• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom 6 questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom 6 - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. When you upgrade to subscription, there's also a Lightroom Classic version available.

Be aware of what Lightroom backs up

hindssites

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
I am posting this for those who may not be aware of the limitations of Lightroom's backup. Light room is a great product but its backup is not something you should depend on. This is not a complaint, but something only I wish I had know so I would not have lost all the work I had done

I had carefully followed instructions on how to make up a backup of my Lightroom catalog to a secondary hard drive thinking everything was safe. When my primary drive crashed I soon found out that Lightroom makes a backup of the Catalog file....and no more. This file is similar to the index page you might find in a print catalog. In other words, it tells you where the images are, remembers your collections, presets, etc, but does not contain the images. Yes you can backup the images on importing, however you cannot link the backup catalog file with the backup images. If that main Lightroom drive crashes the backup "catalog" file is useless to restore Lightroom back to before drive failure. You still have your backup copy of the original images but you have lost all editing, all collections, all presets,etc. You are back to the beginning with, thankfully, your original files, and a software copy of Lightroom...but no more.

Looking back I wished I had used a third party backup to backup Lightroom. Hundreds of hours of importing, selections and editing would of been restored within the hour.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,107
Location
Hong Kong
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Yes you can backup the images on importing, however you cannot link the backup catalog file with the backup images. If that main Lightroom drive crashes the backup "catalog" file is useless to restore Lightroom back to before drive failure. You still have your backup copy of the original images but you have lost all editing, all collections, all presets,etc.

Erm... yes you can.. quite easily in fact. When you open the back-up catalogue the photos will all have ?? indicating that the catalogue does not know where the photos are. Just right click against the root folder and navigate to where the backed-up photos are. If your backed up photos has the same structure as the original photos then you should have to do this with the root folder.
 

Brad Snyder

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
6,293
Location
Port Deposit, Maryland USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Hindssites, welcome to the forum. Sorry you lost your files.

This issue and many others are addressed in our Starter Kit.

Item #3 in the Starter Kit is 'Top Ten Gotcha's'. The catalog only backup is #3 on that list.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hindssites

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Erm... yes you can.. quite easily in fact. When you open the back-up catalogue the photos will all have ?? indicating that the catalogue does not know where the photos are. Just right click against the root folder and navigate to where the backed-up photos are. If your backed up photos has the same structure as the original photos then you should have to do this with the root folder.

Yes. That is true. The catalog file points to the location of images. If the images are moved, as in the case of a hard drive failure, I need to update the catalog file by relinking the image files. However there are a few problems one will encounter.

1. If shooting in camera raw, LR backs up images (on import) in camera raw with the original file name. If that file name changes by either converting it to a DNG extension and/or changing the file name on import, then you can't reconnect the media. If shooting in jpeg without changing the file name on import then there is no problem.

2. The file structure that LR backups images, on import, is also different then the file structure in LR itself. LR backs up in folders according to date ie "Imported on date". Not a huge problem since you can eventually reconnect the media if, and only if, the file name and format remain the same. However it takes time and the folder name in LR takes on the folder name "Imported on date". It just is a bit of a pain.

So much easier and safer to use a third party backup. For me I am OK, I backed up my most important images. However, I would hate to see someone loose years of images because they depended entirely on LR for backup.
 

hindssites

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Hindssites, welcome to the forum. Sorry you lost your files.

This issue and many others are addressed in our Starter Kit.

Item #3 in the Starter Kit is 'Top Ten Gotcha's'. The catalog only backup is #3 on that list.

I really don't want to belabor this whole back up issues but I continue this discussion as there may be other who clearly want to understand how safe there backup is. Lightroom does NOT need to know where the original files are. It needs to know the location of files it imported. (Not the backup import..which is really where the "original" camera raw images are saved) If, on import, files names are converted to a DNG format and /or renamed, it needs the location of those files. Loose those files and you are toast. People who believe all their editing, collections, cropping, flagging, etc, are safe by backing up the catalog file after every session, and saving a backup copy of every will find they won't be able to restored LR if they convert raw to DNG and/or renamed the file on import. Why? Because they changed the file name in the LR images from the originals on the backup. Linking them back up is pretty near impossible.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,629
Location
Paradise
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Don't agree with that Mark, I convert to DNG and rename within LR and keep the original file name in the file and LR so syncing back to the original file would be no problem. But then I do back up files regularly with Time Machine. Do they have Time Machine on PC's??:mad2::razz::mrgreen:
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,433
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
As much as LR offers some forms of file management from "soup to nuts", I prefer ImageIngester as my "front end" to LR. It renames, converts and backs up my images with a single click, and all I need to do when it finishes is import the files into LR (in place). My backup folder structure is identical to my primary folder structure, and my NEF files carry the same names as the DNG files that I import into LR. It may not work for everybody, but it certainly serves me quite well for organizational and backup purposes. It is unfortunate, but totally understandable, that new users would expect LR to "contain" and back up their files. Our Starter Kit helps address that issue, but I wish Adobe would do more to explain that LR follows "its own logic", so new users are made aware of "LR logic".

--Ken
 

DavidHB

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
37
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
I agree wholeheartedly with everything that is said here about the need for a full backup routine "outside of" Lightroom. As collections grow in size, this will probably also need to be integrated with an archiving procedure, particularly for RAW and/or DNG files. In this connection, it may make sense to enable the catalog preference to save settings the (.xmp sidecar or DNG) files, so that the settings are backed up or archived with the images to which they relate. If circumstances then arise where these images need to be re-imported into Lightroom, the settings (and therefore the work already done on the images) will be re-imported with the images.

David
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,107
Location
Hong Kong
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Don't agree with that Mark, I convert to DNG and rename within LR and keep the original file name in the file and LR so syncing back to the original file would be no problem. But then I do back up files regularly with Time Machine. Do they have Time Machine on PC's??:mad2::razz::mrgreen:

Thats quite ok. Perhaps one day I will understand the benefits of DNG.

I used Bill's lightweight "Synctoy" for a while. It worked fine at first but it got itself (with my help) into a right old mess. I now do all my back-ups of original photos and documents by hand in windows explorer. Not perfect I know but at least I know what is going on and where everything is. Of course I let LR back-up my catalogue.
 

hindssites

New Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
As much as LR offers some forms of file management from "soup to nuts", I prefer ImageIngester as my "front end" to LR. It renames, converts and backs up my images with a single click, and all I need to do when it finishes is import the files into LR (in place). My backup folder structure is identical to my primary folder structure, and my NEF files carry the same names as the DNG files that I import into LR. It may not work for everybody, but it certainly serves me quite well for organizational and backup purposes. It is unfortunate, but totally understandable, that new users would expect LR to "contain" and back up their files. Our Starter Kit helps address that issue, but I wish Adobe would do more to explain that LR follows "its own logic", so new users are made aware of "LR logic".

--Ken
I am so appreciate hearing such great feedback from everyone. Ken thanks so much for the info on ImageIngester.

Daniel
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,433
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I am so appreciate hearing such great feedback from everyone. Ken thanks so much for the info on ImageIngester.

Daniel

Hi Daniel,

You are quite welcome. I hope you find ImageIngester helpful. Marc, its author, posts here on occasion. I originally took interest in his program bacause his instruction manual gave very clear and concise examples of file management with respect to DAM principles. After reading the instructions, the program seemed to meet my needs beter than LR. Its not a program for everybody, but it has served me well, and the program has not misbehaved on me, and that is always a big "PLUS" in my book. Things eventually smooth out with LR, so give it a bit of time.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

frdjohns

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
31
Location
Meadville, PA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
I really don't want to belabor this whole back up issues but I continue this discussion as there may be other who clearly want to understand how safe there backup is. Lightroom does NOT need to know where the original files are. It needs to know the location of files it imported. (Not the backup import..which is really where the "original" camera raw images are saved) If, on import, files names are converted to a DNG format and /or renamed, it needs the location of those files. Loose those files and you are toast. People who believe all their editing, collections, cropping, flagging, etc, are safe by backing up the catalog file after every session, and saving a backup copy of every will find they won't be able to restored LR if they convert raw to DNG and/or renamed the file on import. Why? Because they changed the file name in the LR images from the originals on the backup. Linking them back up is pretty near impossible.

I guess I am confused by this. I have been using LR3 to back up my images on import and this business about renaming files worried me. I just looked at my backups, and while they are in a different file structure (ie. "Imported on Date") the files in those folders were renamed during import just like my originals. So couldn't I just re-establish the link in the new LR Catalog and everything would be restored?

Fred
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,877
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
The real problem is if you rename the files in LR after importing.

If you don't rename them after importing, the backup-upon-import folder structure is different for the reason you give, but after a crash one could still reconnect missing images by clicking the ? on the thumbnails. LR's missing files code looks for other missing files in the same folder as the one to which you've pointed. The folder structures differ, so it's just a bit more work.

However, if you do rename the files in LR, then lose the drive, LR won't find other missing files in the backup-upon-import folder because the filenames differ. Sadly it doesn't use the EXIF data to find other missing files. So you have to reconnect them one file at a time, or find someone with SQL skills. To cover yourself, immediately after doing a rename you really need to backup the renamed files (at which point the backup-upon-import folder can be ditched).

John
 
Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Thats quite ok. Perhaps one day I will understand the benefits of DNG.

I used Bill's lightweight "Synctoy" for a while. It worked fine at first but it got itself (with my help) into a right old mess. I now do all my back-ups of original photos and documents by hand in windows explorer. Not perfect I know but at least I know what is going on and where everything is. Of course I let LR back-up my catalogue.

I use and trust synctoy Mark so far all good but what happened to yours?? is their something I need to look out for?? Im all worried now....
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,302
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I've been using SyncToy for well over a year now, on 4 different PCs, 3 different operating systems, and zero problems. I'm not at all worried.....
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,107
Location
Hong Kong
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I use and trust synctoy Mark so far all good but what happened to yours?? is their something I need to look out for?? Im all worried now....
I wouldn't worry. It was my fault. It was a while ago now and I think I was doing some housekeeping and moved or renamed some folders. When it came to synching Synctoy found a gazillian syncs that needed to me made. It meant I had to sort through to find out what really needed synching and in the end I gave up.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
680
Location
Perth, Australia
the old fashioned way...

have 1 cloud and 4 external drive (Cheap now days) mirror copies of your entire folder structure and backed up lrcat.

back up after import and working on images and NEVER delete/format sd/cf cards.
 
Top