After 11 years, I finally faced the inevitable and replaced my Dell PC with a custom-made PC that is worlds faster in every way. I copied the catalog folder (almost 60 MB on the SDXC card) and I retained the same 4TB hard drive that had all my photographs (about 3.6TB) on it. For reasons I do not recall, this was drive D on the old machine, but this machine put the internal Blu-Ray drive as D. The old drive is now F. Photoshop Elements Organizer is still looking for the images on drive D, which is, of course, empty, and will not reconnect to the images on drive F even though they are the original images. I could delete all the unconnected files and spend the next week redoing the facial recognition, but I suspect there is an easier way. Suggestions?
Is your old computer still available?
The normal way to move a catalog with the media files to a new drive or computer is to do a full backup and restore.
The other solution, having the media on an external drive is much easier, but only if you can use the same drive letter as before.
In your case, I am not sure if you can assign another drive letter to your present D drive to free it up for the catalog.
It's easy to assign a different drive letter in Windows but I have never tried with a DVD / Blue Ray player.
Anyway, I think such a big move deserves to spare a few hours to create a backup.
As Michel says, it would be easy to assign a new drive letter to your current DVD drive D and to then reassign that letter to your photo drive F. I have done that many times and never had a problem. The only thing I would suggest is to not use Drive letters A or B for the DVD drive. (It is possible to do so, but it seems that for reasons going back to the days of DOS floppy drives, some programs don't like it.)
I tried the option of backing up/restoring the data. This was impractical because the only backup media with available appropriate capacity at the time was a 4tb NAS via my gigabyte network. I started the 3.6tb backup. I canceled it the following afternoon when Elements had gotten to only 13% (implying that the entire process would take more than a week.) Since I had already lost a full day of editing (you cannot edit and backup simultaneously in Photoshop Elements) I changed the drive letters which made Elements happy. This took about five minutes, including the time I spent researching exactly how to do this in Windows 10.
I was not really worried about losing the image files as everything was already backed up with both Carbonite (i.e. in the cloud) and with Acronis True Image 2020 (local USB drive.) I was worried about losing face recognition, location, album, keyword, and stack assignments which would have taken weeks to redo. Changing the drive letters allowed me to retain those.