I am running PSE15 Organizer with images on two external hard drives and my catalog on my internal C drive. My operating system is Windows 10. I have a full backup and two incremental backups on a third external disk drive. One of the external disk drives containing my images seems to be dying. I would like to purchase a new disk drive and have the images from the "dead" drive that are on the backup placed on the new drive. My catalog on the C drive is fine as are the images on the second external drive. I am not sure how the restore from backup works. Do I just plug the new drive in and do a regular restore? Does the new drive need to be in the same slot as the original drive? Does it need to have the same name as the original drive? What happens on the still good second external drive? Do I end up with duplicates or are the original images replaced?
Your situation is a bit unusual. What is rather common is to have your image files on different hard drives (internal or external). You have somwhere a backup folder (preferably a full backup) which allows to restore in two ways:
1 - on original location (typically to go back to a previous state, not applicable with a changed drive)
2 - a total restore under a single master folder in a single drive. The restore translates the drives location to new subfolders, one for each drive. That would be my preferred choice. One good reason for that is that it is non destructive, you get a working library together with the new catalog on a single drive, and nothing is chanded in the present drives setup.
The first thing being the full backup from the organizer, the second one would be a total copy of your problem disk, preferably a 'cloning' by an app like Acronis. The advantage would be that if the replaced disk is in the same location (slot, drive letter...) the internal serial disk number would be kept, and the catalog would not see a difference.
Another simple solution would be to use the ability of the organizer to move a full folder tree from a drive to another by simple drag and drop. That takes time, and you should take care to let the process run without interruption. If you have a full backup, the process is safe enough (no progress bar, unfortunately).
Obviously step one is not applicable. Dragging and dropping from the "dying" disk drive to another thorugh Organizer does not seem feasible (there are about 75,000 images on the "dying" drive. And the problem I am experiencing is that occasionally everything just hangs when accessing the dying drive whtether through PSE or just through a copy using Windows Explorer.
As you say, obviously it's feasible only if the dying drive is still useable.
I can tell you that I have tested the drag and drop feature with as many files, that's not the issue.
So, you still have the 'plan B' with a full restore on a single drive.
Then, the drag and drop will be an option if you want to move the restored contents of the old dying drive to a different drive.
Note that in the restore process, the catalog is restored just under the master folder destination in the restoration drive. You can move it back to default location from the catalog manager or even simply from the explorer.