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How to backup photos and catalog to external hard drive

Explorer ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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Beginner Here!

I have a iMac desktop and CC. I am concerned about making sure that I have dual backups of my photos and catalogs. I have purchased an external hard drive and would like that to be one of my two backups.  How do I get LR CC to backup photo folders/files and catalogs to my external hard drive? My second backup is my Time Machine that backs up my entire iMac desktop.

Thank you

Lisa

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017
Lightroom does not make backups of your original photos, except at Import. So you need to use a third party backup solution -- as far as I know Time Machine works fine -- to back up your photos.The catalog itself can be backed up by setting the proper option in Lightroom. Under Catalog Settings, there is a backup option. You want to set it to make backups at the desired frequency (the  choice is up to you), and when Lightroom asks you if you want to make a backup, choose a location on the extern...

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LEGEND ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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Lightroom does not make backups of your original photos, except at Import. So you need to use a third party backup solution -- as far as I know Time Machine works fine -- to back up your photos.

The catalog itself can be backed up by setting the proper option in Lightroom. Under Catalog Settings, there is a backup option. You want to set it to make backups at the desired frequency (the  choice is up to you), and when Lightroom asks you if you want to make a backup, choose a location on the external drive.

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Explorer ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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Thank  you both for your help..

But another question comes to mind;

What is the difference between LR Catalog Settings for your back location of your Catalog and the LR Box that appears when you exit LR (it too offers a location for your Catalog Backup)?

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LEGEND ,
May 03, 2017 May 03, 2017

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There is no such thing as LR Catalog Settings "for your back location of your catalog". You can only set the frequency of backups under Catalog Settings.

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Participant ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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I suggest Carbon Copy Cloner

As dj_paige says, you can make backups of your photos at import but i can`t recommend it .

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2017 May 03, 2017

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I keep all my photos on an External Hard Drive rather than the computer Hard Drive and use Super Duper by Shirt Pocket for auto backup to a second hard drive for a Mac. SuperDuper!

If both EHDs are kept in your home next to the computer, you are not protected from home disasters than can wipe out both drives.

You might consider cloud back up as another method, such as CrashPlan, which offers unlimited storage for about $60 per year.

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Explorer ,
Apr 06, 2018 Apr 06, 2018

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not trying to hack the thread but I have a similar situation. I have my LR photos on an ext HD and I back up to another ext HD using CCC. I noticed last night that if I double click on the back up hd I see the master folder "my photos" and below the LRCat. Clicking on  lrcat opens LR Classic and I can see all my previews. But on the left ALL the folders have "?" on them and trying to open a photo in develope gets me "file is missing". And  on the left side just above the master folder the HD name has a greyed out "online" light. I can't figure out what's wrong and yet the GB load is the same as my master HD so it appears the photos are there.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 06, 2018 Apr 06, 2018

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Short answer, there is nothing wrong.

The lrcat on your back up EHD is an exact clone of your original lrcat.  That means it is looking for photos in your main EHD, not your backup EHD.  With the light grayed out on the main EHD, it means that your main EHD is not connected to your computer, ergo, the files and folders are missing.   If you plug in the main EHD, the catalog should find these. 

You can reconnect all the files and folders to those on the back up EHD if you want to, but as long as your main EHD is good and your original lrcat, not your back up lrcat, is OK, there is no need to do this and not recommended unless you have problems with the Main EHD and it has to be replaced.  You should continue working with your original lrcat, which by default would be on the computer hard drive, and keep your main EHD plugged in as you have been doing.

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Explorer ,
Apr 06, 2018 Apr 06, 2018

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Great but what would be the process if I really needed to use the backup HD? I was hoping to go into the backup andclean house but I guess that's not an option.

thanks Robert

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 06, 2018 Apr 06, 2018

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If the folders are missing, right click and choose Find Missing Folder. Point to the copy on the backup HD. If they're not missing, but you want to point to the backup HD, the Find Missing Folder option will be changed to read 'Update Folder Location'.

Sean McCormack. Author. Magazine Writer. Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 07, 2018 Apr 07, 2018

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CosmicCruiser  wrote

Great but what would be the process if I really needed to use the backup HD? I was hoping to go into the backup andclean house but I guess that's not an option.

thanks Robert

To restore any backup of any data or software (not just Lightroom) ... you copy the files to their original location.

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Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2018 Apr 07, 2018

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Thanks for your reply. I guess this is a hole in my computer knowledge as i have no clue how to do this. If I have "copied/ cloned" my photos to another drive then I'm ignorant as to why I can't open that HD in LR.

Robert

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LEGEND ,
Apr 07, 2018 Apr 07, 2018

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You copy the backup photos back to the photos' original locations on the original drive. You copy the backup catalog file back to the catalog file's original location on the original drive. That's how all backup restores work (Lightroom or other software). That's how restoring backups in Lightroom was designed to operate.

There are other ways to do this, especially if the original hard drive is no longer usable.

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Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2018 Apr 07, 2018

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I guess that's what I'm thinking in terms of. I'm assuming the master HD will fail at some point.

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New Here ,
Oct 30, 2019 Oct 30, 2019

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I have a related question. I have 370,000 images and a LR catalogue on an 6Tbyte external hard drive. I have been backing up the images and catalogue on a 10Tbyte hard drive (using the unix utility rsync). Now I would like to retire the 6TB drive and use the 10TB drive as my primary. But, of course the cloned LR catalogue points to the 6TB drive locations of all the images.

 

Is there some easy way to globally change that location in the catalogue from /Volumes/OldDrive/Lightroom... to /Volumes/Newdrive/Lightroom...?

 

Or, do I have to re-import all the files from the old drive to the new drive?

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Community Beginner ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Hi, did you get any answer on your following question? "Is there some easy way to globally change that location in the catalogue from /Volumes/OldDrive/Lightroom... to /Volumes/Newdrive/Lightroom...?" I have exactly the same problem. /p

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LEGEND ,
May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021

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Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2021 May 14, 2021

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Hi and thanks for your reply and to the link to Lyons page. This however did not really solved my issue.

I use Mac. I keep all my LR Classic images and catalogue etc on a master external hard drive.

Using Carbon Copy I regularly make backups to other external hard drives of that master drive. 

 

Yesterday, I used one of my back up drives in LR Classic instead of the master. And all some 100000+ images were missing!!

I realized that the path to the image location was set to the master drive. Of course (!)

 

I tried to “update the folder location” without success.   Nothing happens after I tried this.

I renamed my backup drive to the same name as the master drive, which works nicely.

Is there any other way to change the path to the image location on the back up drive?

 

Cheers

 

Per Thege

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LEGEND ,
May 14, 2021 May 14, 2021

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LATEST

Yesterday, I used one of my back up drives in LR Classic instead of the master. And all some 100000+ images were missing!! I realized that the path to the image location was set to the master drive. Of course (!)

 

Even though you say the document doesn't help, this document does explain exactly how to use photos on a different drive.

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