious desire to have me upgrade to Elements I can't understand why a simple fix for this is not published. The only thing it's forcing me to do is try out Picassa.
                              • 12. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                Similar question here:

                                I store all of my photos (almost 47,000!!!) on an external drive. I just upgraded laptops, and so reinstalled Adobe Photoshop Album 2 (the same program that was on my original laptop). However, all the photos now seem to need relinking. But when I run "relink all", nothing seems to get fixed.... and it runs forever -- as in at least 1hour. I did change the edit/preferences/files to point to the main directory of my external drive (which only holds the photos, in a very large hierarchy of nested folders).

                                Any ideas on how to get the program to quickly relink the photos to the thumbnails? I don't know why this is even an issue, since obviously the file structure of the photo folders has not changed... always accessible via j:\
                                • 13. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                  Level 1
                                  James,

                                  Sorry for the lengthy delay... wow... I've been gone for longer than I
                                  thought.

                                  At 47,000, you've pretty much hit the product's limit, especially if your
                                  resources are anything but the latest. If you want, I can check to see what
                                  others at Adobe would recommend, but with any of their consumer products,
                                  you'll hit problems like this with respect to it's organizing ability
                                  because it's max is a theoretical 50,000.

                                  Cheers
                                  • 14. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                    So do I have this right? If I use your free program (Album Starter)and like it so much that I give you $80 to upgrade to a better (Elements)program, I lose all my tags?
                                    Actually just all my time and work creating and tagging.
                                    • 15. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                      Level 1
                                      Just so that you know... we're all end-users here like you. We just try to
                                      help other users and learn more about the product at the same time.

                                      I can't test this with 5.0 on this machine, but what I would suggest is that
                                      you use the trial version to see what will happen in 5.0. It will NOT affect
                                      the PSASE catalogue because it duplicates it and makes it into a 5.0
                                      catalogue. The 5.0 catalogue cannot be read by PSASE, but I don't know if
                                      the tags are retained by the image if you add them in 5.0 and then look at
                                      it again in PSASE.

                                      Hope that helps.

                                      Cheers
                                      • 16. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                        One more option/tip on this. I just moved to Vista from XP and like many others did not want to have to re-tag all my photos with Photoshop Album. The problem is that with XP the files are located at "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Pictures\" and in Vista they are at "C:\Users\USERNAME\Pictures\". Moving the "My Catalog.psa" file as recommended above does move all the tags, but since the files are in a new location (different file and folder structure) they will not show and you have to go through a lot of reconnecting to get them to come up. I found out that others had determined that the "My Catalog.psa" file is in fact just a renamed Microsoft Access database. If you change the extension from ".psa" to ".mdb" you can open the file in Access (or the equivalent free Open Office program). Once opened, you can do a simple replace of all the "Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Pictures" with "Users\USERNAME\Pictures" that show in two columns in one of the tables. Then save the file, change the extension back to ".psa" and open Photoshop Album. Everything comes back up as it was on the old hard drive! I hope this helps someone else that needs it.
                                        • 17. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                          Excellent tip, Sean -- I wish it worked for Photoshop Album 2.0. The Catalog file when opened in Access requests a password (Album 2.0 was not a free product, so I'm gathering that Adobe took a more proprietary stance with the catalog database).

                                          Now that Album 2.0 is unsupported, I wonder if Adobe would provide the name and password for the file? ...it would be great to have it.

                                          At some point in the near future, I'll want to upgrade from XP - and I'll need to select a new cataloging tool for home use. I'm not interested in Photoshop Elements because I'm a Photoshop CS3 user - if I want to edit anything I'd do it there ... but I always rather liked the simple tagging found in Album.

                                          I'm not sure what product I'll pick to upgrade to when the time comes - probably something open source, but maybe Album SE... It'll need to work on Vista, and it should not have the 50K limit on catalog size (#of photos). Anyone in the same boat as me? What are your thoughts?
                                          • 18. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                            Level 1
                                            With regard to converting or upgrading Photoshop Album 2.0:

                                            I looked around a bit more, and I think I'll probably get the latest version of Elements simply to keep my existing catalog intact. I'm not finding anything else that will import my old catalog, so in many ways an upgrade is the simplest solution. Then, when I move to Vista, the move won't be quite so onerous.

                                            BTW - I downloaded Picasa2, and it's a neat tool (if a bit limited) -- but the simple tagging model of Album (now Elements) is hard to beat. Picasa allows for keyword tagging, but it's not as easy to use.
                                            • 19. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                              Level 1
                                              A final note: I downloaded the free trial of Elements 6.0 to test out the conversion from Album 2.0 -- it went very smoothly. I can still open my older catalog in Album 2 as well, should I choose to do so (during the conversion process I was asked for a new catalog name).

                                              This is clearly the way to go. Very easy.
                                              • 20. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                                Level 1
                                                Sean and AJ...

                                                Thanks. I'll see if I can create an FAQ somewhere for Sean's point...
                                                that's cool.

                                                Cheers
                                                • 21. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                                  Shawn,

                                                  I have the same problem that you describe and downloaded OpenOffice 2.3 in order to try your solution. But I don't know how to "change the extension from ".psa" to ".mdb" as you suggest. I can't get the "base" program from OpenOffice to open the "MyCatalog.psa" file. Can you help?
                                                  • 22. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Sean! Sorry for misspelling your name! Stan
                                                    • 23. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                                      When moving photos to another location or computer, you can reconnect them directly in the psa database using Microsoft Access. 1. Make a copy the My Catalog.psa file (e.g., Copy of My Catalog.psa)
                                                      2. Open My Catalog.psa with MS Access
                                                      3. Open the ImageTable table
                                                      4. Replace the Old Path with the New Path, e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\dfong\My Documents\My Pictures with N:\My Pictures, in the following columns:
                                                      4a. fImageOriginalFilePath
                                                      4b. fMediaFullPath
                                                      • 24. Re: Move tags along with photos when changing computer
                                                        Level 1
                                                        Thanks Doug,

                                                        That's a nice simple instruction to follow.

                                                        Cheers