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Moving my Lightroom CC catalogue and images cross platform from a Mac Pro external SSD to a PC SSD

Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
7
Lightroom Version
Lightroom CC
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
I have a Mac Pro (late 2013 design) with lots of extra bells and whistles and it is a very poor performer, especially for what I paid. I have a custom design for a PC that I want to build, and use Lightroom on my PC. My Lightroom images and catalogue for the Mac are stored on an external SSD ("Js Ext LR Drive") and the disked is formatted for OS Mac Extended. I want to import all images and my catalogue to a new SSD formatted exFAT, which I believe I will have to also name "Js Ext LR Drive", to maintain the same file hierarchy. So far, this is just my theory on how to do this. Has anyone else changed from a MAC to a PC and transferred their images and Lightroom catalogue from an external drive for the MAC to an external drive for the PC?? If you were successful, how did you do it. I have looked at the eBook on this LR Queen website and it does not address my particular question. I would be very grateful to hear about a solution. Thank you.
 
Joined
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Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX USA
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I moved from a PC to a Mac several years ago for performance improvements and I got tired of having to tweak my PC setting regularly to maintain performance. If you are willing to devote a lot of time "under the hood" a PC is an excellent LR platform. .
The process for seamlessly going from PC to Mac or Mac to PC is the same. It requires the understanding of how the Path field is managed in the LR catalog.
There are two Path fields in the LR database that is the catalog. One is the "absolutePath". The other is the "relativePath" or path relative to the location of the catalog file. When the "relativePath" to the images take the path across volumes, the "relativePath" becomes undefined. However when the "relativePath" is a subfolder to the folder containing the catalog, the "relativePath" is always valid irrespective of the OS. OTOH the "absolutePath" fails in the Windows filesystem because Windows is the only OS that Uses a Drive Letter. Moving from a Mac to a PC makes the LR app lose reference to the images unless there is a valid "relativePath" which can be used to correct the "absolutePath" on moving to the Windows Filesystem.
Understanding this should help you migrate to Windows from your Mac. Your HFS+ or AFS filesystem on the Mac is not useful on the PC. While you can reformat your old drives after successfully completing the migration. I would recommend reformatting to NTFS rather than exFAT as the Windows only filesystem is more secure and more efficient. I would only use exFAT as a filesystem IF you need to share the external drive between Operating systems (Windows to Windows, Windows to Mac, Windows to Linux).
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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Thank you both for your explanations and suggestions. I will spend a little time digesting this. I may also consider a better Mac than the one I have now, a Mac Pro, late 2013. The old design has lots of useless ports and not enough of the ports I need, is ridiculously slow, even with 16 GB of 1866 DDR3, an upgraded graphics card. And it cost about 3 times as much as a comparable PC. But I don't know if I want to go through a complicated changeover with 13,000+ images that I want to keep. And I am hesitant to work my way through the Paths in the LR catalog.

I have a NEC 30" PA302W monitor that I want to continue using, so the iMac setup with the computer inside the monitor will not work for me. Do either of you have suggestions on other Mac's to consider. Maybe a very stout MacBook Pro that I could put on a dock and connect to my monitor??? I'm looking for ideas. In the new Mac's, what are the most important features, in your opinions??

Thanks for helping me work through this situation. JH
 
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I would be the last person to advise you to go from a Mac to the dark ages, but your fear for the changeover of the Lightroom catalog is unfounded. It is really easy to do, so that should not be a factor in your decision.
 
Joined
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Messages
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And I am hesitant to work my way through the Paths in the LR catalog.

I have a NEC 30" PA302W monitor that I want to continue using, so the iMac setup with the computer inside the monitor will not work for me.
There are numerous topics here on "Moving your images outside of LR" and "Lightroom lost my images". These give detailed explanations on relinking your images to the catalog after moving . Victoria also has several Blog articles that describe moving to a new computer. It is not as daunting a task as it sounds.
I have a 21" iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017) with a 1TB SSD. Before that I have had 2 different 27" iMacs (I also have a 13" rMBP that is starting to show its age. I also have an ASUS monitor that matched the specs on my first 27" iMac. I'm not sure I could tolerate a single monitor for working with LR. I find it tedious and limiting to my workflow when I travel and use LR on my rMBP and a single screen.
I think my 21" iMac w/ 32GB of RAM. I think my 21" iMac cost about $3000USD. Your 30" NEC would make a nice compliment. Because of this post, I am going to look into replacing my ASUS with an NEC like yours.
 
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I have a NEC 30" PA302W monitor that I want to continue using, so the iMac setup with the computer inside the monitor will not work for me.
You can setup the iMac so that the external NEC monitor becomes the main monitor and the iMac monitor becomes the secondary monitor. I have used such a setup for years.
 
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Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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When I was working, I used a very powerful and small Lenovo Thinkpad with a dock, a really good monitor and all the other peripherals. It was a good solution for several years. So I am very inclined to do the same with a good Macbook Pro and my NEC monitor, which really can't be touched by the monitors that come with desktops/laptops. And a 30" monitor has LOTS of room for LR and other functions at the same time.

The fact that you are both using Macs is just further encouragement to stick with what has worked in the past, just find a better model. Thanks for taking the time. JH
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,489
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
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The fact that you are both using Macs is just further encouragement to stick with what has worked in the past, just find a better model.
As I stated earlier, When I retired, I switched from a PC (that was required for the work that I did) to a Mac. Most of my computer usage since retiring from the computer profession involves mail, a browser, an occasional letter and Lightroom. I got tired of poking around under the hood tweaking Windows Settings just to keep my Windows running at it best. So, I switched to a Mac with Safari, Mail and an Offices suite included I only needed to add Lightroom to my apps to have a complete computer environment that meets my computing needs.

I have been working the help desk here at LightroomForums since at least 2010. In that time I have seen lots of user problems mostly due to the hardware that they were trying to run Lightroom on. Going from LR4 to LR5 to LR6, I noticed a trend. Every time Adobe introduces a new release and new features, there would be problems. The systems that ran Lightroom with the fewest problems were Macs. Not so much because Mac are "better" or the OS is "better" but because Apple has a standard environment consisting of specific hardware and an OS that is tuned to run on one hardware set. This was especially true when Adobe introduced GPU acceleration. Macs either ran or the GPU was not supported. PCs need lots of attention getting bug free Video drivers and there were so many ( too many) video cards out there that Adobe spent a lot of time trying to chase down problems that were often the video card fault or driver fault and not a Lightroom programming fault.

Now I am not condemning Windows. It has gotten better since I left the platform. And Microsoft has done well with Windows running on there own hardware (Surface) where they can control the hardware components and the OS.
 
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Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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Cletus, Thank you very much. I am already purging my poorer images to get ready for the change from the old Mac Pro to a well decked out 2019 MacBook Pro. I feel a lot more confident.

The NEC monitor I mentioned has gone down in price, I paid about $2900 for it and it is now about $1900 which means it's not the latest new "thing". But it has been a very good monitor and I will use it for years to come. Here is a link to NEC, that gives the specs, background, and is the best place to buy I believe:


Thank you for all the help
 
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