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New Backup Location does not include Lightroom Presets

nIkedoni1a

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Apparently for the last few years upon exiting LR my backups have been going to a folder dated 2013-09-08 1606. see screen shot. Yesterday I changed backup location to a separate hard drive. My concern is that folder called Lightroom settings that doesn't show up on the new backup. (other screen shot.)
Should I go copy this Lightroom settings folder into my new backup location, I imagine I would have to do this through LR somehow and not from a Finder window. Thank you for guidance here


 

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The Lightroom backup procedure only takes care of backing up the catalog database.....nothing else. So backing your pictures and any Lightroom settings is the users responsibility, and it cannot be done through Lightroom. There are many ways of taking care of those backups, such as Time Machine or dedicated backup software such as ChronoSync.
 
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Wow, you've got a heck of a lot of old library backups! I would trash most of them, because it doesn't make sense to keep so many out of date backups.

As for your question: I think the settings are only backed up here if you chose to keep the settings with the catalog. That is a setting in the catalog preferences. Apparently, you changed that back to the default. Providing that you make regular backups of your entire disk (...<insert comment here about so many people not making backups until it's too late>....), there is no reason to worry because the settings are already backed up that way.
 
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At some point in the past you switched from the default catalog in the default location for the master catalog to the folder "..\Lightroom\Lightroom Prompted BKup\2013-09-08 1608". This catalog probably started out as a backup catalog and LR then created a Previews folder, Smart Previews folder and when you set preferences to "keep presets with catalog" a Lightroom Setting folder was created to hold all presets created from that point.

Now if you want to move your current master catalog to an External Disk Drive all you need to do is copy the contents of the folder "..\Lightroom\Lightroom Prompted BKup\2013-09-08 1608" to a new folder on the EHD. This will include the current master catalog named "Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat", the Lightroom Settings folder and the Previews folder(s). You can then open LR and using the menu {File}{Open Catalog...} navigate to the catalog file in the location that you just created.

I should point out that you should in LR Preferences change your Default catalog to this catalog file instead of last opened so that you won't accidentally start using a backup catalog by mistake again.
 

nIkedoni1a

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Thank you all, but I still think I'm doing something wrong here. I changed Backup location to a new drive called HD3 and named the folder "Lightroom Exit backup" I went ahead and opened and closed the program a few times and now the screenshots look like this with the catalog listed twice
 

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Thank you all, but I still think I'm doing something wrong here. I changed Backup location to a new drive called HD3 and named the folder "Lightroom Exit backup" I went ahead and opened and closed the program a few times and now the screenshots look like this with the catalog listed twice
From your screen shot, what I see in the folder "/Volumes/Hard Drive 3/Lightroom Exit backup" are as follows
A Lightroom catalog file called "Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat" In the screen shot, the catalog file is open (as indicated by the "*.lock" file accompanying it.

  1. Why did you copy this catalog here?
  2. Why did you open it?
  3. Where (path) is the catalog file that you want to be the master catalog?
In previous replies you showed the master catalog to be "../Lightroom/Lightroom Prompted BKup/2013-09-08 1608/"Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat" You need to decide which catalog file is your master catalog and stick to that decision. When you use the backup facility on exiting LR, LR creates a timestamp named folder (e.g.2015-09-19 1306 or 2015-09-19 1316 (10 minutes apart)) and copies the the just closed catalog file to the newly created destination folder. In LR 5 and earlier, this is a simple file copy and the catalog file in the timestamp named folder has the same name and can be opened by LR just like any other catalog file. In fact this is apparently what you did when you started using "../Lightroom/Lightroom Prompted BKup/2013-09-08 1608/"Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat" as your master catalog.

Every time you open a file named "
Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat", LR will look in that folder for a Previews folder named "Lightroom Database-2-2 Previews.lrdata". If it does not find this folder, LR will create it and start constructing new LR Previews to fill it.

So, next steps are these:

  • Decide which catalog file named "Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat" is going to be your master catalog file and decide which disk drive and which folder is going to be the repository for this master catalog file. If there is a Previews folder named "Lightroom Database-2-2 Previews.lrdata" in the same folder as the catalog file that you have decide to be master, copy both "Lightroom Database-2-2.lrcat" and "Lightroom Database-2-2 Previews.lrdata" to the drive and folder that you have decided will be your master LR catalog folder. Once you have done this, you should now be able to open this catalog in LR and see all of your cataloged images.
In LR Preferences change your Default catalog to this catalog file instead of last opened so that you won't accidentally start in another catalog by mistake.
Once you have a master catalog file, you need to make sure that it has a valid reference path to every image file that has been cataloged. In this catalog on the menu, click on {Library}{Find all Missing Photos}. The best answer that you can receive from this function is zero missing photos. If the result is non zero, there will be a special collection in the Catalog panel labeled "Missing Photographs" If you have missing photos, I will not address this here but we can deal with it in a separate topic.​

  • Once you have defined a master catalog file and location, we can address what you want to do about backup copies. In Catalog Preferences, You currently have it set to backup "Overtime Lightroom Exits". This is probably overkill, since each backup needs to do an integrity check and the database file needs to be optimized. I have mine set to "Once a Week" and this seems to give me a check point that I can easily recover from if the catalog file gets corrupted.
In the dialog that opens when a backup is triggered, you can choose a new default destination folder for your timestamp named backup folder.

Here, you probably want to choose a different volume from the one that contains your master catalog file. The reason is that the volume containing the master catalog file will fail and when it does, you don't want to lose all of your backup catalog files too.
Now might also be a good time to review your system backup scheme yo make sure that you are adequately backing up the master image files and the new destination for the catalog back up files. I would not worry about the master catalog file since it can be unstable and if a backup of it was taken while LR was running, you might not be able to recover from that system backup. This is why I always recommend backing up the LR generated backup file since the catalog file is closed and stable when LR makes it's copy.

I've tried to outline what you need to do in logical sequential steps and you will have the best experience if you answer my initial questions and follow the steps completely and in sequence. If there are some ambiguities, please reply here and I will clarify.


 
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nIkedoni1a

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Thank you for such a thorough and thoughtful explanation. My issue was that I was failing to grasp that the master catalog and backup are 2 distinct entities and not to be used interchangeably and as a result my master and backup were being stored in the same location. The missing photos (only 441 out of 95,000) is indeed a job for another day. I'll try and do that another weekend. Thanks again for being so patient.
 
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