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Moving PSE from 3 computers to a 4th.

Explorer ,
Jul 09, 2020

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Advice please - method and workflow

Computer A is 17" High Def. HP Pavilion running Win 10 with PSE 12 installed but totally unused and is intended to be the final home for all images.

Comp. B is Toshiba Aspire running Win 7 with PSE 12 installed and loaded with nearly 4,000 images.

Comp. C is old Acer running Win XP with PSE 6 installed and loaded with some 2,000 images

Comp. D is old HP desktop unit running Win XP with PSE 6 installed and loaded with 3,500 images.

Objective - Transfer the contents of B, C, and D to A.

Back-up and restore sequence "APPEARS" to be the vehicle to use BUT I have a nagging doubt that it may not function correctly because it will be restoring to PSE containing existing images whereas it normally expects to see an empty catalogue!!! Do I transfer from B to A, then C to A and finally D to A? Do I use backup and restore or use a backed-up version of the Windows 'Picture' file and input it to PSE 12 as 'new' images? Phew! BTW, at 83 my confidence level is questionable!

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Moving PSE from 3 computers to a 4th.

Explorer ,
Jul 09, 2020

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Advice please - method and workflow

Computer A is 17" High Def. HP Pavilion running Win 10 with PSE 12 installed but totally unused and is intended to be the final home for all images.

Comp. B is Toshiba Aspire running Win 7 with PSE 12 installed and loaded with nearly 4,000 images.

Comp. C is old Acer running Win XP with PSE 6 installed and loaded with some 2,000 images

Comp. D is old HP desktop unit running Win XP with PSE 6 installed and loaded with 3,500 images.

Objective - Transfer the contents of B, C, and D to A.

Back-up and restore sequence "APPEARS" to be the vehicle to use BUT I have a nagging doubt that it may not function correctly because it will be restoring to PSE containing existing images whereas it normally expects to see an empty catalogue!!! Do I transfer from B to A, then C to A and finally D to A? Do I use backup and restore or use a backed-up version of the Windows 'Picture' file and input it to PSE 12 as 'new' images? Phew! BTW, at 83 my confidence level is questionable!

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Import and export, Organizer

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Jul 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2020

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It's important to see what the backup and restore does, and what it does not.

- When you start the restore, you specify a destination folder (on any drive of your choice). The photo files AND the catalog are restored there. You can restore dozens of catalogs into as many master folders in your main computer, all catalogs and media files will be available totally independently in as many master folders, with as many different catalogs.

- Restoring files and catalog of catalog B will NOT merge the B data into the A catalog. If you want to merge all four catalogs, that's another story, but you have to start with different catalogs first.

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Jul 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 10, 2020

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Step 2:

After restoring the files separately, you may want to 'merge' several catalogs into a single one.

Note that the different catalogs are by default on each of the restored destination, but you can 'move' the catalog folders to the default hidden destination on C : from the catalog manager instead of leaving them in the 'custom' location.

 

There is no automatic catalog merging option in Elements, contrary to Lightroom. So, the best you can do to merge the files of catalog B into A, you:

- open the B catalog, select all files (Ctrl A)and write metadata to files (Ctrl W)

- open the A catalog and import all the files in the restored B master folder (except the B catalog folder if you have not moved it to default location.

 

This will  retrieve keywords, captions, notes, ratings, but not stacks, albums or version sets of the B catalog.

The B catalog will still be working fine after the importation in A, but you'll have to decide to use the A catalog or the B one because what you do in one is ignored by the other. Any move, rename or deletion in one catalog will corrupt the data in the other one.

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Jul 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 10, 2020

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Hi Michel

Firstly, very many thanks for your quick and detailed response. 

Seemingly, I was right to be apprehensive of the behaviour of back-up and restore and of my lack of adequate understanding! My initial mental response to your reply was WOW! - clearly I (with my family's help) have created some difficulties which I will need a little while to appreciate (age!) properly. This evening, I will formulate a possible alternative proposal and will contact you again but armed with a little more understanding. Thank you so much again and please give me a little time. 

Kind regards,

Richard 

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Jul 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2020

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Hi Michel,

Apologies for the extended delay in furthering this matter but I needed to be sure that I was confident as to what I was dealing with.

I have a proposal which I will detail in a moment after explaining the basis for the route that I am suggesting. Your initital respone was very clear - I would finsh up with 3 entirely separate and independent catalogues and your second response makes it clear that in the absence of a 'catalogue merging' facility I would ultimately have a somewhat ungainly compromise with everlasting shortcomings. Please do not enterpret that as any sort of a criticism of your suggestions which of course are simply a matter of fact.

Computers C and D both operate on XP and are running PSE 6 and have no edited images. They have been used for basic storage only with a small number of tagged images and some albums all of which could with little effort be replicated in the new location, particularly as I would have the exising catalogue data to use as a guide and aide memoire. It would just take time but not too mentally taxing! (And that's important!)

Computer B is a different matter and contains a number of 'worked-on' images as well as tagged and albumed collections and would definitely benefit from the back-up and restore sequence..

The Proposal

How about using the convential Back-up and Restore sequence to move the PSE 12 contents of Computer B to the new and empty computer A and then copy the Windows Pictures Files of Computers C and D separately to a hard drive and use that as the source to import to Computer A employing the normal 'Get Photos' facility. (Would I have to use a 'temporary file' on Computer A first or can I import diredt from the hard drive?) All 3 original sources would then be stored in the one catalogue and I would be left with tagging and reforming albums manually as they say 'in my own time'!.

 

Would this be an operable and satisfactory workflow and achieve my original (misguided) objective or have I 'messed-up' again? 

Kind regards,

Richard Day

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Jul 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2020

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Hi Richard,

You are totally right.

Start with the full backup and restore of B to the  new A drive.

Tips:

Keep the backup folder for safety, at least until you have finished your moves.

No need to 'write metadata to files' since everything is saved, but there is no harm in doing so, preferably before doing the backup.

 

For C and D, you are right, writing metadata to files on the old computer then importing in the new catalog on A is the obvious choice. This requires that you can access the files to import into A, in other words, you have to copy the media files on A, usually by copying on an external drive, then to A. You can perhaps also copy the files from C or D to A via a network.

Same tip as above: keep the copies on the external drive until you have finished and tested the result. Now, if you think about it, you won't save significant time compared to a full backup of C and D for the purpose of moving to the external drive, so, it's your choice.

 

The general tips for using the ''import" solution after writing metadata to files:

- that works with nearly all other softwares and even the Explorer for tags and captions, but you don't transfer albums, stacks or version sets. Not a big deal with small catalogs unless you have many albums or version sets, in particular raw files and their edited versions.

- If you think some albums are worth saving, assign a common keyword to their items, like 'alb_Christmas2019' to be able to re-create the album. That does not save the possible 'custom' album order. In that case, you can rename the files with a common starting text followed by an order number.

- If you have many version sets from originals, the organizer has a visual search feature to suggest automatically photo stacks. This allows you replace version sets by stacks.

 

 

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Jul 17, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Jul 17, 2020

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Hi Michel,

My, you ARE quick! You have no idea of the ego-boost that you given me - it would seem that a few of the old grey cells are still functioning - thank you so much for your patience and the TLC you have afforded the aged one. I will get stuck in over the next few days and let you know of my success in due course. Thank you again - KEEP WELL.

Regards

Richard

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Jul 17, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 28, 2020

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Hi Michel,

Following our last exchange I did not expect to have to ask for further assistance as it seemed that I had sufficient knowledge to be able to proceed. However, preparatory to beginning the transfer of images I re-read your advice and realised that my euphoria was at least premature.

My proposal re the transfers from computers C and D to computer A was to use the Windows XP ‘My Pictures’ folder as the source (via a portable hard drive) and employ the ‘Import’ facility on computer A to effect the transfer. I chose this in the belief that the images in that folder would contain only the image data and the metadata and not be encumbered by ‘coding’ from the PSE 6 catalogue system and should therefore be ‘acceptable’ to the ‘Import’ system.

Re-reading your detailed advice it seemed that you were proposing to use the PSE 6 ‘Media’ files as the source after writing the metadata to file. Would that not mean, that the ‘Media’ file will contain ‘catalogue coding’ and if so would that be acceptable to the ‘Import’ system on computer A? Further, I do not understand how I would access the ‘Media’ file to transfer to the portable hard drive. (Now, I AM showing my lack of knowledge!)

Just to complicate matters, ‘FILE – Save Metadata to Files (Control + W)’ exists in PSE 12 but does not apparently exist in PSE 6, though there is ‘FILE – Write Keyword Tag and Properties Info to Photos’ which is similar but not necessarily the same and would appear to add further unwanted encumbrance to the image file.

I am rapidly getting the impression that Elements is a one way system – once the data is in there that is where it stops!!!

I am now investigating what usable back-ups I may have and checking on camera cards, which I am in the habit of keeping ‘loaded’ until needed for re-use just in case I am forced to do a re-build which I do not fancy.

Comments, suggestions a loaded gun?

Regards,

Richard

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Jul 28, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2020

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 I chose this in the belief that the images in that folder would contain only the image data and the metadata and not be encumbered by ‘coding’ from the PSE 6 catalogue system and should therefore be ‘acceptable’ to the ‘Import’ system.

I don't understand what you mean by 'coding' from the PSE6 catalog?

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Jul 30, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 30, 2020

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Hi Michel,

Whoops! I strongly suspect that I am really broasdcasting my ignorance.... It was my belief (probably erroneous) that  the 'Catalogue' thumb-nail image had attached to it, data/coding that associated it with the image stored in the Windows C - My Picturers folder together with, the metadata, the stack info., assoc'd albums, tag data, people/places/events, version sets data etc. This is embarrassing as from your comment, I must be wrong. I have tried to find an explanation of 'The Catalogue Content'  but to no avail. Neither can I appreciate the use/application of  'Copy/Move to Removable Drive' versus 'Export as New File' - are these instructions relevant? I have even scanned historical FAQ's for PSE 6,7,8 at

http://www.johnrellis.com/psedbtool/photoshop-elements-faq.htm# 

in an attempt to improve my understanding. (What a horror story that history is!)  My concern (perhaps imagined!) was that the PSE 12 'Import' system expected to be presented with an image and associated metadata ONLY and that any other extraneous 'stuff'' would confuse it. Am I very wrong?

You have a keen but inadequately educated pupil who is struggling.

Best wishes, Richard

 

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Jul 30, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 31, 2020

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Richard,

First let me state clearly that your questions are pertinent and useful for all. I thank you for your continued interest. One major reason volunteers answer questions in similar forums is that they are learning by teaching. Many answers require searching in help files, previous discussions, other forums...

The problem of a rich discussion like the present one is that it's difficult to follow by everyone; first the forum itself is not user-friendly, then the discussion is a general one with many small details.

 

So, first, you could download the pdf manual:

https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/elements-organizer_reference.pdf

And especially browse and refer to the chapter 6 about catalogs.

 

The main source of confusion is about common vocabulary which everyone understands in his own way. Importing is commonly 'understood'... but technically and in short it has two meanings depending on your action:

- the files are already in your computer: you register/index each media file in a catalog built around a database. Command "Import from files and folder".

- The files are on an external media files (CD/DVD...) or a camera or card reader: You first have to "download" (copy the files to the computer), then registering and indexing as in the other situation.

 

About the catalog contents, they are described in the above pdf help doc.

 

The catalog piece dealing with thumbnails is technically a sqlite database indexed on the internal identification of each media in the main database. It contains a small image field for each media and the update status. It's called thumb5.cache and is updated with each import or edit in a background task. You can force updating (right click and 'update thumbnail'. The cache will be automatically rebuilt if it is deleted.

When you import, the thumbnail is registered and rebuilt in the background task afterwards. There is nothing critical in that cache when you import.

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Jul 31, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hi Michel,

Thank you again for your explanations and advice.

I have read/re-read 2 or 3 times the pdf Manual and whilst it certainly expands upon the details of the ‘catalogue inclusions’ and rounds off my knowledge, in general, I am pleased to say that it confirms pretty much what I ‘thought’ that I knew excepting of course my perverse view as to the behaviour of the ‘Import’ instruction. What it fails to do, is to describe the use/application of ‘Copy/Move to Removable Drive’ versus ‘Export As New File’. The first is not mentioned at all and the second is referred to once only, very briefly. Can you please enlarge for me (or suggest another source) and indicate whether they have any relevance to my ‘movements’?

I mentioned previously that FILE – Save Metadata to Files (Control + W) exists in PSE 12 but NOT in PSE 6. Does ‘FILE – Write Keyword Tag and Properties Info to Photos’ in PSE 6 do the same thing and ‘Save Metadata to Files’?

Now, finally (I hope) to kill off MY red herring of the behaviour of the ‘Import’ instruction. From the following 2 quotes from your advice I infer that the PSE 12 ‘Import’ programme is in fact very ‘forgiving’ and will actually import ‘almost anything’, ignoring the extraneous.

QUOTES:-

“Now, if you think about it you won’t save significant time compared to a full backup of (computers) C and D for the purpose of moving to the external drive, so it’s your choice”.

AND

“When you import, the thumbnail is registered and rebuilt in the background task afterwards. There is nothing critical in that cache when you import.”

It seems that my concern is based upon misconceptions born out of ignorance and a desire ‘to get it right’ and that is a bit embarrassing. Would you please confirm that my understanding is now correct?

I have highlighted (didn't work) what I hope are my final 3 queries.

Kind regards and very many thanks,

Richard

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Aug 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2020

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"What it fails to do, is to describe the use/application of ‘Copy/Move to Removable Drive’ versus ‘Export As New File’."

I believe that the 'copy/move' command is practically no longer used;  it's a 'legacy' feature from the early times of the Organizer, when CDs were the normal way to store your media. Copying or moving had the result of keeping the moved/copied files managed in the catalog, even if the drives were not connected to the computer.

What is misleading is that in my tests, the command works not only on 'removable' drives (CDs, DVDs, photo cards) but also on internal drives or different partitions.

 

The 'export' command which has equivalents in any decent editing software means you are leaving the 'territory' of the organizer, that is what you export is not only customized for use outside of Elements, but the result is not managed in the catalog. You have a lot of option to batch the export, size, compression, renaming... You are free to 'import' the exported files if you want, but the philosophy of the organizer (like Lightroom) is to manage virtual 'collections' instead of creating duplicates. For instance you'll save various albums using the same original files and the export command will let you recreate immediately the files you have exported. A common use is to use a custom sorted album to create a slideshow. You export at the required size and with renamed files to keep your custom order. Any external slideshow editor will understand the exported files and keep them in sort order.

 

You did not mention another option which is 'duplicate'. The File >> duplicate command can create a voluntary copy which you can move elsewhere on your computer.

 

 

 

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Aug 04, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2020

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I mentioned previously that FILE – Save Metadata to Files (Control + W) exists in PSE 12 but NOT in PSE 6. Does ‘FILE – Write Keyword Tag and Properties Info to Photos’ in PSE 6 do the same thing and ‘Save Metadata to Files’?

 

Yes, it's the same.

 

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Aug 04, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2020

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Now, finally (I hope) to kill off MY red herring of the behaviour of the ‘Import’ instruction. From the following 2 quotes from your advice I infer that the PSE 12 ‘Import’ programme is in fact very ‘forgiving’ and will actually import ‘almost anything’, ignoring the extraneous.

 

The 'Import' process into the catalog reads, registers and indexes the most important items of the metadata, those which are necessary for your most useful searches. The list is described in the pdf doc; the exif data from the camera, keywords, captions, ratings; IPTC (copyright...) you also can have an idea of what is indexed for immediate retrieval in the Search tools. What is totally ignored in the catalog is the 'proprietary' data provided by camera manufacturer. Also, when you are looking at the Information panel in the organizer or the editor, a number of fields are displayed, but they are read from the opened file, not from the catalog.

 

A note about the thumbnails: they are only kept in the catalog, not in the main database, but in a companion database, the thumbnail cache. They are different from embedded thumbnails found in some media files formats. They are created at import time and after each edit. They are updated in a background task not to make you wait while they are created. This can take time especially with raw files.

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Aug 04, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 04, 2020

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Hi Michel

Sooo quick again! Thank you.

PHEW!!! I really think that I may 'have cracked it' to use a colloquialism with the help of your kind patience, knowledge and TLC. I am really extremely grateful for your generous help and advice. Please do not mis-interpret this but I truly hope that I will not have to bother you again. I will begin the excercise shortly and will let you know of my eventual success. There will be a slight delay due to a failed cmos battery in computer D but that should not take long to sort.

 

Very best wishes - KEEP WELL

Richard

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