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Library module Need a better backup process

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kenwood

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Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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73
Location
nyc
Lightroom Version Number
12.4
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I am looking for a better and more seamless way to backup photos and edits. Right now I import photos to lightroom on a laptop, do all my edits there. I have 2 seperate catalog setup on 2 different backup external drives. I would open the catalog on each drive and import changes from the laptop catalog. This sounds ok if I only had to do it once a month, but in reality I do it every 2-3 days so I don't lost too many days of edits in case something happen. Is there a better way to do this, ideally syncing the latest changes to 2 seperate catalog when idle bor by press of a button.
 
I recommend one and only one catalog.

As for backup, you need a system backup app. ( I use Acronis in addition to my TimeMachine backup app that comes free with MacOS)

Use the system backup app to backup all of your critical user data including the Lightroom Catalog and the imported image files.

An app like Acronis will run in the background and backup any changes to your critical user files n a schedule. Once you have set up the schedule frequency, backup will occur automatically.

Note Backing up your critical user files is a necessary user practice and only incidentally affects Lightroom.

The important thing is to set up the backup and forget it as a good system backup will take care without user intervention. The backup destination drive needs to be large enough to hold ALL of your critical data on all of your critical drives.


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Amen!

Here's a story. Earlier this year I had a client who came to me for LrC help on some issue. One of the first things I did was ask about his backup routines and he had none other than letting LrC take a backup when it exits and those backups went to the default folder on the same drive as his active catalog. So, I was pretty forceful in letting him know that he needed to do something about this and gave him some options for both a local backup (GoodSync, Carbon Copy Cloner, Second copy) as well as for Cloud backup (Crash Plan, Backblaze, Carbonite).

I got a call from him this week looking for help in moving to a new computer. Turns out someone stole his laptop computer (which was his only computer) which contained his LrC Catalog and all his images. He never contemplated that such a thing could happen. However, I had scared him enough in our prior meeting that the day after our help session he went out and bought a BU drive, downloaded a local backup tool to copy his entire hard drive to the external drive, got it all configured to run on a schedule and forgot about it. As soon as his new computer arrives, we'll do a quick restore from the backup drive and he'll be back in business with only a few hours of work rather than losing a lifetime of work.

For you procrastinators out there, this is a warning. If you are not backing up your catalog and images to a drive other than the one the originals live on, and are not backing up the same stuff to some offsite location (like a cloud service). you are going to be in for a lot of hurt when something goes wrong, and at that point it will be too late. If this is you, this is not a "next week", or "when I have time" to do list item - it is a top of the list DO IT TODAY item.
 
I use Macrium Reflect to back up my System disk, which contains the O/S, apps. I keep user data off this drive, such as MyDocs, email, etc. This is configured to create multi generational back ups circa 6am every morning. When I wake up I have a confirmation email telling me that my backup is successful. A full backup happens every Sun morning and incremental backups Mon to Sat. Works a dream…Set and forget.

I also use Macrium Reflect to backup my internal Ssd. This contains my vip data, incl images for the last 18 months, emails, docs, spreadsheets, presentations, databases and my Lr catalog. As per my system drive, multi generation backups are taken, with full backups early on a Sunday morning and incremental backups each day from Mon to Sat. Again, I wake up to an email confirming these backups have been successful.

I use Beyond Compare to synch my legacy images from a spinning disk to a second backup internal spinning disk and a lan based Nas drive. I like Beyond Compare due to the intuitive nature of its GUI interface, which gives a very good view of the status of big synch operations.

I would use Chronosynch if I wanted to schedule this task and just operate in the background, Beyond Compare does not have a good built in scheduling tool.

Using these tools, my system drives are backed up in a manner than my operating systems and apps can be recovered to exactly how they were configured yesterday, I have all my personal data backed up, Lr Catalogs and all my images.

Any backup process dependent on manual operations is ultimately doomed to disaster. Take note of the comment above that your target backup device should be large enough to backup all of your data.

You will note the seriousness of the advice give above, gleaned from years of hard earned experience.

I once had to rebuild a system disk… due to a disk crash. While reinstalling a new drive and operating system was a pain, I totally underestimated the effort required to reinstall all the apps that I was using and reconfigure them again to reflect many years of fine tuning my Microsoft, Adobe, CAD and other systems.

While I mention Macrium Reflect, Beyond Compare, Chronosynch, etc…. I am not pushing these products. There are lots of good options available.
 
Amen!

For you procrastinators out there, this is a warning. If you are not backing up your catalog and images to a drive other than the one the originals live on, and are not backing up the same stuff to some offsite location (like a cloud service). you are going to be in for a lot of hurt when something goes wrong, and at that point it will be too late. If this is you, this is not a "next week", or "when I have time" to do list item - it is a top of the list DO IT TODAY item.
+1 to what @Califdan said. No, +2, it's that important when the "unthinkable" becomes the "just happened to me." And he means a physical drive, not a different drive letter (or partition) on the same physical drive.
 
I use Macrium Reflect to back up my System disk, which contains the O/S, apps. I keep user data off this drive, such as MyDocs, email, etc. This is configured to create multi generational back ups circa 6am every morning. When I wake up I have a confirmation email telling me that my backup is successful. A full backup happens every Sun morning and incremental backups Mon to Sat. Works a dream…Set and forget.

Agreed.
I also use Macrium Reflect to backup my internal Ssd. This contains my vip data, incl images for the last 18 months, emails, docs, spreadsheets, presentations, databases and my Lr catalog. As per my system drive, multi generation backups are taken, with full backups early on a Sunday morning and incremental backups each day from Mon to Sat. Again, I wake up to an email confirming these backups have been successful.

I use Beyond Compare to synch my legacy images from a spinning disk to a second backup internal spinning disk and a lan based Nas drive. I like Beyond Compare due to the intuitive nature of its GUI interface, which gives a very good view of the status of big synch operations.

I use both Beyond Compare and GoodSync. Both well worth the (low) price.
Any backup process dependent on manual operations is ultimately doomed to disaster. Take note of the comment above that your target backup device should be large enough to backup all of your data.

True.
You will note the seriousness of the advice give above, gleaned from years of hard earned experience.

I once had to rebuild a system disk… due to a disk crash. While reinstalling a new drive and operating system was a pain, I totally underestimated the effort required to reinstall all the apps that I was using and reconfigure them again to reflect many years of fine tuning my Microsoft, Adobe, CAD and other systems.

Ugh. I had the same experience recently when I had to reformat my C: drive and re-install Windows. That was easy and quick. The rest of it has been tedious and slow. i'm still not 100% finished;
 
i'm still not 100% finished
My experience was so painful that I swore to myself I would never have to repeat the process. Also, we never truly remember all the fine tuning we do with the apps we use, so it may take months or years to get back to basecamp.
 
My experience was so painful that I swore to myself I would never have to repeat the process. Also, we never truly remember all the fine tuning we do with the apps we use, so it may take months or years to get back to basecamp.

This is one of the reasons that I switched to MacOS. A restore from my latest timeMachime was very painless.


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I store my files on a powered external drive which is backed to a 2nd one daily using Carbon Copy Cloner. The LR folder is on the HD which is backed up to a 3rd drive by Time Machine.
 
"No one ever wants backups, but everyone wants restores." -- Bruce Schneier
I worked in print media for 35 years. We never had time for preventative maintenance but somehow seemed to find time to wait for a press that when for a day and had everyone scrambling to get it going. Remember the old FRAM oil filter adds. Pay me now or pay me later :)
 
Don’t forget to test your backup procedure. You don’t want to find a problem when you need to do a restore. Hmm, maybe I should take my own advice.
 
My experience was so painful that I swore to myself I would never have to repeat the process. Also, we never truly remember all the fine tuning we do with the apps we use, so it may take months or years to get back to basecamp.
I'm not sure that I can replicate 100% my former Windows install config options.
 
This is the short cryptic email message I get from Macrium Reflect every morning, confirming my System Drive backup has been completed.

IMG_0305.jpeg


The backup app also has comprehensive logs, so I purge these emails every so often. I do not need to retain these records for audit purpose, as I would do if this was a commercial rather than a personal system.

‘Ok’ means backup completed without incident. ‘R9’ is the name of my machine. ‘SystemBackup’ indicates this refers to my system drive.
’To’ is a reminder as to the location of the backup.

A short time later I get a similar message confirming that my ‘Data’ has been backed up. In this case Data means all my personal data, such as Excel files, emails, Word Docs, etc, plus my catalogs, plus my images for approx last 18 months.

It is such a comfort to get these cryptic messages every morning.
 
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