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Lightroom Catalog Backup

Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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The issue is the length of time it takes to perform a "Backup of a catalog." My catalog has approximately 143,000 images, many of them fairly large files. When I perform a catalog backup, it takes close to 90 minutes or more. I back-up my images in multiple ways including a RAID back up as well as multiple backups that I take off site. So, here are my questions: 1) What is the function of LR Back-up? 2) Is there a way to perform the back-up quicker? Thanks for the help.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

Having the working catalog and the backups on the same drive is not recommended. If the drive fails, you've lost everything.

So backing up to a different drive is a good idea.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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in the future, to find the best place to post your message, use the list here, https://community.adobe.com/

p.s. i don't think the adobe website, and forums in particular, are easy to navigate, so don't spend a lot of time searching that forum list. do your best and we'll move the post (like this one has already been moved) if it helps you get responses.



<"moved from cc desktop">

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Thanks for guidance. I don't post a lot, so this is new to me. However, the problem is an issue.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Backup of your catalog stores all of your work, in case the working copy becomes damaged. It also protects your work so the catalog is less likely to be damaged, with the options "Check Integrity" and "Optimize catalog". Because these options are only available via the built-in Lightroom Classic backup, and are not present if you just use third party or operating system backups, the third party of operating system backups are not sufficient.

 

The LrC backup does not store or make backups of the original photo files. 

 

As far as I know, there is no way to speed this up, other than by turning off those useful options, not recommended.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Thanks for your comments. I guess I just have to do the back-up when Ihave time on my hands!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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I have a couple of thoughts here:

1. The integrity check and optimization steps are performed on the catalog file directly. So, having your catalog on a faster drive will help that process run faster. If you have the catalog on a slow external drive, or a full drive, or a drive that is generating errors, that could make the process much slower.

2. The backup process step creates a copy of the catalog file at the location you choose. The backup must be zipped as part of the process, and it is created and written at the chosen location. Again, if that location is a slow or misbehaving device, this could also slow it down a lot. The backup could be quite a large file if you have a lot of images and have been using LR a long time.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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I use fast external drives from OWC, 2 12TB RAIDS. The "original files" are on one RAID (so I have a backup on that drive). Then, I have a backup RAID. In addition, I back everything up to three (3) separate 12TB 3.5 drives on a schedule and I keep those drives off location. I do have a lot of images (143,000+) and Ihave been using LR for a long time. So, I think I just have set aside 90+ minutes every couple of weeks and do a LR backup. Thanks for your help.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Yes, but where is the catalog and where are the backups? It doesn't matter about the photos, as @dj_paige mentioned earlier, as the LR backup is catalog only. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Everything including the backups are on the external drive.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Perhaps I should store the back-up on my iMac rather than on my esternal drive.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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If the backup takes 90 minutes, something is wrong.

I have 54,000 photographs, and the catalog size is 1.2 GB.

Backing up takes 58 seconds on a fast Windows computer, with Check integrity and Optimize checked.

The catalog resides on an internal 7.200 rpm spinning drive, and is backed up to an internal SSD.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Another individual also indicated that theback-up could be directed to the computer rather than the external drive. I'll try that.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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The time a catalog backup takes depends on a number of things, like the size of the catalog file (not the size of the images!), the speed of your computer, and the speed of the disks involved. 90 minutes for a catalog with 143,000 images sounds excessive to me. My catalog contains close to 200,000 images and is about 4 GB in size. I never timed it exactly, but I would say that a catalog backup (verify and optimize checked)  takes about 5 minutes on my MacBook Pro M1 Max.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Advocate ,
Mar 06, 2024 Mar 06, 2024

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@nwarmour8 

 

My catalog is 28Gb it takes 45 minutes to backup WITHOUT optimising.

 

Due to a bug optimising big catalogs during backup takes abnormally more than normal.

 

So for instance I can optimise my catalog in 6-10 minutes usually via the preferences menu BUT if I optimise as part of the backup process then optimisation can take even an hour long to complete.

 

So for my catalog

Standard backup i.e compressing Catalog = 45min

Optimize + compressing Catalog = 90 or even 120 minutes.

 

So my advice to you is to skip optimisation during backup and perform it via the Preferences menu.

.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate everyone's help on this.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Others have suggested backing up the catalog to my computer, an iMac, rather than my esxternal drives., I'll try that.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Having the working catalog and the backups on the same drive is not recommended. If the drive fails, you've lost everything.

So backing up to a different drive is a good idea.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Thanks. Appreciate the help. Will separate the back-up from the catalog. I'll put the back-up on my iMac.  I do have a thorough system for backing up my images. My main external drive is a RAID, so I have a backup there. Then, I back that RAID up to another. FInally, I keep drive stand alone drives off site, backing them up on a schedule. If my studio had better Wi-Fi, I'd also use the Cloud, but I have bad Wi-Fi at my studio.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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Thanks for your reply.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 07, 2024 Mar 07, 2024

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I have nearly 300,000 images in the catalog, and it does indeed take time. I have it set to back up when I close LRC, and that's  when I'm done for the day. So it doesn't matter how long it takes !

Jill C., Forum Volunteer

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 11, 2024 Mar 11, 2024

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Thanks for your reply. Appreciate your perspective.

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