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My mid-2011 iMac is obsolete.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?
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.
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.
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?
Should work fine.
General recommendation for drive use:
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.
That's helpful and reassuring.
I back up everything in Cloud.