Highlighted

Backing up Lr photos on external hard drives

Community Beginner ,
Sep 08, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

This post is longwinded. Apologies.

I am sorry if this query has been answered before, I am about to make a hard drive purchase to store some Lr photos and wanted to be clear what I am doing is a correct and/or whether I have to do some tidying up work before attempt to move my photos. I am a novice user, so please pardon my ignorance.

I am running Lr CC (2015) on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, 2013) running El Capitan 10.11.6.

I am starting to accumulate a large number of photographs on my laptop that I would like to store on 2 4TB external hard drives - the second being a back up for the first. I want to move my photos to the hard drives and still be able to see them in Lr CC (2015) on my and work on them on in Lr CC  my laptop once they have been moved.

My photos are currently in the Pictures folder on my Mac: Pictures> 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

I am about to copy the photos to the first hard drive. And I want to make a copy of that hard drive on a second hard drive as the photos are very important to me.

If I copy the folders to my first LaCie 4TB hard drive:

1) What formatting do I need to make on my HDs to work with Lr and Mac?

2) Do I simply copy the folders to a folder I create on the hard drive that I call Pictures, like the folder name on my laptop? And then make a copy of that hard drive in its entirity on my second drive using backup software that comes with my drives?

3) One of my problems at the moment: I do not understand what  files such as iPhone photos-2.ircat .... mean and I seem to have many of them scattered in many locations? Do I move some or all of them, leave them where they are or duplicate them all to the hard drive?

For example, they can be found in the location:

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>iPhone photos.lrcat .... and so on

Other files exist called iPhone etc are zipped files

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>iPhone photos-2.Ircat.zip  dated 10 July 2015 at 21:19 for example

and there are other files:

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>

called Lightroom Catalog.Ircat dated 27 August 2015 at 17:30

There is also a folder called Lightroom

My name>Pictures>Lightoom

Inside of that there are 4 items:

a folder called Backups

and four files called

Lightroom 5 Catalog Ircat

Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata

Lightroom Catalog.lrcat

Lightroom Catalog Ircat.zip

Why do two files refer to Lr 5 and not Lr CC?

Do I move all of them to my hard drive at leave them in the locations where I found them and delete them on my laptop and then make a second back up of that hard drive?

I have never understood why there are all these files such as Catalog Ircat exist or what they mean? Have I somehow made a mess that I should spend time on before the transfer?

I would like to know how to proceed before I transfer the correct files so that I can view all my files and use all my on the external hard drive that I am moving to win space on my laptop and have the security that they are backed up by a second hard drive. I also have a Time Machine  wireless HD back up for my laptop that I am intending to continue using  after transferring my photos to the external drive plus backup drive.

Sorry to be longwinded - it's just that I really don't know what to do next and wanted to supply as much information as possible.

Many thanks

David Perkins

(Brighton, UK)

Somewhat out of order

The .LRCAT (not .IRCAT) files are your Lightroom catalogs. This is where Lightroom stores all of your work (but the photos are not stored in the catalogs). You can't run Lightroom without them. You should not delete them. You absolutely MUST have backups of these as well.

Clearly you have created somehow a catalog named iPhoto photos.LRCAT. You may or may not need this. The ZIP version is a backup of the catalog file. The file named Lightroom 5 Catalog.LRCAT does not refer to Lightroom 5, it probably is a Lightroom CC catalog. The name is simply a name, it is simply text, it has no other meaning, all files have to have a name.

If I could give you a mandatory homework assignment, it would be to read this: How Lightroom catalogs work . It explains the concept of a catalog. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

When you copy the files to the new hard drive using your operating system, you then need to open Lightroom and reconnect the Pictures folder so that it now points to the new External HD. To do this, right-click on Pictures in Lightroom, select Update Folder Location, and when the next dialog box appears, select the Pictures folder on the new EHD. More details and screen captures in these directions, read the part entitled "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location". Do not import the photos from the new External HD.

Side comment regarding backups: in my opinion, backups must be automated and at a regular interval. You can back up your catalog file(s) from within Lightroom (see https://photofocus.com/2016/04/08/backing-up-your-lightroom-catalog/ ); backing up the photos can be done via your operating system or third party software. Manual backups after creating the initial backup are not sufficient. People forget or they're too busy and the backup doesn't happen and then you are up a creek if you need a backup and you don't have one.

Views

16.4K

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

Backing up Lr photos on external hard drives

Community Beginner ,
Sep 08, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

This post is longwinded. Apologies.

I am sorry if this query has been answered before, I am about to make a hard drive purchase to store some Lr photos and wanted to be clear what I am doing is a correct and/or whether I have to do some tidying up work before attempt to move my photos. I am a novice user, so please pardon my ignorance.

I am running Lr CC (2015) on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, 2013) running El Capitan 10.11.6.

I am starting to accumulate a large number of photographs on my laptop that I would like to store on 2 4TB external hard drives - the second being a back up for the first. I want to move my photos to the hard drives and still be able to see them in Lr CC (2015) on my and work on them on in Lr CC  my laptop once they have been moved.

My photos are currently in the Pictures folder on my Mac: Pictures> 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

I am about to copy the photos to the first hard drive. And I want to make a copy of that hard drive on a second hard drive as the photos are very important to me.

If I copy the folders to my first LaCie 4TB hard drive:

1) What formatting do I need to make on my HDs to work with Lr and Mac?

2) Do I simply copy the folders to a folder I create on the hard drive that I call Pictures, like the folder name on my laptop? And then make a copy of that hard drive in its entirity on my second drive using backup software that comes with my drives?

3) One of my problems at the moment: I do not understand what  files such as iPhone photos-2.ircat .... mean and I seem to have many of them scattered in many locations? Do I move some or all of them, leave them where they are or duplicate them all to the hard drive?

For example, they can be found in the location:

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>iPhone photos.lrcat .... and so on

Other files exist called iPhone etc are zipped files

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>iPhone photos-2.Ircat.zip  dated 10 July 2015 at 21:19 for example

and there are other files:

My name>Pictures>iPhone photos>Backups>2014-07-21 0150>

called Lightroom Catalog.Ircat dated 27 August 2015 at 17:30

There is also a folder called Lightroom

My name>Pictures>Lightoom

Inside of that there are 4 items:

a folder called Backups

and four files called

Lightroom 5 Catalog Ircat

Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata

Lightroom Catalog.lrcat

Lightroom Catalog Ircat.zip

Why do two files refer to Lr 5 and not Lr CC?

Do I move all of them to my hard drive at leave them in the locations where I found them and delete them on my laptop and then make a second back up of that hard drive?

I have never understood why there are all these files such as Catalog Ircat exist or what they mean? Have I somehow made a mess that I should spend time on before the transfer?

I would like to know how to proceed before I transfer the correct files so that I can view all my files and use all my on the external hard drive that I am moving to win space on my laptop and have the security that they are backed up by a second hard drive. I also have a Time Machine  wireless HD back up for my laptop that I am intending to continue using  after transferring my photos to the external drive plus backup drive.

Sorry to be longwinded - it's just that I really don't know what to do next and wanted to supply as much information as possible.

Many thanks

David Perkins

(Brighton, UK)

Somewhat out of order

The .LRCAT (not .IRCAT) files are your Lightroom catalogs. This is where Lightroom stores all of your work (but the photos are not stored in the catalogs). You can't run Lightroom without them. You should not delete them. You absolutely MUST have backups of these as well.

Clearly you have created somehow a catalog named iPhoto photos.LRCAT. You may or may not need this. The ZIP version is a backup of the catalog file. The file named Lightroom 5 Catalog.LRCAT does not refer to Lightroom 5, it probably is a Lightroom CC catalog. The name is simply a name, it is simply text, it has no other meaning, all files have to have a name.

If I could give you a mandatory homework assignment, it would be to read this: How Lightroom catalogs work . It explains the concept of a catalog. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

When you copy the files to the new hard drive using your operating system, you then need to open Lightroom and reconnect the Pictures folder so that it now points to the new External HD. To do this, right-click on Pictures in Lightroom, select Update Folder Location, and when the next dialog box appears, select the Pictures folder on the new EHD. More details and screen captures in these directions, read the part entitled "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location". Do not import the photos from the new External HD.

Side comment regarding backups: in my opinion, backups must be automated and at a regular interval. You can back up your catalog file(s) from within Lightroom (see https://photofocus.com/2016/04/08/backing-up-your-lightroom-catalog/ ); backing up the photos can be done via your operating system or third party software. Manual backups after creating the initial backup are not sufficient. People forget or they're too busy and the backup doesn't happen and then you are up a creek if you need a backup and you don't have one.

Views

16.4K

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
Sep 08, 2016 0
LEGEND ,
Sep 08, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Somewhat out of order

The .LRCAT (not .IRCAT) files are your Lightroom catalogs. This is where Lightroom stores all of your work (but the photos are not stored in the catalogs). You can't run Lightroom without them. You should not delete them. You absolutely MUST have backups of these as well.

Clearly you have created somehow a catalog named iPhoto photos.LRCAT. You may or may not need this. The ZIP version is a backup of the catalog file. The file named Lightroom 5 Catalog.LRCAT does not refer to Lightroom 5, it probably is a Lightroom CC catalog. The name is simply a name, it is simply text, it has no other meaning, all files have to have a name.

If I could give you a mandatory homework assignment, it would be to read this: How Lightroom catalogs work . It explains the concept of a catalog. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

When you copy the files to the new hard drive using your operating system, you then need to open Lightroom and reconnect the Pictures folder so that it now points to the new External HD. To do this, right-click on Pictures in Lightroom, select Update Folder Location, and when the next dialog box appears, select the Pictures folder on the new EHD. More details and screen captures in these directions, read the part entitled "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location". Do not import the photos from the new External HD.

Side comment regarding backups: in my opinion, backups must be automated and at a regular interval. You can back up your catalog file(s) from within Lightroom (see https://photofocus.com/2016/04/08/backing-up-your-lightroom-catalog/ ); backing up the photos can be done via your operating system or third party software. Manual backups after creating the initial backup are not sufficient. People forget or they're too busy and the backup doesn't happen and then you are up a creek if you need a backup and you don't have one.

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2016 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If I remember well, the LR 5 catalog comes from an upgrade to LR 6/CC, when LR migrates the old catalog.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2016 0
Contributor ,
Sep 08, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

thank you for the links.  I need the education.

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Look really here for infos ion the catalog file. They are hell important: How Lightroom catalogs work.

Equal important is this: Photoshop Lightroom catalog FAQ

If you still have questions concerning the catalog, come back to the forum.

If you want using a disk on a Mac OSX and on a Windows PC, you need to format the disk as exFAT ()or install additional software on the Windows system /(to read OSX formated drives) or on the OSX to write NTFS formated drives. OSX can read NTFS drives.

I have the impression, that your LR organisation is somehow a little messy. So I suggest, you backup first and the reorganize to have ONE location for your photos and ONE LR catalog.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2016 2
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I just posted a question about backing up my Lightroom folder to an external hard drive (which I did) and then just wanting to "delete" the entire Lightroom folder from my laptop and start from scratch in Lightroom with a new organizational system.  This very simple operation of "copy entire Lightroom folder to External Hard Drive and then simply delete it from the laptop has to be a possibility here instead of all this long-winded stuff . . .  Thanks.

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
Reply
Loading...
Apr 25, 2018 1
LEGEND ,
Apr 26, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I don't see what this has to do with this thread, and the comment about "long-winded" seems out of place.

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
Reply
Loading...
Apr 26, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 28, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

https://forums.adobe.com/people/Lost+Hiker  wrote

This very simple operation of "copy entire Lightroom folder to External Hard Drive and then simply delete it from the laptop has to be a possibility here instead of all this long-winded stuff . . .  Thanks.

Do so. If you copy all required data to your external disk, you can delete the source data.

But you need to know that the catalog holds all data related to your edits. I would not like to start at 0.

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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
Reply
Loading...
Apr 28, 2018 0
Contributor ,
Sep 08, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

how did this work out?  I am in the same position right now.  I want to get all my images off my computers and organized together on an external drive with that backed up.  did it work out for you?

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If you want a bunch of useful information on how to do this and that, there is one very useful source (appart from Adobe‘s tutorials): https://www.lightroomqueen.com/

Regards,
Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer

I'm not an Adobe employee. All advice constitutes my own opinion. Use at your risk! 🙂

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
Reply
Loading...
Sep 08, 2018 2
New Here ,
May 13, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi - Just wondering if you did find a solution of transferring your files off your computer to a hard drive and then deleting those photos from my hard drive.  I arrived at this page as I am looking to do the same thing!  And don't feel any clearer about how to go about this. Thank you.

 

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
Reply
Loading...
May 13, 2020 0
dj_paige LATEST
LEGEND ,
May 14, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Read "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location" from this document: www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

 

By the way, Kelly2020, you'd be better off starting a new thread and explaining your situation from scratch; rather than appending your question to an old thread where the question being answered is a different one than you apparently have.

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
Reply
Loading...
May 14, 2020 0