Can a primary Lightroom Library be connected and linked over 2 separate Hard Drives?

matsuzie

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Hello:
I joined this forum to help me reorganize and consolidate my Lightroom Library which has outgrown its original location and would greatly appreciate yours and other members advice, as information appears quite informative and helpful.
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1) Firstly, my Lightroom Library is currently located on a 12TB (RAID 2 Mirrored) Lacie within my User Folder on that drive, since my MacPro's SSD HD is too small to accommodate my Pictures folder.
2) Since half of the Lacie's RAID 2 volume is now close to being completely filled, I got another Lacie 16TB Hard Drive which has 8TB of space i n RAID 2; and, have started to store many new photo catalogues there (only) that I cannot accommodate or work on in LR since it is a separate Library. This second, 2 volume drive is now also getting filled.
3) Since I cannot create more catalogues on the nearly filled first Drive, I cannot use Lightroom to work on any new photos located on the second drive as they are not synced within the Library.

Question; How to consolidate all old and new photos in one LR Library within a single Mac User Folder? I assume one cannot sync 2 parts of one LLR Library across 2 external drives. Therefore, If I move all adjusted photos on Drive 1 to the larger Drive 2 to merge both catalogues into a single Library, can I then redesignate this larger composite Library on the second Drive as the now new and only LR Library? Are there any tangential issues if I do that?

Looking forward, would it be advised to buy a third 16TB Drive to not split into mirrored RAID 2 volumes; but, keep as one single 16TB drive for all photos, then reformat and mirror the new composite Library into a reformatted second 16TB Drive as its backup? The benefit allowing more room to grow.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I've created a complicated mess.

Glenn
 

Roelof Moorlag

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Is this about Lightroom (Cloudy) or Lightroom Classic?

For now i assume it's about Classic. When not, the following does not apply in that case.

You can consolidate Lightroom Catalogs into one by ' File | Import From Another Catalog' . I would place the 'master' catalog on the local hard drive, not on one of the external hard drives. This is for performance reasons. I think it's mainly the photos that take up the space, you can put savely on EHD.

It is no problem to use multiple external hard drives. They don't even have to be connected all te time.
 
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Roelof Moorlag

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Looking forward, would it be advised to buy a third 16TB Drive to not split into mirrored RAID 2 volumes; but, keep as one single 16TB drive for all photos, then reformat and mirror the new composite Library into a reformatted second 16TB Drive as its backup? The benefit allowing more room to grow.
A single big EHD for back-up purpose can be appropriate in your backup strategy but do not rely solely on it. Follow the 3-2-1 strategy (Backup Overview | dpBestflow)

It's better to use one single Hard Drive then multiple hard drives that act like One because of the higher risk of failure.
 

matsuzie

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Is this about Lightroom (Cloudy) or Lightroom Classic?

For now i assume it's about Classic. When not, the following does not apply in that case.

You can consolidate Lightroom Catalogs into one by ' File | Import From Another Catalog' . I would place the 'master' catalog on the local hard drive, not on one of the external hard drives. This is for performance reasons. I think it's mainly the photos that take up the space, you can put savely on EHD.

It is no problem to use multiple external hard drives. They don't even have to be connected all te time.
Sir:
Thanks for offering help. This is LR Classic. As for your first suggestion, I cannot store the Master catalogue on the local HD, because it is only a 512GB SSD. As a consequence, I had to store the master catalogue on the external HD due to space. You indicate there is 'no problem to use multiple external hard drives. They don't even have to be connected all the time' ; but, how does one tell LR that files are in multiple locations on 2 different drives...this method eludes me?

Pleas clarify if you can. Thanks
 

Roelof Moorlag

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As for your first suggestion, I cannot store the Master catalogue on the local HD, because it is only a 512GB SSD
How big is your .lrcat file then?

how does one tell LR that files are in multiple locations on 2 different drives..
You can add the folders on that EHD from the + sign in the Folder pane at the left side
 
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Sir:
Thanks for offering help. This is LR Classic. As for your first suggestion, I cannot store the Master catalogue on the local HD, because it is only a 512GB SSD. As a consequence, I had to store the master catalogue on the external HD due to space. You indicate there is 'no problem to use multiple external hard drives. They don't even have to be connected all the time' ; but, how does one tell LR that files are in multiple locations on 2 different drives...this method eludes me?

Pleas clarify if you can. Thanks

Lightroom stores the path to the image file in the catalog file. That is why it is unwise to go moving image files around outside of Lightroom Classic. The Path includes the volume name (Mac) or Drive letter (Windows)


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I cannot store the Master catalogue on the local HD, because it is only a 512GB SSD.
Chances are that the catalog would fit easily because it shouldn’t be more than a few GB. The accompanying Previews file might be much larger, but you can throw that out and let it rebuild that.

how does one tell LR that files are in multiple locations on 2 different drives...this method eludes me?
If you add photos from different volumes, when you look in the Folders panel you will see each volume at the top level, each can be expanded to see the folders catalogued inside. My current master catalog references photos on several hard drives and SSDs, so each has its own heading in the Folders panel. Everything in one catalog.
 

matsuzie

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Roelof, Clee, Conrad:

Thanks all for your observations and suggestions; however, I seem o have never quite properly understood the mutual dependence or independence between the main LR Catalogue (lrcat) and the subcatalogues comprising of all original, plus edited photo versions; and need nor clarity.

1) WHERE ARE PHOTO EDITS STORED?:
First question is whether, if I typically make edits of a photo in both Lightroom and Photoshop, where do those edits stored primarily; in the lrcat, or the Picture folders?

2) CONSOLIDATION OF MULTIPLE LRCATS & LOCATIONS TO SIMPLIFY:
Having searched for my lrcat and lrcat folder location,which I had forgot, I see that I've created a monster over time with my too-complex main SSD HD, plus the external RAID 2 12TB back up (w/ its separate MAC User folder, containing all my docs and Pictures...and now i see the lrcat folder as well. When I first started using LR in maybe 2015, I had purchased the LR 4 version, and this is what my LR 4 catalogue indicates is the main catalogue that holds all the subfolders PLUS the lrcat + lrcat preview folders.

Since then, I subscribed to Adobe Photography Plan which includes the newer Lightroom versions, though I never have used those directly, and have much confusion w/ multiple lrcats save in multiple locations now. So, any clear suggestions on how I can get all my older LR 4 folders merged into a newer version LR Classic lrcat w/ all the latest features WITHOUT losing all the catalogues in the original LR 4 lrcat?

3) SAFEST WAY OF GETTING PHOTOSHOP EDITED PHOTOS BACK INTO LR?:
I previously read and have used "Synchronize Folder" to first identify edited versions of a photo made in Photoshop, then import them into that folder's location. Since I joined, I saw the newsletter headline warning against such 'synchronization' as a risky action. Question; What IS the best way of getting Photoshop-edited versions back into LR where they started?
 
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1) WHERE ARE PHOTO EDITS STORED?:
First question is whether, if I typically make edits of a photo in both Lightroom and Photoshop, where do those edits stored primarily; in the lrcat, or the Picture folders?
Lightroom edits are stored in the catalog. Photoshop edits are written to the file itself.
 
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3) SAFEST WAY OF GETTING PHOTOSHOP EDITED PHOTOS BACK INTO LR?:
I previously read and have used "Synchronize Folder" to first identify edited versions of a photo made in Photoshop, then import them into that folder's location. Since I joined, I saw the newsletter headline warning against such 'synchronization' as a risky action. Question; What IS the best way of getting Photoshop-edited versions back into LR where they started?
That should happen automatically. Just use 'Save' in Photoshop (don't use 'Save as' to change the file name).
 
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