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Catalog zip backup files

st.neri

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
2
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
LR CC 8.4.1
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
I admit I haven't really been conscientious about how I organize and backup files for the last 15 years with lightroom. I have amassed >200,000 images and have them backed up periodically on the cloud or external hard drives. I am attempting to get more organized now that I am progressing.

Two questions to that end:

1. When I back up using lightroom backup, I notice that I have several backup zip files. Is that the most efficient way to perform backups? Doesn't that just use up more of my external hard drive space? What is the most efficient way to backup?

2. Please refer me to a better system to organize my images than I already have. Link to article or something... Thanks!

I have attached images that should illustrate my situation.

Jason
 

Attachments

Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
378
Lightroom Experience
Power User
those zip files are ONLY backups of the LR/Classic Catalog THEY DO NOT CONTAIN YOUR IMAGE FILES! ! ! !

Adobe does not provide a backup tool for the actual images - this is up to you, outside of LR/Classic. It sounds like you are already doing this.

Each time you let LR/Classic do a backup it creates a new Zip file that contains the state of the catalog at that point in time. How many back versions you keep is purely personal but I had a case many moons ago where I had to go back close to 9 months due to a corrupted catalog problem that Adobe couldn't fix. My personal handling of these is this.

1) Take new Backup when I shut down LR the last time each day
2) Keep them all for 9 months
3) For those between 9 and 24 months old, keep the one closest to the 1st of each month
4) For those older than 18 months, keep 1 per quarter

Another trick I learned is to include the LR version number in the name of my catalog. For example "LR8 Master Catalog" (you don't have to bother with dot releases). By doing this, if you do have to go back to an older catalog at least you'll know what version of LR it related to and if you will have to update the recovered catalog to the current version in order to use it.
 

st.neri

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
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Classic
This is helpful. And yes, I understood that the zip files didnt contain my images. The files do get bulky though.
Thanks for the response!

Jason
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,578
Location
Encinitas, CA USA
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Advanced
Lightroom Version
As far as the organization of your images on your hard drive using date based folders as you show is quite adequate.

Since you are running on a Mac the simplest and most cost effective method of backup is Time Machine (TM). If your not already using it I suggest that you do.

The last step in implementing a really safe backup strategy is to have something offsite. You could of course use several TM drives and rotate them to some offsite location or even simpler subscribe to one of the dedicated cloud backup services such BackBlaze or CrashPlan. I do not recommend using any of the "free" cloud storage services because they don't provide a true "incremental" backup. Plus they are probably mining your metadata for their own purposed to pay for the "free" service.

An incremental backup such as those mentioned above detects and stores any changed files so that if a problem occurs you can step back in time to get a version prior to when the problem happened.


-louie
 

bbaddiley02

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Joined
Jan 24, 2017
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Lightroom Version
What would you suggest as a backup tool or program for Windows?


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PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
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Nov 16, 2015
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California, USA
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What would you suggest as a backup tool or program for Windows?


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There are any number of backup tools for Windows. A free program seems popular among enthusiasts. Macrium Reflect. Of course, there is also a paid version with more features.

At the other end, there is a rather complex but very powerful program called Retrospect. Go for the Desktop version.

For simple directory synchronization between two drives or systems, I use Beyond Compare and Goodsync.

Phil
 

bbaddiley02

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
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Thanks Phil. I’ll look into these.


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