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Reloading Windows and Lightroom on new SSD and Images on a new 2nd SSD

GregJ

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  1. Windows 10
I built a top-end gaming rig 3 years ago to serve as my photography studio PC and am updating it this weekend with a new powerful Intel i9 10900K chip, Asus Hero 12 Motherboard, 64 GB Corsair 3600 Ram, and a new boot chip - the Seagate 2TB Firecuda 510 M.2 SSD. That will be my new boot drive and I will have to reload Windows, Adobe Creative Cloud, MS Office, Norton 360, Helicon Focus and all my other programs, etc.... I have also purchased a new 8TB Samsung QVO SATA SSD. That huge SSD will contain all of my images from a lifetime of shooting - about 5 TB of data, all linked by my LR catalog. Currently those images are all on one 8TB WD Black spinning hard drive, and of course backed up multiple times to other 8TB spinning hard drives (using GoodSync). Note: I do not use a Raid array and have my reasons for that. It is all on one big disk.

I write to sidecar, so all of my many tens of thousands (hundred thousand?) of raw files shot in the past 12 years all have sidecar files. The big challenge is that I will have to get my new LR set up and get the catalog linked to that new 8TB SSD with all my images.

I will use GoodSync to copy the 5TB of image files from my old spinning 8TB hard drive to the new 8TB SSD. It has been a dream of mine to have all of my images loaded on and operating from a SATA SSD, which is 5 times faster than the spinning hard drives I have been on for decades. LR is going to scream now with my files being on an SSD vs HDD, and also from all that Ram and all of those cores and threads on this powerful new chip.

The 8TB Samsung QVO is a technical marvel at about 100 bucks a TB, but it is SATA, not M.2. There will come a day when I will have an 8TB M.2 loaded on the Motherboard (vs SATA mounted inside the PC but outside the motherboard), but that day has not come. An 8TB M.2 would be astronomical in price. Anyway that is another story.

So once my 5TB of raw images and their sidecars are copied to the Samsung 8TB SSD and I have LR up and running on my new 2TB M.2, NVMe, PCIe SSD, I must then link the catalog to the 8TB SSD and that huge folder structure with thousands of folders and hundred thousand files.... This scares me and I am trying to prepare myself for this before I launch on Sunday. A friend of mine who is an IT guys and builds water-cooled rigs for fun is coming over in two days to help me, but he does not know LR and is not a photographer.

I did this 3 years ago when I built my gaming rig and had to do this, but I had trouble and it took me weeks (months) to get everything back in order.

The Lightroom Queen helped me then. I need help now. I had a windows programmer tell me that there is a file in the root directory that I must copy over and everything will instantly link. I point the catalog to the new D Drive, which will be the 8TB Samsung SSD, and everything will link as exactly before. Can that be true?

What is the best way to do this? This is serious stuff, and the annals of LightRoom history are littered with the corpses of people who tried and failed to sync their LR catalogue with a new drive full of a bazillion raw files and folders.

What is the easiest way?

Thanks,
Greg Johnson
San Antonio, Texas
 

GregJ

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Cletus, this is the exact same link I followed 3 years ago when I got in so much trouble. One thing I already screwed up on was I uninstalled LR on my old machine (for a reason I won't get into but it had to be done) without saving all my presets and plugins, but I can set that up quickly once I reinstall. I do have the catalog file (but not the huge folders of 1:1 previews - I can start over on those when I need them because my PC is going to be a monster and eat LR like Cheetos).
Anyway, my only concern is the folders all linking back up. I am going to have to point it at a different letter drive.
I'm also not clear on what she means about cleaning up the folder structure because I have it exactly like I want it. I have a complex array of folders that are named the way I want it and organized the way I want it. I'm not changing that. Believe it or not, I have 5TB worth of files under one folder called - you guessed it - "Pictures." Then under that is a massive array of folders that cover every shooting session and every travel location I have ever done in my life.
I will study this carefully. But I'm not sure all of this apples to me and my situation. I'm going to get in trouble on this.
 
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Cletus, this is the exact same link I followed 3 years ago when I got in so much trouble. One thing I already screwed up on was I uninstalled LR on my old machine (for a reason I won't get into but it had to be done) without saving all my presets and plugins, but I can set that up quickly once I reinstall. I do have the catalog file (but not the huge folders of 1:1 previews - I can start over on those when I need them because my PC is going to be a monster and eat LR like Cheetos).
Anyway, my only concern is the folders all linking back up. I am going to have to point it at a different letter drive.
I'm also not clear on what she means about cleaning up the folder structure because I have it exactly like I want it. I have a complex array of folders that are named the way I want it and organized the way I want it. I'm not changing that. Believe it or not, I have 5TB worth of files under one folder called - you guessed it - "Pictures." Then under that is a massive array of folders that cover every shooting session and every travel location I have ever done in my life.
I will study this carefully. But I'm not sure all of this apples to me and my situation. I'm going to get in trouble on this.
All I can say is that the instructions in that blog post have been tried and tested by many people over the years, and the only issues that may arise are generally when the instructions have not been properly followed.

However, your specific issue about how to reconnect LrC to your images on their new drive is a very simple procedure, provided you copy the entire folder structure exactly as it is without change. If you do that, it will simply be a case of reconnecting the top level folder ("Pictures" in your case) after the copy.

If you start LrC with both the old and the new drive connected, Lightroom will still reference the images from their old location, in which case you would right-click on the top level "Pictures" folder in the Folders Panel and select "Update Folder Location" from the sub-menu that appears. That will open a file browser window which you use to navigate to, then select, the copy of the "pictures" folder on the new drive, then click on Select Folder. That will change the reference of the entire folder structure to the new drive, after which you can remove the old drive.

Alternatively, if you start LrC with the old drive disconnected and the new drive connected, the catalog will open and show all folders in the Folders Panel will be greyed out with "?" marks on them all. At that point, again right-click on the "Pictures" folder, then the only option in the sub-menu will be "Find Missing Folder"....clicking on that brings up the same file browser, so you do the same as above, i.e. select the copy of "Pictures" on the new drive and all links are restored.
 

GregJ

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Jim, you and Cletus probably don't remember me but you helped me a lot ten years ago when I was first using LR. I have not been on the forum much because I live inside LR and know it well now, but this thing I never do except on a studio PC change and I had trouble three years ago doing it. It is clear to me now what to do. Just one question to make sure on the folder structure. The top folder is "Pictures." Under that are five folders, one of which is "Raw." That raw folder is huge and contains every shot I have taken in the past ten years, which is when I started shooting raw and using LR. Every file in that folder is a raw file linked to the LR catalog. That is the only folder that has image files connected to the catalog. The other 4 folders under "Pictures" are folders full of old jpeg and TIFF files from my pre-raw and film shooting days (thousands of TIF scans from film and slides). I have chosen not to link them to my LR catalog. I never imported them to LR and just use PS on them if I ever want to tinker with them. I only play with raw in LR.
So, should I click on and link the parent "Pictures" folder (which contains other folders not linked to LR) or the "raw" folder beneath it (which is where all my LR connected raw files are)?
 
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The “Pictures” folder is a System folder with special significance to the OS. You can copy the “Pictures” folder and its contents to a new location but it will no longer behave as a System folder. This is fine and Lightroom will recognize the contents as the new location and path of the images for the catalog


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Yes Greg, I do remember that saga 10 years ago, though I have to admit I can't recall what the actual issue was, I just remember that it went on for a long time!
Regarding the question, if there are definitely none of the other sub-folders of "Pictures" in the catalog, and there are no root-level images in the catalog either (in other words, if the total image count in the catalog is the same for "Pictures" and "Raw"), then you can really right-click on either (though to be safe, I'd use the "Pictures" folder). Just make sure that whichever one you right-click on is the same one that you select on the new drive.
 

GregJ

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Thanks guys. I am amazed that you spend so much time helping people here and I need to spend more time on the forum because besides this issue which worries me I do have a few LR tricks up my sleeves. What a great program, and I have spent many years defending it on DPR. I am Greg 7579 on Digital Photography Review and I have about 15,000 posts, mostly on the Fuji, Leica and MF Boards. Anyway, I am a huge fan of LR and dedicated user.
Yes Cletus, my "Pictures" folder has been a non-system regular folder for many years now. I should probably just name it "Greg's Images" or something. I think I will right click on the top-level folder (pictures) and pray. I could link one level lower to the "Raw" folder, but as long as those other folders at that level don't matter and will be ignored by LR, I will click on the top-level folder.
I am unusual in that I hate Raid, don't run a NAS and want everything on one drive. Now that drive will be an 8 TB SSD. I shoot 200MB GFX 100 raw files, and 100MB Leica Q2 raw files, but even so that 8TB drive will never fill up in my lifetime. I shoot no video.
I will hold my breath and do this tomorrow or Monday and report back here on this thread if I screw it up like I did last time.
Guys, since I will be running off of a M.2 PCIe NVMe super-fast 2 TB SSD (windows, Adobe and my catalog will be there), and I have a lot of room there, how big should I make my cache? I can make a huge cache right there on that M.2 boot drive. Or I could make an entire 1TB Samsung EVO M.2 SSD which will be mounted on the MB the cache. Right? How big should I go? I will mount that 1 TB Samsung Pro M.2 drive on the Motherboard as a second M.2 because that was the drive my OS has been running on for three years.
Is there any reason to copy my huge preview file (1:1) over? I think I will not and just let it build again when I need it or develop old shots again.
This rig is going to be so fast that it will render those previews ten times faster than my old rig. I'm going to be running ten Cores and 20 Threads overclocked at 5.5 GHz and it will all be happening on that super fast M.2 2 TB SSD with 64 GB of 3600 speed ram with the fastest PC chip in the world.
Can't wait to clock that rendering.
I hear LR has gotten much better at using more memory than 32GB, more cores, more threads and more of the Nvidia 2080ti GPU. I wonder if when I render if all ten cores will be cranking max? I wonder how much load the GPU will carry, how much of the 64 GB ram will be used, and how hard the fastest PC chip in the world will be cranking on the heaviest of LR loads? I will find out. Because I am going to take 300 200 MB GFX 100 raw files and render full-size 100% quality jpegs as soon as I'm up and running on the new rig and link my catalog and see what happens. I will report the stats. But my slow rendering and development days are over. Mainly because I won't be reaching out to raw image files that are on a spinning 8TB HDD. They will all be on a huge SSD. Can't wait.
 
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...
I am unusual in that I hate Raid, don't run a NAS and want everything on one drive. Now that drive will be an 8 TB SSD. I shoot 200MB GFX 100 raw files, and 100MB Leica Q2 raw files, but even so that 8TB drive will never fill up in my lifetime. I shoot no video.
Not unusual at all. Most people misunderstand the purpose of RAID and a NAS for a single user network is inefficient with even a 1GB internet, a NAS file server is slow compared to an EHD connected directly. RAID is useful for 7X24 uptime for data. And is never acceptable as a backup plan for data.
Guys, since I will be running off of a M.2 PCIe NVMe super-fast 2 TB SSD (windows, Adobe and my catalog will be there), and I have a lot of room there, how big should I make my cache?
Default Caches settings are sufficient for LrC. Lightroom makes extensive use of working storage (/TEMP) and you need to leave sufficient free space on the boot drive for the many temporary files that Lightroom Classic will generate. Keep in mind that LrC rarely need to access the original RAW files after import and uses the ACR. Cached images when it does need the RGB version of the RAW file.
...
Is there any reason to copy my huge preview file (1:1) over? I think I will not and just let it build again when I need it.
Yes Lightroom will rebuild the previews as it needs them. Some older previews may never get accessed again and older files won’t likely be mass reprocessed like a new import patch.
I hear LR has gotten much better at using more memory than 32GB, more cores, more threads and more of the Nvidia 2080ti GPU. I wonder if when I render if all ten cores will be cranking max? I wonder how much load the GPU will carry, how much of the 64 GB ram will be used, and how hard the fastest PC chip in the world will be cranking on the heaviest of LR loads? I will find out. Because I am going to take 300 200 MB GFX 100 raw files and render full-size 100% quality jpegs as soon as I'm up and running on the new rig and link my catalog and see what happens.
I think your machine will really be over kill for Lightroom. I/O will be your limiting factor not cores or CPU speed or RAM


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GregJ

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Thank Cletus. Fantastic advice. I did not know all of that about LR creating all of those big temp files as it needs them on the boot drive where windows and adobe resides. I will have plenty of room on that 2TB SSD. I'm not sure why I hear so much about increasing Cache size then. If it doesn't care about the cache size beyond the low default size and just makes temp files on the boot drive whenever it needs to then what is the point of the cache?

I agree with you on Raid. I have a full understanding of raid and have tried it. I don't need redundancy and raid is not a backup. I am not a daily shooting studio portrait or event pro who can't afford to be down for a couple of hours. With one drive, the worst thing that could happen to me is losing my drive where everything is stored and have to go to one of my many single disk backups. Anyway, I agree with you.

I just posted a thread on the Medium Format Board of DPR claiming that Raid was dead. I got counterattacked on that big-time because Raid is beloved by many of those IT-nerd-like daily shooting pros.

My machine being overkill for LR? Of course it is. I will basically have a world-class gaming rig and I don't even game. I don't render 4K video and I'm not a data scientist.

But I don't need a 100 MP GFX 100 either . But it sure is fun.

Thanks guys. If I screw this up rebuild up and embarrass myself, I will come on here again and cry while begging for help.
 

GregJ

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Big Problem! I rebuilt the PC yesterday and installed Windows 10 on the new M.2 2TB SSD with the new Intel CPU, Motherboard and 64 GB Ram, as described above. I copied my 5TB of image files to the new 8TB Sata internal SSD. The original 8TB Hard disk drive with all my images stayed the same.

Everything works fine. I reinstalled Adobe LR and PS on the new C drive and opened the catalog. It immediately (in about 5 seconds) opened up my catalog and linked to the original spinning hard disk so I am exactly as I was before but my catalog is linked to the hard drive and not the new 8TB SSD!

Now what? I need to link that catalog to the 8TB Samsung QVO Sata SSD and away from the big original hard drive.

I guess I could go inside the PC and unhook the power cable on that original Drive D hard drive, then fire the PC back up and it will search for that D drive but it won't be hooked up. Then I can redirect the catalog to the F drive, which is my new 8TB SSD.

Is the any way to do that redirection without going into the PC and disabling that drive until the catalog is switched over?
 

GregJ

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To add to what I said above, I see that if I right click the parent folder (Raw Files), I see there is an "update folder location" option. I tried that and directed it to the new F Dive (the 8TB SSD where the copy of every image now also resides. It showed the same folder structure with question marks. I thought that was good, so I tried to find the "Find missing folder" but it wasn't there, so I used history and backed all the way back out. I think I am close to getting my catalog linked with the new 8TB SSD and away from that spinning hard drive.
 
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"Update Folder Location" is exactly what you should have used, but it should relink without any missing folders if the folder structure is the same AND you chose the correct folder on the new drive, i.e. you should have selected the Raw Files folder. Did you do that?
 

GregJ

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Jim, I did what you said and it worked this time like a charm. I updated the folder location from the D Dive hard drive to the new 8TB SSD (F Drive on my system). In about 4 seconds it linked to my 65,000 raw files i n 244 folders on the F Drive (8TB Samsung internal SSD) exactly as it had on the D Drive. I'm good to go. As a quick test I exported 75 GFX 100 200 MB raw files as full size 100% quality jpegs from the 8TB internal Sata SSD to the desktop on the 2TB M.2 drive on the motherboard. I had all my meters on. It took about 2 minutes and the CPU pushed into overclocking to 5200 and ran at about 63 to 69 degrees C the whole time. This i9 10900k is a hot chip, but I'm water cooled. All ten cores and 20 threads were cranking to max so LR uses those well. But the GPU was barely touched (GeForce 2080 TI) at about 3% usage. Of the 64 GB of 3600 speed ram, it used about 26 GB consistently throughout that big export. So you were right. 64 GB vs 32 GB with LR is likely way overkill, but maybe there are other LR jobs that use more ram than a big export job.
Thanks Jim and Clete! And I got a nice email from The Queen herself telling me to listen to you guys and not screw it up this time. All is well. No big deal - a daunting but simple task with the help of this Board.
 

GregJ

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Also - This morning I created 1400 1:1 previews from 200MM GFX 100 raw files to watch the performance. Same thing. GPU maxed at 100% (5100MHz) on all ten cores and twenty threads. CPU temp was 67 to 70 Centigrade. The GPU was barely touched - about 2% of it was used. The ram used during this operation was about 30GB - looks like I don't need the 64. It still took a long time. I'm half way 30% through the big 1:1 preview build task and it has already been cranking for 15 minutes. Building from the boot drive to the same drive, an M.2 2TB SSD (Seagate FireCuda 510). Anyway, all is well. But I'm not sure that all that power I have now is really going to make a huge difference in LR. But maybe - remember I'm working with 200 MB GFX 100 raw files.
 
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