Maintaining Folders when Exporting image files to new Hard Drive

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JeffN

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I needed to reformat my external hard drive where I store my backup files. Although I succeeded in exporting all 15,000 files, they did not export with their associated folders. Instead, files are now stored in numerical order (including many files with the same ID number whereby Lightroom automatically added "-2" to the second one). It will be extremely time-consuming if I ever need to retrieve a file. How can I save a copy of my entire catalog within the Lightroom folders which I have previously created and use in Lightroom 6?
 
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I'm not sure I understand what you were trying to do. Why did you export all photos? If you had to reformat your backup drive, all you needed to do to restore your backup is copy the folders containing your images (in the Finder, not in Lightroom) to the reformatted backup drive... There is no need to involve Lightroom in this.
 

rob211

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I'm with Johan...I don't understand your backup workflow. It would help to know how you set up this backup initially. Many of us just let Time Machine make a backup of the photos and the Lr catalog. When restoring if both go back where they were before Crashageddon then all the paths and references Lr stored still work and you're back in business.

That's sort of the same thing that Johan's suggestion of just copying the enclosing folders with all the subfolders inside.
 
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I needed to reformat my external hard drive where I store my backup files. Although I succeeded in exporting all 15,000 files, they did not export with their associated folders. Instead, files are now stored in numerical order
Export has nothing to do with Backup and a System Backup has nothing to do with LR. To avoid confusion, are you trying to export all of your cataloged image files, Or are you trying to backup your critical user files including those required by LR?
First, there is no reason to export all of your cataloged image files. This is a fruitless effort as you can export individual image files from LR any time you need to use one for social media or web or print.
Second, you need dedicated backup software to manage all of your critical files in a location where these might be recovered individually or as a group when your Hard drive fails or when you do something stupid and erase or write over a critical file. Critical user files are all files that you need to access or preserve. These can include image file, your LR catalog file, Word Documents and spreadsheets.

You Apple OS ships with TimeMachine that provides excellent backup capabilities This free app is probably the first place to start for meeting your backup requirements for a local backup source. It does not protect you for catastrophic events that might destroy your home and your home network including your computers and you backup hard drives. There are other back up apps that can protect against disaster.
 

JeffN

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I needed to reformat my external hard drive where I store my backup files. Although I succeeded in exporting all 15,000 files, they did not export with their associated folders. Instead, files are now stored in numerical order (including many files with the same ID number whereby Lightroom automatically added "-2" to the second one). It will be extremely time-consuming if I ever need to retrieve a file. How can I save a copy of my entire catalog within the Lightroom folders which I have previously created and use in Lightroom 6?

Thank you for all of your prompt and informative replies! I used Finder and was easily able to copy all files in corresponding folders to my reformatted backup drive. Thank you.
However, I am confused about using Time Machine for Lightroom backup. Normally, I save a copy to my backup drive of all new file transfers (copy from flash card) into Lightroom using the Lightroom options. My Lightroom catalog file is also automatically backed up to my backup drive during this transfer process. Therefore, I do not understand 1) why I would need to use Time Machine for my photo image files or 2) how to even do this since Time Machine only backs up files on my internal hard drive and I use an external drive for photos, unless there is an option in Time Machine that I have not looked into to.
 
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Thank you for all of your prompt and informative replies! I used Finder and was easily able to copy all files in corresponding folders to my reformatted backup drive. Thank you.
However, I am confused about using Time Machine for Lightroom backup. Normally, I save a copy to my backup drive of all new file transfers (copy from flash card) into Lightroom using the Lightroom options. My Lightroom catalog file is also automatically backed up to my backup drive during this transfer process. Therefore, I do not understand 1) why I would need to use Time Machine for my photo image files or 2) how to even do this since Time Machine only backs up files on my internal hard drive and I use an external drive for photos, unless there is an option in Time Machine that I have not looked into to.

You don't have to do anything, but the problem with the 'Secondary Copy' image backup in Lightroom is that it does not store that secondary copy in the same folder structure as the originals. That makes it very difficult to use this as a backup system for your photos, so it's better to use another backup system (like Time Machine, or some clone utility) to backup your photos. Time Machine can backup an external disk too, but the destination disk is always a single disk so that requires a big backup disk. For that reason most people who use an external disk for their photos will use something else than Time Machine (I use Synchronize Pro) to backup that disk.
 
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