Move catalogs (PSE 2019) from PC computer to PSE 2021 running on Mac computer & external SSD

Participant ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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My PC computer is running PSE15 for one catalog and PSE2019 for the 2nd catalog. I plan to install PSE2021 on the PC & keep this computer as my main work computer. I think this setup involves simple backups and restore to install PSE 2021 with the two catalogs.

I have recently purchased a 2020 Macbook Air M1 with a 512GB internal SSD.and an external 1TB SSD. I want to copy the 2 catalog backups and their associated original photo files to the Mac external SSD. I have already downloaded PSE 2021 on the Mac internal SSD and it runs fine using a few test photos.

My question is how to install PSE2021 to run on the internal SSD of the Mac but with all the other files for the two imported catalogs on the external SSD. What is the difference between 'convert' & 'restore' when creating new catalogs?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

@meg576 

My question is how to install PSE2021 to run on the internal SSD of the Mac but with all the other files for the two imported catalogs on the external SSD. What is the difference between 'convert' & 'restore' when creating new catalogs?

Let's start with "Convert".

Each new version of the Organizer brings changes in the structure of the database and the catalog folder. You have to "convert" old catalogs to the structure of the new version. All the info in the old catalog is kept and tran

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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@meg576 

My question is how to install PSE2021 to run on the internal SSD of the Mac but with all the other files for the two imported catalogs on the external SSD. What is the difference between 'convert' & 'restore' when creating new catalogs?

Let's start with "Convert".

Each new version of the Organizer brings changes in the structure of the database and the catalog folder. You have to "convert" old catalogs to the structure of the new version. All the info in the old catalog is kept and translated in the new format. Nothing is changed in the photo/video files themselves.

You have to convert when upgrading to a new format on the same computer: you get a prompt to do it when installing the new organizer version.

 

The backup and restore is meant to save both your images with their tree structure AND your catalog WHILE keeping the links in the catalog database to the new destination drive of the restore. This allows restoring on the same computer and location OR in another computer or drive or master folder. As a result,

- the files folder tree is recreated on the destination drive

- The catalog folder is recreated also on the destination drive

- it is UPDATED to link to the new location of each photo file

- if necessary it is automatically CONVERTED to the new format.

 

As indicated above, the restored catalog folder is now on the destination drive. You can choose to move the catalog folder from the destination drive to the default location on the master folder.

However, it seems that you want to share the same catalog and the files on the external drive either from the PC or from the Mac.

With Windows only, it's enough to keep the restored catalog on the external drive and to plug it alternatively to two computers.

With Windows and Mac, I don't know how you can share in that way.

 

 

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Participant ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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Thank you for your quick reply MichelBParis.  You have clarified very well the meanings of 'convert' & 'restore'. I don't think I  will be able to share the data on the SSD between Mac & PC other than to use the external SSD solely to make the original transfer of data from the PC to the Mac. When that is done, I will run the two computers independently of each other. Despite the high investment cost of the hardware & software, the Mac will make it possible to view whatever I have in PSE 2021 on the Mac in a portable device.  This plan is what happens when COVID grounds me from doing other things and helps to keep my mind active in a problem-solving way!

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Participant ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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Morning Michel,

I think that I have a similar problem.  As background, I have just recently replaced my Old PC with a New PC, both on Windows 10 Pro.  I downloaded Elements 2020 to the New PC with no problems encountered. My original catalog and all my original images remain intact on the Old PC. I followed the Backup Catalog and Restore Catalog process on Adobe support pages. 

 

I then backed-up my Catalog on the Old PC and restored to the New PC and the problems I now have are: 

1. I have now  lost my folder structure in New PC Organiser (which I don't think you use).

2. I now have dupicated files and folders in the Organiser.I followed the Backup Catalog and Restore Catalog process on Adobe support pages. 

 

The person who built the New PC copiued my whole Old PC Hard Drive data (inc all the images) to the data drive of the New PC.So, I'm happy to delete all PSE data/keyword etc files on the New PC if needed as the originals are on the Old PC.

Any ideas, please, would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Rob. 

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Participant ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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Afternoon Michel,

 

An update.  I have managed to restore my folder tree - a great relief.  However, I cannot restore the image various tags.  The program shows no tags in the column on the right hand side apart from the program's own unpopulated headers (People, Events, Places etc. 

 

Is there a way to overcome this from info on the New PC?  Alternatively, is there a way to copy all of the tags on the Old PC and to import into the New PC?

Grateful,

Rob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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Rob,

Your new PC has PSE2020 (which is still installed on my computer).

What was the version of your old computer? Was it PSE10 or older?

It's not surprising that you get twice the media folder tree: once from the copy of the old HD contents on the data drive of the new PC, another from the restore itself. However, the folder tree seen from the organizer should only show the restored files. Can you check the locations indicated in the Information panel of the organizer?

 

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Participant ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Evening Michel,

 

Many thanks for this reply.  Both PCs are running PSE 2020.  All images are in the 'Pictures'folder.  However, this morning, before I saw your reply, I uninstalled PSE 2020 from the new PC and wiped all trace of it, including the Catalog.  I also deleted all of the master images from the New PC.

 

I then reinstalled PSe and created a new (unpopulated Catalog - Cat 0).  I also, backed-up the Catalog from the Old PC (Cat 1) as well as saving a folder of all of my iamges to an extnl HDD, which I transfered to the New PC, again in the 'Pictures' folder.  I then restored the Cat 1 to the new PC and imported the images.  Again, while I have the tree structure no Keyword Tags or Smart Tags have been imported with the Cat 1. So, now totally confused. 

 

I seem to be following the PSE Backup/Restore method as published by Adobe, but it's not workiong.  At least I have the orignial  working version of PSE 2020/current Catalog on the Old PC, but as the PC's not Win 11 compatible/upgradable,I really wanted to get the program and the Catalog (with Tags) on the New PC.

 

With my originals intact on the Old PC, I'm willing to try anything.  Am I missing something important?

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Participant ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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An update. The Keywords Tags and Smart Keywords  have been imported, but they are in one long list under 'Imported Keyword Tags' but with no 'tree structure' to show them by Category/Subcategory, etc as they are on the Old PC: say: Places: 'United KIngdom: England:Devon: Exeter', and the like. 

:

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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quote

Evening Michel,

I then reinstalled PSe and created a new (unpopulated Catalog - Cat 0).  I also, backed-up the Catalog from the Old PC (Cat 1) as well as saving a folder of all of my iamges to an extnl HDD, which I transfered to the New PC, again in the 'Pictures' folder.  I then restored the Cat 1 to the new PC and imported the images.  Again, while I have the tree structure no Keyword Tags or Smart Tags have been imported with the Cat 1. So, now totally confused. 

I seem to be following the PSE Backup/Restore method as published by Adobe, but it's not workiong. 


By @sweepling

Well, the backup / restore recommended by Adobe is:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/kb/backup-restore-move-catalog-photoshop.html

 

The process creates a backup folder including a number of subfolders. This is a package containing both the contents of your catalog folder and renamed copies of all your media files. You can't use the package for anything else than starting a 'restore' command from the organizer and specifying your options for the restore: the location and if you want to keep the same folder tree structure. You create the package (backup folder) to an external drive. You plug in that external drive to the new computer and start an organizer restore. It's your choice to store the resulting catalog and media files tree on any internal or external drive connected to the new computer. Say you restore on a dedicated data internal drive or partition, the folder tree will be replicated automatically and the catalog folder will be restored under the same 'custom' location. The restore updates the database to show the new location of the files so that there is no broken links (missing files).

Alternatively, you can restore on another external USB drive which will hold both the catalog and the media files. Since you have the same PSE version on the old and the new computer, you'll just have to plug in the external drive alternatively to any computer: everything will be updated.

- So, the process never implies any external copy of catalogs or media files. All the organization in your catalog, your tags, albums and hierarchies are totally restored.

- You should never 'import' again in a new catalog because you would only restore keywords and captions but no albums, stacks, version sets, hierarchies...

- Copying your media files to another drive automatically makes all media files "missing" because the drive is not the same.

 

 

 

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Participant ,
Nov 07, 2021 Nov 07, 2021

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Afternoon Michel,

Please could you walk me thro' the process, starting with my up and working PSE 2020 on my Old PC (OPC) via the restore to the New PC (NPC)? I must be mssing something.

 

At one stage, on the NPC)  I had all of my Keyword Tags (KT) and Smart Tags (ST) showing, but no Media showing (even tho' they were on the NPC.  My Images were already on the NPC.  When I then told PSE 2020 to GET the Media from Files and Folders on the NPC, I was asked to Imprt the KTs, which I did> This left me with the Tree structure of my 'Pictures' folder, the Images with a single KT icon beneath each one and NO KTs or STs in the right hand column.  I am totally confused.

 

My OPC structure is fine.  I would be extremely grateful if you would walk me thro' the process from OPC to NPC.  Do I need to delete all images from the Pictures folder on the NPC (I have a backup just in case)?

 

Again, thank you.

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Participant ,
Nov 07, 2021 Nov 07, 2021

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Just concerned, because my reading of the guidance suggests that the original photos are not backed up, but just the Tags, Albums and references to photos.  I admit to being totally confused.

Rob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 07, 2021 Nov 07, 2021

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quote

Just concerned, because my reading of the guidance suggests that the original photos are not backed up, but just the Tags, Albums and references to photos.  I admit to being totally confused.

Rob


By @sweepling

Indeed, the Adobe guide is not clear enough about what they mean by "moving a catalog". That's why I insisted in my last answer about the fact that they mean moving the photo files tree (what I call the Library) together with the catalog (the database).

The logical results of the restore is a copy of the library plus the new catalog copy. The advantage is that if you restore both on a new drive, the links in the database are updated. If you do separate copies of the library and the catalog on a different drive, the links are not updated and all files are shown as 'missing'.

What is still more confusing is that Adobe uses the same words, moving a catalog in Lightroom, meaning moving only the database, and leaving to the users the task of copying/backing up the media files themselves outside LR. They insist on the fact that the media files are not copied, but they offer a tool missing in the organizer: a tool to 'reconnect' all the missing files. This tool works very well if the media files folders tree (the "paths") are strictly the same as the original but on a different drive. Adobe considers the LR solution as ok for pro users, not for typical PSE users with the "consumer product".

The result of this choice is that you should not copy the media files yourself, the two steps process takes care of it. If you have done the copy, it's logical to delete it altogether before starting the process via a backup folder on an external drive.

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Participant ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Thank you for this Michel,

How then do I move the Library AND the Catalog simultaneously to an extnl HDD, please? I assume that I backup the Catalog to that extnl HDD and then copy/paste or Send the Library to that same extnl HDD.  Then restore the Catalog to the New PC and copy/past or Se3nd the Library to the New PC.  Is that correct, please?

I will delete the Library from my New PC later today. 

I've also found another little glitch which may be an 'own goal': once the media files are Imported/'Get from Files or Folders', I am asked to import the Keywords attached to the images.  I think that this is overwriting my Keyword/Smart Keyword, hence I am left with a long list of Keywords. I will ignore this PSE 'suggestion' next time.

 

Again, thank you.

Rob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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quote

Thank you for this Michel,

How then do I move the Library AND the Catalog simultaneously to an extnl HDD, please? I assume that I backup the Catalog to that extnl HDD and then copy/paste or Send the Library to that same extnl HDD.  Then restore the Catalog to the New PC and copy/past or Se3nd the Library to the New PC.  Is that correct, please?


By @sweepling
No !!!
I am repeating that you don't need to copy the library: the backup function takes care of that.
Similarly, once you have your backup folder, everything including the media files (the library) is restored. You get back all your keywwords, albums and organization without any further steps and without any missing files.
quote

 

I will delete the Library from my New PC later today. 

By @sweepling

Good!

quote

I've also found another little glitch which may be an 'own goal': once the media files are Imported/'Get from Files or Folders', I am asked to import the Keywords attached to the images.  I think that this is overwriting my Keyword/Smart Keyword, hence I am left with a long list of Keywords. I will ignore this PSE 'suggestion' next time.


By @sweepling

This step occurs because you are using 'import' or 'get' files, which you should not do. You won't be prompted to do that if you only do the tw steps: backup - restore.

 

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Participant ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Morning Michel,

It worked! Many thanks for your excellent advice.

The restore has shown some anomalies in my old PC D (Data) drive folder structure, where Pictures were for some reasonoriginally contained within the Documents folder.  This has led to some Document subfolders being shown in the folder tree structure for the Catalog; I'm reluctant to delete these in case that deletes the masters in the Tree structure.  

 Again, many thanks for your excellent advice.

Rob

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Participant ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Michel, one further Q, please.  As my image Library master images is now contained within the restored Catalog, ther is a daanger of deleting it if I add a new Catalog.  Could I move the Library to the 'root' of the Data drive or would I lose all ref to the images within PSE 2020?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Michel, one further Q, please.  As my image Library master images is now contained within the restored Catalog, ther is a daanger of deleting it if I add a new Catalog.  Could I move the Library to the 'root' of the Data drive or would I lose all ref to the images within PSE 2020?

 


By @sweepling

 

After a restore on a new drive in 'custom location', you have the folder you have created for the process in which you find:

- the original folder tree of the media files; if they were in your 'Pictures' directory, you find all the hidden steps for the Pictures folder under your User name. The tree structure is kept, even if those steps are empty until the real master folder storing your images.

- another folder: the catalog folder itself, including the catalog.pse20db and the thumbnail cache.

 

If you want a 'clean' folder tree without the useless 'Pictures' empty subfolder steps, that's possible.

For safety, be sure you still have your backup folder available.

Let's say you have a new structure like:

X:/my custom restored cat/Users/Your name/Pictures/Images/year YYYY....  = your library

.                                         /my restored catalog                                                 = your catalog

 

If your goal is to move the real folders containing images like year YYYY up to the level of /my custom restored cat and to skip the Users/Your name/Pictures, you must do it from the organizer, in the left folders panel in tree mode. You move by drag and drop each folder 'year YYYY...' up to /my custom restored cat. Be patient.

 

 

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Participant ,
May 08, 2022 May 08, 2022

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Michel,

I apologise for bothering you again, butI continue to have problems with backing up and restoring a catalog (inc the original images, etc) to a 'new' PC No 2 

 

Perhaps foolishly, I upgraded from Windows 10 to 11.  I therefore had to reinstall the PSE program on the C drive of PC No 2, which is exactly the same as the program on PC No1.  PC No 2 had had the Catalog from PC No 1 restored to it before I upgraded to Win 11 and, after your advice, this was achieved successfully.

 

Now with PC No 2 running Win 11 I had problems with the catalog.  So, I decided to wipe all PSE files and folders from PC No 2.  I then  completed a full back-up of the Catalog from PC No 1.  I downloaded PSE from the Adobe website and installed PSE 2020 (Ver 18) onto the PC No 2.  I then restored the original catalog from PC No 1 to PC No 2.  This seemed to go well, but then I got the message 'Preparing the Catalog'; this message has been displayed for some 5 hrs with no developmenst.  The black bar across the bottom of the screen shows '0' files.  I have some 32k images. 

The backup was made from PC No 1 to an external HDD.  Task Manager shows no activity.  Any ideas please?

Regards.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2022 May 08, 2022

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Now with PC No 2 running Win 11 I had problems with the catalog.  So, I decided to wipe all PSE files and folders from PC No 2.  I then  completed a full back-up of the Catalog from PC No 1.  I downloaded PSE from the Adobe website and installed PSE 2020 (Ver 18) onto the PC No 2.  I then restored the original catalog from PC No 1 to PC No 2.  This seemed to go well, but then I got the message 'Preparing the Catalog'; this message has been displayed for some 5 hrs with no developmenst.  The black bar across the bottom of the screen shows '0' files.  I have some 32k images. 

The backup was made from PC No 1 to an external HDD.  Task Manager shows no activity.  Any ideas please?

Regards.


By @sweepling

I don't see anything wrong in what you have done. I don't have Win 11, none of my computers are compatible and I am in no hurry to change them. Many issues are attributed to Win 11 while many users don't mention anything serious.

Perhaps a suggestion. If you have a spare external drive with enough space, you could restore your backup from your PC1 on a new master folder. This would confirm if the backup is valid run from Win 10. If by chance it is valid, you could plug in your restored external drive and run a catalog conversion from PC2 to the newer Elements version.

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