Why does LR create multiple large catalog files?

Explorer ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have control within the Backups folder, and only keep the last two or three...

But I'm mystified as to the rationale and management of the rest of LR's recordkeeping system.

Why do I have so much stuff stored in addition to the currently active catalogs?

Mikey44MagBiker_0-1640538772168.png

 

TOPICS
Windows

Views

83

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021
I meant "archive" in a non-technical sense, Mike, so you could substitute words like "move elsewhere" or "backup and delete" instead. You will probably never need the old files again, but you just never know.  It's also worth saying that lrcat files will zip down well - often 10% of their current size - and that the catalogues are pretty small compared with photos. The files that you need to keep are any which contain 2-2-10-11, and of those the only critical ones are the lrcat and lrcat-data,...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The -2 is because in the past each version of LR needed to upgrade the catalogue, and added -2 to the filename. But then this changed so the version number was used instead. So at the top of the list I see a catalogue  upgraded twice under the old method, and then to 10 and 11. You can then read down and see the earlier upgrades which you can archive elsewhere if you wish.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Dec 26, 2021 Dec 26, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

john, thank you for the explanation.  

I'm certainly not an archivist or even an amateur historian, so unless it is a risk management decision, I'm motivated to delete all but the 'last worked' records to provide a chance to rescue a corrupt catalog at some future date.  Then I'd have the current working one plus ONE more earlier version that LR decided to store. 

If the catalog becomes unusable, even without a previous version, would not my file images be the foundations to build a completely new one from 'scratch'?  I'm guessing that would take a week or two of computer time... {and maybe some bad words} but would not risk either the .dng or even a modified .tif file.

I'm not yet getting into storage limits, but I do realize that increasing storage capacity on my system would seriously strain my budget limits.  I'm forcibly retired, on a fixed income, and would choose to keep ONLY the working catalog and run without the previous versions.  

Please comment if you see I'm even considering doing anything stupid ~ I take criticism very well.

Lots of practice.

Hope this finds you well and happy!

mike

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I meant "archive" in a non-technical sense, Mike, so you could substitute words like "move elsewhere" or "backup and delete" instead. You will probably never need the old files again, but you just never know.  It's also worth saying that lrcat files will zip down well - often 10% of their current size - and that the catalogues are pretty small compared with photos.

 

The files that you need to keep are any which contain 2-2-10-11, and of those the only critical ones are the lrcat and lrcat-data, highlighted here, and to be strict only the lrcat is critical (lrcat-data has data re masks). With those two files, you have a record of your photos (ie Library) and all the Develop work you've done on them. If the previews and helper folders were ever lost or deleted, LR would simply rebuild them (using the lrcat info) .

 

Something as clean as this is what you should be aiming for. You can see that I deleted the 2-2-2... 10-11 bits in the names (and you can ignore the Smart Previews folder) but that's just the way I like it and I don't suggest you should rename your LR files. Only the two highlighted files are backed up, in my case daily with the backups stored on an external hard drive.

SNAG-0002.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Wow, you sure do know how to communicate down to the ‘old buzzard’ level and make things clear!  I’m rereading this for the fifth time, and it is becoming understandable … and I’m planning my workflow to be quite similar.  No, I won’t rename anything, but I will clean it up to the simple state, and backup as your highlights indicate {actually mirror my whole dedicated data drive in Win10} to the Drobo.  This is more like once a week, and in the meantime, it is disconnected with air gaps for both power disturbances and virus/hacking immunity. 

I tell my grandson:  “If the house is on fire, your job is to grab that Drobo like the White House ‘Football’ and get it out to the street!” 

I’m going to be so bold as to click the ‘Correct Answer’ if the forum permits, pretending I’m qualified to do so. 

Thank you, sir, for your time and efforts on my behalf.  Deeply appreciated!

mike

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 27, 2021 Dec 27, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Mike, I post rarely these days but seeing your posts and Johns responses is a greatvway to end the year. Your tone and questions with appropriate screenshots were succinctly and clearly answered by long time Lightroom expert John (after wiping his eyes if watching the English cricket team playing in Melbourne) followed by your kind thanks... 

wishing you both a very prosperous and Happy 2022.. 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines