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Storage: Cloud versus External Hard drive

Contributor ,
Apr 21, 2024 Apr 21, 2024

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Hey Everyone

          Forgive the long post but the decisions I'm facing are consequential. I was on the phone with three different Adobe support agents all of whom gave me different advice and I find I trust this community more. 

          For years I have been working with LR on a dell laptop running Windows 10. I bought a new Acer desktop but it only has 512gb in memory and I have a photo library of 245 gigs so I wanted to not only migrate off the Dell laptop but to come up with a better safer configuration.  There will doubtless be some misinformation contained herein which I hope the community will correct. 

           Here is where I started. I had both the catalog and my backups on the internal HD of the Dell. I also most of the time created duplicate files on another external HD when I imported. Note most of the time. My catalog does not perfectly mirror the duplicates and vice versa. I understood from earlier postings that I did not want to upload portions of this to Dropbox so I purchased a Terabyte of memory to store on Creative Cloud. Now I primarily work with LR classic.

            I thought where I wanted to end up was with my image files stored in the cloud, my backups on a new external HD connected to the Acer desktop and my duplicate imports on the old external HD.

            The first Adobe agent said we would everything (catalog, image files and backups), then we would upload to the Cloud.). What the 2nd agent had me do was copy my catalog onto the old external harddrive, then migrate that to the new external HD connected to Acer and then after downloading my photographic package onto the Acer (photoshop, LR & LR classic), opening the latest catalog on the new external HD. This was successful. The catalog opened in LR classic on the Acer desktop. 

            But the third agent said I cannot upload my files onto the Cloud as I am working with LR Classic and to work with those files I would need to import them again. And an agent yesterday said that I can't upload folders onto the Cloud, that synch files is gone and I should use documents/adobe. 

             So here are some of my questions. Now that my latest catalog is happily on the new external HD does that include the backups that were orginally in the LR folder on the old Dell, do I need to move the backups somewhere safer than on the same drive as my catalog and then how do I tell LR classic where those backup files are? And if Adobe Cloud doesn't let me unpload folders how can I put them in the cloud since all of them are in folders labelled by the dates? The agent also said I can only upload Photoshop files and to do so must use the Save as function in Photoshop. 

               Much of this doesn't make any sense and makes cloud storage highly impractical. I didn't want to store the 245 gigs of my images on my Acer because I worried there wasn't enough room, now I am trying to figure out where for optimimum safety the backup files need to go and the advice I'm getting is conflicting. Also I don't understand how Adobe's restriction on the cloud storage (if I am being told correctly) make it workable? Thanks, Joel

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LEGEND ,
Apr 21, 2024 Apr 21, 2024

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For years I have been working with LR on a dell laptop running Windows 10. I bought a new Acer desktop but it only has 512gb in memory...

 

You mean 512gb in disk space, not memory. This is pretty standard these days, and should not be a problem.

 

... and I have a photo library of 245 gigs

 

If your photo library is on an external HD, this simply is not a problem. This is a solution that works.

 

I thought where I wanted to end up was with my image files stored in the cloud, my backups on a new external HD connected to the Acer desktop and my duplicate imports on the old external HD.

 

Lightroom Classic will not work with photos stored in the cloud. WILL NOT WORK. Perhaps you mean the new software named Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic, which is different. Lightroom (not Lightroom Classic) will work with photos stored in the cloud, but thus far you haven't mentioned what software you are talking about.


Now that my latest catalog is happily on the new external HD does that include the backups that were orginally in the LR folder on the old Dell, do I need to move the backups somewhere safer than on the same drive as my catalog and then how do I tell LR classic where those backup files are?

 

It seems you mean Lightroom Classic and not Lightroom. For absolute clarity, please do not refer to Lightroom Classic as "Lightroom". Refer to it as "Lightroom Classic" or LrC. This may (or may not) be the reason why the Adobe agents gave you different answers; one thought your were talking about LrC and other other thought you were talking about Lightroom (not Classic).

 

The location of the catalog file, on the new external HD, does not indicate where the catalog backups are. They can be anywhere. You have to find them and move them to someplace other than this new external HD. Catalog and backups cannot be on the same disk! You don't have to tell LrC where the backups are, it doesn't care; but you should make sure to set the LrC option to store the newly created backups on a differet disk than where the original is located. However you should care where the backps are stored, and always know where the backups are. You should make a new folder on some other disk, at the root level, named Lightroom Catalog Backups so there is never a doubt what is in that folder and since it is at the root folder, it is easy to find. (Some people put catalog backups in some weird folder name buried several folders deep that they will have trouble remembering and DO NOT DO THIS).

 

Also, Lightroom Classic will not work with the catalog in the cloud either.

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Contributor ,
Apr 21, 2024 Apr 21, 2024

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Dj-Paige

Immensely helpful. I now get the absolute difference between LR and LR classic and shall be careful not to conflate/confuse and that this could be the problem I had with the agents. But as LrC always asks me upon quitting whether I want to backup, I still don't understand how it knows where to put the backups without me designating. I am now on the new external HD with my catalog and I take it if I understand you correctly, I should store my backups that were formerly on my old internal drive someplace other than on the new external HD, perhaps on the main Acer internal HD. And I guess that as I continue to import, I should just check the box indicating my desire to create a duplicate and have that continue to be saved on the old external drive? Thanks again

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LEGEND ,
Apr 21, 2024 Apr 21, 2024

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The exact same dialog box that asks you if you want to back up your catalog also has a field where you specify the disk and folder where the catalog backup is to be stored.

 

I wouldn't bother with that "create a duplicate" at import. Backups of your photos need to be stored in the exact same folder hierarchy, with the exact same folder names and file names as the original. There are many freeware and commercial softwares that will do this for you automatically, at a fixed interval (like every day, or once a week, whatever you specify).

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