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Moving catalog to 2nd PC and back again

A

AndyF

Guest
I'd like to copy the appropriate files from my main PC to a laptop which also has LR installed, so I can work on rating and keywording while away. Once the work is done, I'd copy the files back and want the main PC to then be "updated" with the new work. During that time, the LR would not be used on the main PC so there won't be issues with differing file contents.

I assumed that all I needed to copy were the lrcat catalog file and the previews subdirectory tree including all it's subdirectories and contents. However, copying these into the laptop seemed to get the catalog and keywords, but no previews.

What's the simplest way to move the catalog and previews to a second PC, work on ratings and keywords, and then move the updated files back to the original PC? I would prefer a file copying method since that can be done quickly with my existing backup tools, rather than a LR export method.

Thanks,
Andy
 

RipIt

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I assumed that all I needed to copy were the lrcat catalog file and the previews subdirectory tree including all it's subdirectories and contents. However, copying these into the laptop seemed to get the catalog and keywords, but no previews.

thats pretty much the simplest method.
What you will be doing is copying the entire catalog (not a portion of specific files)
The .lrcat file and the .lrdta file (folder if on a PC) reside in a folder that is the name of the catalog. Copy that folder only from PC to laptop.

As for the "updating" on return, since you did not export a catalog then you will not need to import and update the metadata. Simply reverse the process of moving that folder.

I cannot determine why you do not see any previews at this time.
 
A

AndyF

Guest
Thanks Dave; I tried that again - I may have been missing the database (lrdb) file from the Backups directory. It works now.

So here's how to move your catalog and previews to another PC so work can be done on keywords, ratings, and so on, and then move them back to the main PC.
1 - make a backup copy of the lrcat file in My Pictures\Lightroom and the lrdb file in My Pictures\Lightroom\Backups in case something goes wrong.
2 - copy the lrcat and lrdb files to their equivalent locations on the other PC, where LR is already installed, and also copy the entire My Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata directory tree since that includes the image previews, to the other PC.

The environment is now on the second PC. To bring the work back, copy back just the lrcat and lrdb files. Do not use LR on the main PC during this time, otherwise any new work will be lost when you bring back the catalog and database files.

Andy
 
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You know the database file is now .lrcat ?

Try using Export as Catalog. The first time, tick the box to include the negatives. On the other PC, import the catalog. When you bring the work back to the main PC, there's an option to save existing settings as virtual copies. It's not a perfect method, but it's meant for the sort of thing you're doing.

John
 

Bruce J

Photographer
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You know the database file is now .lrcat ?

Try using Export as Catalog. The first time, tick the box to include the negatives. On the other PC, import the catalog. When you bring the work back to the main PC, there's an option to save existing settings as virtual copies. It's not a perfect method, but it's meant for the sort of thing you're doing.

John

John - I have a question about your suggestion. Why would you want to save settings as a virtual copy?

I occasionally process photos for my wife. I do all the develop processing, etc., but the one thing I can't do for her is add captions. So far, we've been doing this on my LR computer w/ me running LR and her adding the text. Not a good situation for any number of reasons.

What I'd like to do is install LR on her computer, export a folder of her images as a catalog, copy it to her computer, and open it in her copy of LR. Once she's finished adding the captions, I'd like to reverse the process and wind up with the captions added to the master copy of the LR database that I keep on my computer w/o having any special virtual copies, etc. Is that possible with the method you've outlined? Does it make any sense? Thanks,
 
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Well, for example, if your wife wanted to compare her edits with yours. Alternatively she might want to be able to get rid of VC's or promote them so they are the masters.

If you follow the import and export route, look at the export options. You'll see one choice is to export the negative files - so you might select that the first time when you're taking the files elsewhere. After then, when you're bringing the updates back, you wouldn't need to export those image files again. Also when you import the captioned catalog, the import dialog lets you choose "metadata and develop settings only".

I do stress the need to work through all these steps and check thoroughly - partly that's so you understand the steps but also because I'm not 1''% confident that everything is locked down in LR. In your case you might be able to avoid the import/export route and get away with simply copying the whole catalog folder (ie including preview subfolders) over, but not the images - LR on your wife's machine wouldn't know where the files are, but she could use the previews for doing her captioning.

John
 
T

ThomasA

Guest
I'm using LR the way AndyF described - mainly on my PC at home but also on my notebook for keywording ecc.
To copy all the data I'm using Robocopy - a command-line folder replication tool (built-in in Vista or from Windows Resource Kit for XP) - to mirror the content of my LR Catalog folder. The main advantage is that Robocopy is much more reliable than manual copying or xcopy and that it will copy only the changed files (some kind of one-way synchronise) which speeds up the whole procedure.

Syntax:
robocopy.exe "SourceFolder" "DestinationFolder" /MIR /R:' /NP /LOG:SomeFolder\LogName.log
This command will copy ALL the files in SourceFolder to DestinationFolder (must already exist), creating a detailed log.
BE WARNED!!! The /MIR option will mirror EVERYTHING, deleting every file in the DestinationFolder that is not present in the SourceFolder !!!

This might sound a bit complicated...just let me know if someone would like more information
 

Bruce J

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John,

Thanks for the detailed answer; that was exactly what I was hoping for. I don't think I'll need to worry about the 'virtual copy' option as the wife in question doesn't make any other changes to the photos, just captioning and location metadata. Sounds like I can do the following: export the folder in question from my machine and include negatives; import the catalog on her machine; let her do her thing; export the folder on her machine w/o the negatives; import the catalog on my machine using 'metadata and develop settings only'. Sounds like it should work. I'll give it a try as soon as I find time to set up LR on her machine. Could save me a lot of hassle. Cheers,
 

Mick Seymour

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
205
I don't think I'll need to worry about the 'virtual copy' option as the wife in question doesn't make any other changes to the photos, just captioning and location metadata.

You mean there's another wife that's not in question? :twisted:
 

DonRicklin

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Easy, Mick! Don't uspet any marital relationships, here!

LOL

Don
 
A

AndyF

Guest
You know the database file is now .lrcat ?

Try using Export as Catalog. The first time, tick the box to include the negatives. On the other PC, import the catalog. When you bring the work back to the main PC, there's an option to save existing settings as virtual copies. It's not a perfect method, but it's meant for the sort of thing you're doing.

John
That sounds like a superset of my basic directory copy approach. Would that export and import method allow edits on the secondary PC such as cropping, and bring that work back into the primary PC as well?
Thanks,
Andy
 
M

merlyn9

Guest
Using an portable external HD for images & catalogs

Just going to throw in my '.'2¢ here.

I do travel a lot for work & as well as in my photography pursuits.
Since I work on both platforms at home, I wanted to always have my image files available across both systems. So I keep almost ALL my image files on external USB/Firewire Hard drives. Drives which are rugged enough to also go out on the road with me.
Both these computers are Windows based PC's

Knowing this, when I got Lightroom & loaded this on both my PC desktop, and PC laptop, I read up on the Catalog 'Feature' and took advantage of this in a number of ways. One which highly fits into this conversation.

I don't have to worry about migrating, coping, or other wise my catalogs.
As I detailed in this thread link: [Lightroom Catalogs], I maintain my catalogs in the directories where the images are stored.
So when I do a wedding on Sep'7, I have a catalog specific to That wedding IN the same directory with those images.
When I shoot an auto race event, I do a similar setup with it's catalog.
A week long trip to Yellowstone, gets a single catalog for the 7-day,7-directory set of images.

This keeps my catalog(s) always with the images in question.
It also keeps me from having a gigantor catalog file to work through or risk getting corrupt & loosing ALL my image data/changes.
You can read the rest of the reasons behind this in the aforementioned link above.

This does work out quite nicely for my traveling needs, and up until now... has worked great from which ever PC platform I had plugged my drive into.

Now that I have picked up a Mac Book Pro to migrate my Lightroom & Photoshop work to... I can no longer see these catalogs from Mac OS.
...But that's another post... :roll:


---michael

_____________________
www.pbase.com/merlyn9
_____________________
 

Mick Seymour

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Joined
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Messages
205
That sounds like a superset of my basic directory copy approach. Would that export and import method allow edits on the secondary PC such as cropping, and bring that work back into the primary PC as well?

Hi Andy

Yes it does. You have the option during import of replacing nothing, metadata and develop settings or metadata, develop settings and negatives.

I'm almost certain that in an earlier version, Lightroom used different coloured borders on the import previews to show whether metatdata and develop settings had been changed in catalog 1, catalog 2 or both. Sadly, 1.3.1 doesn't do this which is not helpful and clicking on each preview's dirty metadata badge gives a stock dialog that says the import will replace the original. The preview does grey out photos that have not been edited in either and won't re-import them.

If you know that photos have only been edited in catalog 1, you can uncheck them on the preview so as not to import them. If you don't know then for safety check the option to preserve catalog 1 edits as a virtual copy. You can then compare each and decide which should be the one to keep.

As always, backup the catalog you are importing into first.
 
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I maintain my catalogs in the directories where the images are stored.
So you have no control of your overall archive. That's your call, but don't fool yourself that you've got proper DAM anywhere except in your imagination. Show me your best wedding shots, or let's see all your 5 star images - ah, that means trawling through each catalogue. Sure you've been through them all? Not forgotten one? How many are there, 2 or let's say 5 years down the track? Where's that great tree with the sunset - ah, that's in my 5 star catalogue and in my Yosemite catalogue, and with different metadata or adjustments in each too! Or maybe it's in neither.

This keeps my catalog(s) always with the images in question.
It also keeps me from having a gigantor catalog file to work through or risk getting corrupt & loosing ALL my image data/changes.
You only risk *losing* data if you don't have a proper backup strategy.

Anyway, I've banged on about this theme often enough. If you're using multiple catalogues like this, just understand the control you are surrendering. You may as well be using Bridge for DAM.

John
 
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Anyway, I've banged on about this theme often enough. If you're using multiple catalogues like this, just understand the control you are surrendering. You may as well be using Bridge for DAM.

I guess it depends on WHY you're using Lightroom, and whether you understand what you're doing. For some people, using multiple catalogs isn't a problem - they already have another system they use for DAM, and they want LR for the other tools it offers.

For example, some wedding photographers may decide to have a catalog for each wedding, and if they know that an image from Mark & Kate's wedding is going to be in Mark & Kate's catalog, finding it really isn't a problem.

There is a lot to be said for keeping a supersize searchable catalog, but until LR can comfortably deal with catalogs of that size without slowing to a crawl, then people do have to look for alternatives, and one of those alternatives is keeping multiple smaller catalogs.

At this point in time, I tend to recommend keeping working files in smaller individual catalogs for speed whilst working, and then importing that catalog into a supersize searchable catalog once they're completed, but as with most things, different solutions fit different situations.
 
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I agree to some extent - certainly if someone has another system for the DAM. And a lot depends on the search criteria - if your criteria are pretty limited, such as the wedding example you quote, then people can *get away with* a catalogue per job. But then take my example of the wedding photographer wanting to dig out all the 5 star images. So maybe you then have a portfolio catalogue, up sprouts another geared towards non-Christian couples, and soon you're sliding away to a mess of different renderings, images "controlled" in multiple places, or in none (eg when that one job was done in Aperture or C1). Soon you stop using LR for what it was designed for, so you no longer set up collections for each wedding.

Of course there are other cases where a micro catalogues come in handy - eg where you are working for 2 clients and want to guarantee that one doesn't see work for the other, or where you shoot pictures you don't want your loved ones to see. Otherwise, I'd always argue that the first thing to advocate is one catalogue to cover all your work, and then treating micro catalogues as temporary things - other words apply like disposable, convenient, second best, the exception once you've thought it all through. Getting round slow performance fits in there too. It's important to keep the eye on the prize, and keep Adobe's nose to the grindstone.

John
 

Bruce J

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You mean there's another wife that's not in question? :twisted:

I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate . . . etc. 8)

Besides, she doesn't read this forum (at least I don't think she does). :roll: Cheers all,
 
O

O.Olsson

Guest
So you have no control of your overall archive. That's your call, but don't fool yourself that you've got proper DAM anywhere except in your imagination. Show me your best wedding shots, or let's see all your 5 star images - ah, that means trawling through each catalogue. Sure you've been through them all? Not forgotten one? How many are there, 2 or let's say 5 years down the track? Where's that great tree with the sunset - ah, that's in my 5 star catalogue and in my Yosemite catalogue, and with different metadata or adjustments in each too! Or maybe it's in neither.


You only risk *losing* data if you don't have a proper backup strategy.

Anyway, I've banged on about this theme often enough. If you're using multiple catalogues like this, just understand the control you are surrendering. You may as well be using Bridge for DAM.

John

Hallo all folks. I'm new in this forum and also new on LR. I'm a hobby DSLR shooter sens the first Canon build DSLR. Living in Sweden. Sorry if I ask q's that is obvius for the rest in this forum. I think this threath is discussing what I trying to understand right know.
But I didn't understod this problem with having different directoys for the photo. I using the technic to have every different day as its own katalog and store that days picture in their. I it is a multipple day shooting on the same spot I have the name on the spot and below that a catalog with they days storing the files. I had this setup on my laptop when I installed a test lightroom and imported that catalogs into lightroom. I tag the each file with Year day place what is on it etc. If search I can search on this tags on all photos that is imported to LR. It shows me the ones that is choiced by tags in all the folder the same time. Is that a bad way of using it ?
I know wanna export them to my home computer and have it inte same way is that possible. I mean still have the structure, the editing anf tagging done. I think I can do a copy of the catalog and move that to the other pc. Will that give me what I want.
The other way around is if I have new files in my home pc and havent had time to do the ranking tagging editing but will be traveling and know that I will have some free time do the job then. I just wanna copy/move the none edit catalog to my laptop and work with the files their and copy the editing,tagged and ranked catalog back to my home ps - is this possible.

Best regards
O.Olsson
 

Mick Seymour

Active Member
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Hi O.Olsson

As you are a hobby shooter, keeping different catalogs for different shoots is not a bad thing but I recommend keeping one catalog with all photos. Lightroom can handle a great number of photos in one catlog even if they are in lots of different directories. If everything is in one catalog you can search easily for any photograph in any shoot on your PC or Laptop.

To import to your PC from your laptop, the easy way is to copy your directory structure with the photos and little catalogs onto the PC. If you want to make one big catalog with all the photos, start Lightroom with a new catalog and import all the little catalogs into the new one using File > Import from Catalog.

When you have everything in one big catalog you can see if it works for you. If it does what you want, you can delete the little catalogs and preview directories.
 
O

O.Olsson

Guest
Hi O.Olsson

As you are a hobby shooter, keeping different catalogs for different shoots is not a bad thing but I recommend keeping one catalog with all photos. Lightroom can handle a great number of photos in one catlog even if they are in lots of different directories. If everything is in one catalog you can search easily for any photograph in any shoot on your PC or Laptop.

To import to your PC from your laptop, the easy way is to copy your directory structure with the photos and little catalogs onto the PC. If you want to make one big catalog with all the photos, start Lightroom with a new catalog and import all the little catalogs into the new one using File > Import from Catalog.

When you have everything in one big catalog you can see if it works for you. If it does what you want, you can delete the little catalogs and preview directories.


Thank's for the fast answer.
But I don't understands the different when I do search in one catalog or as I do point out the root (the top catalog for all om my catalogs) within LR. When I do a Import of my picture I dont point out the photo I point out the catalog. When I do a search in that way and search from the root and ask for let say stockholm - I will get all photo (from 3 different days and different catalog) that I have tagged Stockholm - isn't that the way to use LR - if we talk about this part of LR. Don't understand how that could be better if it works in that way. But are the tagged store in the exif that is part of the RAW or in a speciell file in the same catatalog where I have the original.
But what happends when I edit a picture where will LR store the changes in the same catalog as the picture or is it done in a other way than it is done in the RAW converter in PS ???

If I have missunderstand everything I appologize and please explain for me if you have time. Thanks fo taking time.

Regards
 

Mick Seymour

Active Member
Joined
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Hi again O.Olsson

I think it is my misunderstanding of how you have things. Reading your post again, if I am right, you have

a) directories on your hard disk with photos in a structure that is a different directory for every days shooting.
b) one Lightroom database that Lightroom calls a catalog. In that database, all your editing is saved.

If my understanding is correct, you are doing it the way that makes it easy to search for any photo that is tagged.

The tags, ratings and Develop settings are all stored in the Lightroom database. If you use the preference setting to automatically write XMP data or you manually write the XMP data to the files with Ctrl/S, the tags and ratings are also stored with the photo files. If you use RAW files, the develop settings are also stored with the photo files. If you use JPEG, TIFF or PSD, there is another preference setting to say if the develop settings are stored with the photo or not.
 
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Mick

I have a laptop with fast reducing HD space.

I wish to shift my folder structure and LRCAT file to an external HD and continue working from the external HD with all future imports.

My pictures
--Raw
--Lightroom
--Events
--Travel
--Sports
--etc

Just to be paranoid...

1. Copy and paste all folders, IRCAT, and previews in the same structure
2. Open LR and reimport catalogue

???
 
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ok success

moved all folders and Ircat and previews.

opened catalogue in the new location

found missing folders in there new location F/drive.

Deleted the folders off C/drive (scared the %$^# out of me)

Viola...38gigs free up on my laptop HD
 

Mick Seymour

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
205
Braders;6'91 said:
ok success
...
Viola...38gigs free up on my laptop HD

See, its not so hard :D

One of the many things I like about Lightroom is that it doesn't hide the users data around the disk and the registry. Everything is neat and tidy like a good database driven app should be.
 
O

O.Olsson

Guest
Thank's for the answer Mick.
This kind of forums is absolut fantastic.
I hope I will be able to give people the same help as you give when I'm more familier with LR.
Your answer help me alot. And if I understands it right I will have the tagging with me if move the file. But Im note sure that I will have the editing with me if I do it in that way.
If I understands it right the editing will follow and when I import it it will shows the edit version. If I for some reason had the photo allready on my computer and import the file that is edit i will have the both.
I have started to look on the videos on the LRkillertip site and hope that it will help me.

Have I understand thst right.
Best regrards and thanks
 
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