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Moving photos from full hard drive

Adobecs 12 114 England
22 Jan 2012 9:25AM
Hi Everyone,
I have searched the forums for how to do this, but still not sure of the best way. At the moment i am running an IMac 500gb which backs up hourly to an external hard disc via time machine. As my hard disc is only 50gb away from full, it is now time to move my photos from my IMac to an external hard drive/drives and clear my machine down and start again.
I use Lightroom as my only photo catalogue sorftware, so how do I do this. I back up my catalogue regular in LR but, but this only stores the info on how the images have been changed and arranged.

If I want to move everything in LR and start again, do I just copy the LR folder where all of the images and catalogue back ups are stored onto the new hard drives, then delete everything from LR and clear my mac hard disc.
Alternatively should I use the export function in LR and just export all images in there original format, which I feel will not carry the changes that have been made to the catalogues.

I have searched around and everything seems to be aimed at backing up your image data on a mother machine only.

I hope this makes sense, I would appreciate you help and advice.

Thanks for any help,

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jarendell 11 95 2 Spain
22 Jan 2012 11:04AM
Hi, do a search for the website "lightroom killer tips" as the presenter MAtt Klowskowski made a video on exactly the same thing only last week.

Hope this helps

JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
22 Jan 2012 11:23AM

Quote:then delete everything from LR

Definitely not, you will then have to re-import them all again and generate the 1:1 previews again.

James's suggestion is spot on, Matt's latest blog ( as of Sunday morning ) explains the process.

One additional suggestion, which I do, is to also have the Lightroom Catalogue on the same drive as my images.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
22 Jan 2012 12:12PM
Might it be better to fit an additional HDD to your computer? They're generally cheaper than external drives of equivalent quality. You can move the LR catalogue to anywhere you want on a PC - is this possible with Mac?

Every so often, I do delete the LR info because we use it for production. Once we've made the printing TIFFs, the LR versions are no longer needed.
Adobecs 12 114 England
22 Jan 2012 1:11PM
Hi all,
Just got back in, thanks for your help. I will look for the video this minute.
Again thanks for you assistance.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2012 1:14PM
You need to consider two things: where the catalogue is held and where the photos are held. They are different. The catalogue stays on the C drive (I am not sure if you can put it on a second hard drive as William says but it may be the case).

I run mine on PC and I believe you can do one of two things:

(1)) attach an external hard drive. Open LR and select all photos then click-and-drag them to the new hard drive, To do this you have to click and hold in the centre of one of the photos in loupe view - if you did as I did and randomly click anywhere else it will not work

(2) move the photos to the hard drive using the explorer function. When you fire up LR again, it will show the catalogue thumbnails (which remains on the C drive) but they will be faint showing along with a message 'not found' (or similar) and a questions mark at top right on the filmstrip below. You will then have a choice of finding them manually or finding them automatically - in my experience once you have found one of the photos it will look for all the others in the same directory and will be solved quite quickly.
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
22 Jan 2012 4:06PM

Quote:You can move the LR catalogue to anywhere you want on a PC - is this possible with Mac?

Yes, it is.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
22 Jan 2012 4:27PM

Just a wee suggestion - leave your existing image files where they are and open a new external HDD for future subsequent images. That way, you don't have to risk confusing Lightroom - simply "copy" future downloads from your memory card on to the new drive location when importing them into Lightroom. The LR catalogue is perfectly able to cope with files being in a variety of locations.
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
22 Jan 2012 4:32PM

Quote:That way, you don't have to risk confusing Lightroom

Just confuse yourself instead Sad

Personally. I believe it is preferable to have all your images in one place ( plus back-ups of course ) ..... then at least you know where they are.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
22 Jan 2012 8:33PM

Personally. I believe it is preferable to have all your images in one place ( plus back-ups of course ) ..... then at least you know where they are.

..but the whole point about Lightroom is that it knows where they all are - and is much less likely to forget.

Your point about back-ups is, of course, entirely valid - and it is good practice to automatically have your LR catalogue backups saved to the back-up drive rather than the default C:. That way, if C: does fail, both your image files and your LR catalogue are safe.

all your images in one place

I think the OP's initial point was that "one place" was no longer big enough. Otherwise, I would agree with you. I don't have any image files on C: - they are all on a 2TB drive H: which automatically backs up to another 2Tb drive J: - but when (if) I need more than 2Tb, I will have to think about more than one location.

Just Jas Plus
16 26.2k 1 England
23 Jan 2012 1:06AM

Quote:A place for everything, and everything in it's place.

The problem is: "Where is that place?"
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
24 Jan 2012 11:23PM
From one Mac user to another:
I got one catalogue that only contains the photos that are IN my mac- that is my old main HD which has a pic=xies partition for all photos that I care about and those that are less than 2 years old. Everything else and job photos live on 2 external HDs which contain the same stuff.
So there is the main catalogue which contains everything and the one which only has the actual stuff. If Something has to be removed from the computer it goes to the external drives and from then on only lives in the BIG catalogue.
I move it all in finder and sync the catalogues later!.

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