Adding a second "Working Pictures" hard drive to my LR Catalog.

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#1
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic CC 8.0 Release
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Windows 10
My LR catalog is in my computer's internal hard drive and my pictures are on an external drive. What is the best way to set-up a second external drive as a "working pictures" portable drive that I can also use with my new laptop computer and my original computer?

Thank you.
 

clee01l

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#2
Welcome to the forum.

If I understand you, you want a Portable External Drive where you now have one that is not portable. If this is a replacement for the existing EHD, then simply copy everything on the existing EHD to the new portable EHD. Un Mount the existing EHD and mount the portable EHD assigning it the same drive later as the original EHD. On the laptop you need to assign the portable EHD the same drive letter that exists on the desktop.
Having done this I can only assume that you want to use the same catalog file and previews on Bothe machines too. In that case, you will need to move the folder containing the catalog file and previews to the portable EHD too and only open that catalog file when you run LR from either the laptop or the desktop.
 
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#3
Thank you, Cletus. That was my original intention. I did that, but my "existing EHD" has so many pictures (255K) that if I run LR from a catalog on the portable EHD my Library doesn't ever load my previews, just bland squares. If I run LR from the same catalog on the internal HD then the previews show up, but very clunky and very slow to appear. I was going to explain that I'd done everything you advise, but I thought to "cut t o the chase" and let know where I'm at now.

I'd like to simply use a smaller EHD with fewer pictures on it, with my existing catalog and external HD on both machines. I wonder what is the best way to do that?

Thanks for your detail reply
 

clee01l

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#4
Your previews reside in one and only one place, That is in a folder that is a subfolder of the folder containing your Lightroom Catalog file. It does not matter where your master image files are located in relation to the catalog file and the Previews folder . if you move the folder containing the catalog file and the Previews folder, the previews should open the same. There might be a slight performance hit if this folder is on a USB2 EHD. If your see blank previews and these slowly build, then the open LR catalog file is missing the adjacent Previews folder and is forced to recreate the previews images in a newly created Previews folder .
Are you certain that you are moving the folder that contains your master "lrcat" file and the folder named "[YourCatalogFileName] Previews.lrdata"? By default LR names the folder that contains your master catalog file and Previews folder simply "Lightroom". and creates this "Lightroom" folder in your Pictures folder.
 
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#5
Thanks again. I just looked. Yes, I see the: "LIGHTROOM_CATALOG Previews.lrdata" (what mine is called." It's in the exact place you mention.
What I did was simply copy the entire "LIGHTROOM" folder (all caps because that's how I know it's a name I created, instead of what the default names are) that contains all the sub-directories, the Preview folder among them. Then, I pasted it into my EHD, which also contains an ALL PICTURES folder with chronological sub-folders. So, the Previews folder should have been in there (out of frustration I deleted it because it was such a fail). What I'm doing now is
re-copying it to the EHD, to make sure it's there and trying again, to see if it works as you say it should. But come to think of it, it must be there as when I open LR from my first computer the previews load just fine. (I'll try again anyway.)

Over night, (and I'm actually losing sleep about this) I thought that it might be a blessing in disguise. Since, I've been working on this project since Winter 2015, and I have all these pictures, maybe it's best I just create another Catalog called "Working Pictures" I've tried to avoid having two Catalog's until now.

If I could figure out a way to make a "WORKING PICTURES" folder in my existing catalog "ALL PICTURES" that points to a smaller separate EHD that would be great, but I can't figure out how to avoid my new computer from responding so slowly again when I try to access this huge "ALL PICTURES" catalog. What's strange is that the same LR catalog opens fine on my first computer (which is an older gaming laptop.)

I'll try again.

Thanks
 
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#6
Your previews reside in one and only one place, That is in a folder that is a subfolder of the folder containing your Lightroom Catalog file. It does not matter where your master image files are located in relation to the catalog file and the Previews folder . if you move the folder containing the catalog file and the Previews folder, the previews should open the same. There might be a slight performance hit if this folder is on a USB2 EHD. If your see blank previews and these slowly build, then the open LR catalog file is missing the adjacent Previews folder and is forced to recreate the previews images in a newly created Previews folder .
Are you certain that you are moving the folder that contains your master "lrcat" file and the folder named "[YourCatalogFileName] Previews.lrdata"? By default LR names the folder that contains your master catalog file and Previews folder simply "Lightroom". and creates this "Lightroom" folder in your Pictures folder.
Thank you, Cletus.

After reading your responses carefully. I completed all of the step as per what you've written. It took some time as my picture are many and catalog not to small either.

It seems to be working fine now. What I think happened was that while learning to do all of this, I think I corrupted my catalog the first time around and that snagged things up a bit. I'm using a catalog on my C drive Pictures, since it runs fine that way. I'm going to keep doing that.

Along the way I've learned about "Smart Previews" which are fantastic in that I can adjust them and retain the edits. That is GREAT. Thanks so much for your help!
 
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