Organizer Files consolidation to one hard drive

Community Beginner ,
Aug 13, 2022 Aug 13, 2022

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I have 40,000 images from the past 6 years on PSE organizer but they are spread out over 3 external drives!  (I use PS to edit but store on PSE organ.)  Is there a way to consolidate them all onto 1 drive without messing them up so badly I can't find anything?  I know that I can't move them around out of PSE and need to do it within the program.  I do a full restore every month so I have that but don't know if it would even work to go back if I have a disaster on my hands.  I've attached 6 pages of screen shots showing the entire catalog.  Yes, I know, it is a mess!  Any advice is TRULY appreciated!

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2022 Aug 13, 2022

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You should be able to restore your latest full backup to a single drive, using the New Location option.  All of the folders will then be stored on one drive, but the folder structure will be flattened under the location that you specify.  (I haven't really analyzed your folder structure from your screenshots, but this method should probably work for you.)

 

The other method would be to drag and drop folders between your drives using the Organizer's Folder Panel.

 

For more information about using the Backup/Restore feature to move the files to a single drive, see this HelpX article.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2022 Aug 13, 2022

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quote

I have 40,000 images from the past 6 years on PSE organizer but they are spread out over 3 external drives!  (I use PS to edit but store on PSE organ.)  Is there a way to consolidate them all onto 1 drive without messing them up so badly I can't find anything?  I know that I can't move them around out of PSE and need to do it within the program.  I do a full restore every month so I have that but don't know if it would even work to go back if I have a disaster on my hands.  I've attached 6 pages of screen shots showing the entire catalog.  Yes, I know, it is a mess!  Any advice is TRULY appreciated!


By @docsheila

 

You have your media files across several drives. No problem, from the start the organizer was built to manage your library from multiple CDs or DVDs.

I am assuming you are using a single catalog. (You'll better see your folders structure if you set your left folders panel in 'tree' mode to display it much like the Explorer/Finder.)

You are able to manage all your files provided the different drives are connected to the computer.

 

So, let's examine the two methods offered by Greg to move the different parts to a single drive, and the pros and cons of each method.

1 - from the organizer with the folders panel in the left in tree mode, you select the top folder of a secondary dive and move it by simple drag and drop to the main drive beside the top folder of that main drive. The process is slow, since it requires copying all the files on the master file and deleting the files on the secondary drive. So be patient and take care that the process is not interrupted. If there are several master folders on the secondary drive, do the same for each one.

Repeat the move for the files of each secondary drive.

 

2 - The backup and restore method.

(Note for Greg: don't worry about getting a 'flattened folder structure'.)

In your case with multiple drives, when you create a full backup, the files in all drives are backed up in a single backup folder.

So, what happens if you choose to restore on a 'custom' location, that is preferably a new folder you have created under the root drive of a new drive, specifying to keep the original structure in the restore?

The organizer then considers that each drive should be restored separately under your new master folder, as new sub-master folders. Same tree look, drives replaced by sub-master folders with the drive name.

The catalog folder is also restored and updated for the new location under the new master folder. This catalog folder can be moved where you want, included in the defalut hidden location for catalogs.

Obviously, that backup/restore does not change anything to your current catalog and  library, it only creates a fully working copy on the new destination. That means maximal safety.

 

So, both solutions do require time and patience. Solution 1 is intuitive and flexible: you can process folder branch by folder branch. The move process is relatively secure even if you get a power failure in the process, which happened to me once. No loss of files, but duplicate creations when the transaction was aborted.

 

Solution 2 may seem slower since it implies a full backup before the restore, but frankly, I would do a backup before solution 1 anyway. As explained, you start the restore only once for all drives. It's safe to let it run as a night job. You can test and check it safely before removing the old multidrives config.

Another advantage if you have restored to an external drive: if you have two computers with the same PSE version, you can use the new config alternatively on both computers just by plugging the external drive alternatively into each one.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 14, 2022 Aug 14, 2022

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OMG-THANK YOU!  I chose #1 and it went perfectly and quicker than I had anticipated.  But it's really nice to open the program and not have to have 3 externals attached and not have to go all the way to the bottom of the "tree" to get the files I want.  And given I use both of my computers, it will be really nice to only have to move one external!  Thanks again!!!

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