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Migration to Windows from Mac

New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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I am a Mac user and I use Lightroom Classic for photography. I keep my lightroom classic catalogue and master files in one folder on an external hard drive (Extreme SSD). I open the catalogue by double-clicking the catalogue file on the external hard drive.  I have attached a picture to show my file system on my external hard drive. The entire external hard drive is backed up in cloud storage.

 

My mid-2011 iMac is obsolete. I am looking at the windows system. I am fascinated by the upgradability and price.

 

My question is if I plug my external hard drive into the new windows computer and install Lightroom Classic and click on the Lightroom catalogue file will it work straight away?

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

LEGEND , Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

It will work, but because I can't see your screen capture, I don't know if it will work "straight away". Anyway, the catalog file should launch properly, and you may find all of your photos are marked with an exclamation point icon and all of your folders are marked with a question mark icon. If that happens, these instructions can fix this issue.

 

Whatever happens, please DO NOT IMPORT THE PHOTOS AGAIN, this is a mistake, this is wrong, this causes problems rather than fixes problems.

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Community Expert , Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

The catalog is platform agnostic, so that won't be a problem. It depends on how that SSD is formatted, however. If it is formatted in APFS, then the PC will not be able to read the disk.

 

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LEGEND , Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

Should work fine.

 

General recommendation for drive use:

 

  • Catalog on fastest drive, SSD drives for example. Internal or external. LrC performance can take advantage of drive speed for catalog access. Keep in mind an internal drive may be faster than a SSD external drive due to connectivity (USB speed). Must be on a physical hard drive not a server share, not a NAS, not the cloud. The catalog is a SQLite database, the issue is various network shares are not setup for a SQLite database and things go
...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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It will work, but because I can't see your screen capture, I don't know if it will work "straight away". Anyway, the catalog file should launch properly, and you may find all of your photos are marked with an exclamation point icon and all of your folders are marked with a question mark icon. If that happens, these instructions can fix this issue.

 

Whatever happens, please DO NOT IMPORT THE PHOTOS AGAIN, this is a mistake, this is wrong, this causes problems rather than fixes problems.

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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I have posted the screenshot again for you

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Community Expert ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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The catalog is platform agnostic, so that won't be a problem. It depends on how that SSD is formatted, however. If it is formatted in APFS, then the PC will not be able to read the disk.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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The SSD format is ExFat. Hope windows wont reject.

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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I am using the external SSD via USB 2. I access all my catalogues and master files from the external SSD. I have not noticed any lag in my use.

Why is it not a recommendation? 

Are there any unknown pitfalls? 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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Should work fine.

 

General recommendation for drive use:

 

  • Catalog on fastest drive, SSD drives for example. Internal or external. LrC performance can take advantage of drive speed for catalog access. Keep in mind an internal drive may be faster than a SSD external drive due to connectivity (USB speed). Must be on a physical hard drive not a server share, not a NAS, not the cloud. The catalog is a SQLite database, the issue is various network shares are not setup for a SQLite database and things go wrong.
  • Library preview files on same hard drive as catalog. LrC takes care of that, do not fight that.
  • Camera RAW CACHE on fastest drive. LrC performance can be effected in this by drive speed. Does not need to be on same drive as catalog. Needs not be on same drive as photos. On a Windows PC, best if not on same drive as Windows Paging file (typically that paging file is on drive C)
  • Photos on any drive. No advantage via drive speed for photo access by LrC. Should be a physical drive, not the cloud. Not an absolute requirement, but eventually things go wrong if on the cloud, on a NAS, on a server share.
  • Do not forget to backup the catalog to a different drive. Can be backed up to a server share, a NAS, or cloud. (as well as a normal hard drive) Best if multiple backups.
  • Do not forget that the photos are not physically located in the catalog. Do not forget to back them up. Backing up the catalog via LrC does not backup the photos.

 

One pitfall, on a Windows PC, apparently not a MAC, rarely, the OS sees a external SSD as flash media. LrC will refuse to work with those photos as it will think the drive is a SD or CF, etc memory card. This can be fixed via dive properties. Probably not going to happen. If it works now, then you are good. 

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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That's helpful and reassuring.

I back up everything in Cloud.

Thank you

 

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