Move Catalog to different drive/new computer and point to a different copy of image files?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2022 Jul 21, 2022

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Currently have my LR catalog on a SanDisk extreme pro external SSD, and my image files on a 4TB Seagate external HD. I then backup the external SSD and HDD to my Synology NAS, which then syncs the files to iDrive. In this config, the primary catalog is on the ext SSD, the primary image files(jpeg and raw) are on the ext HD, and the backups are on the NAS.

 

I'm receiving a new laptop soon, and would like to move the catalog to the internal SSD on the new laptop - I don't think this is too hard.

 

What I am more curious about is transitioning the image files (raw and jpeg) from being primary on the ext HD to being primary on the NAS, with the ext HD as the local backup.

 

I could wipeout the NAS and start clean, use Lightroom to migrate the files from the ext HD to the NAS as a network drive (I think that's acceptable, correct?), and then let iDrive re-sync my backup. Howver, I have about 2.5TB of image files I'm backing up and so resyncing would take weeks (seriously) and even with their express backup (only free once a year and I just used it to start my new NAS) it was pretty slow.

 

What I am hoping to do since the backup image files and folder structure on the NAS are identical to the ext HD is to move my catalog from the ext SSD to the new internal SSD, and then point the catalog to the network drive location for the image files instead of the ext HD.

 

Since these are backups (run via a sync job on the Synology unit) from the ext HD to the NAS, is there going to be anything funny there that trips Lightroom up? Or will it just think "hey the D: drive (external HD) isn't plugged in I've lost my link" and instead ofaybe plugging the ext HD back in and pointing the catalog to it again (or if the drive letter changed) I can point it to what is actually the copy and LR will be none the wiser?

 

New workflow I'm hoping will pan out is catalog on the internal SSD, load new photos to the internal SSD when I'm not at home and then use Lightroom to move their image file folders to the NAS when I get home. If I'm home when I import files I'll just go straight to the NAS. Then make a local backup regularly with the ext HD and my weekly cloud backup routine with iDrive. I'll still sync a backup of the catalog to the NAS as well.

 

Any input on what would or would not work here is appreciated, I don't want to blow up my file system but also don't want to go through the hassle of getting iDrive synced up to a "new" data set. Should mention I'll be on windows 11 for all of this and using a DS220+ with 4tb x 2 in raid mirroring, 1TB SSD and 4TB ext HD.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2022 Jul 21, 2022

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@Speez wrote:

What I am hoping to do since the backup image files and folder structure on the NAS are identical to the ext HD is to move my catalog from the ext SSD to the new internal SSD, and then point the catalog to the network drive location for the image files instead of the ext HD.


 

That should work. If they are all under a single parent folder, it should only be a matter of right-clicking that one top level parent folder and choosing Find Missing Folder. When you select that parent folder at its new home on the new SSD, all the subfolders should also become relinked too, so hopefully it will take only one step. More specific info at this link…

How do I move Lightroom to a new computer?

…and note that it has a link to an even more detailed free ebook.

 

The location of the catalog itself shouldn’t matter, what matters is where the catalog is looking to link up the files referenced by the paths stored in the catalog.

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