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Should I keep my Lightroom Catalog Backup on a separate drive?

John Cicchine

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Hello,

I recently saw a video on YouTube stating that it is best if I store my Catalog Backup on a seperate drive from the drive where I keep my catalog. Currently I store my photos on 2 external hard drives and my catalog and the catalog backup on a 3rd. external hard drive sperate from where my photos are stored. But this video states that it is better to put the catalog backup on a 4th. seperate external hard drive. My questions are as follows...

-Since all 3 of my external hard drives are backed up to another hard drive using "Super Duper" to copy each drive and I am in the process of backing the drives up to the cloud with
"Backblaze" am I not already safe if there were to be a problem?

-In the video it shows where to tell Lightroom to store my Catalog Backup (see screenshot) so I know how to do that but should I change my location first then let Lightroom backup to
the new location and then move the existing backups to the new location or should I move my existing backups first to the new location then have Lightroom do a new backup to the new
location?

-How do I move my existing backups to the new location and make sure that Lightroom knows where they are located? Should I open 2 Finder Windows and click and drag the existing
backups to the new folder in the new hard drive or is there something else I need to do?

-If I change the location of my catalog backups will Lightroom know to automatically relocate my existing backups without me having to move them manually myself?

I am running Mojave 10.14.6

I included several screenshots that show my Catalog Backup structure. It me look a bit messy but that is the best I can do so far. I have at least one or two other catalogs that may be corrupted and I need to locate some photos in a few other catalogs I was previously using but I plan to do that at a future date. Any help on this thread I posted is as always greatly
appreciated. Thank You Very Much.

John

Lightroom Backup Choose Location.png
Lightroom Backup. Catalogs.png
Lightroom Backups 3.png
Lightroom Backups. 2.png
 
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It obviously makes more sense to have the catalog backups on a different drive to the original catalog, as you would have immediate access to the backups in the event of a failure of the original drive.

There's no reason why that separate drive shouldn't be one of the images drives, if you have the space I'd think using a 4th drive would be overkill.

If you do decide to transfer the catalog backup from the current catalog drive, it makes no difference if you move the existing backups before you switch or after you switch. Classic does not manage catalog backups, or remember previous catalog backup locations, so moving existing backups is entirely a manual user thing (i.e. if you change the backup destination drive when you exit Classic and make a backup, Classic will not know that you have a bunch of existing backups in the old location, so it will forget the old location and will simply start using the new location).
 

John Cicchine

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Hi Jim,

Thank You Very Much for the information. I guess I will purchase another external hard drive and change my backup location to a folder on that drive as soon as I can. I really appreciate your help.

John
 
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I have several old volumes that might be 10 or more years old. They have not failed yet. Sometime back I decided tp put them to use to hold Lightroom Backup files and "Make a second copy..." files. I hopefully should never need these files. So, if these disks crash it won't be a great loss. It is unlikely that the master volumes would fail and need a catalog back up at the same time the backup volume fails.
The reasoning is that I can let the (1TB) volumes fill up and not need to manage the backups up till the disk is full. Over the years, I have accumulated about 8 such disks. I would not trust any disk over 5 years old for critical user data, and at 1TB in size they are too small to serve their original purpose. You may have some similar SATA disks kicking around that you could use for this purpose.
 
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Hi Jim,

Thank You Very Much for the information. I guess I will purchase another external hard drive and change my backup location to a folder on that drive as soon as I can. I really appreciate your help.

John
Jim just explained that it sounds like overkill to purchase a 4th drive just for your catalog backups... :confused:
 

John Cicchine

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I have several old volumes that might be 10 or more years old. They have not failed yet. Sometime back I decided tp put them to use to hold Lightroom Backup files and "Make a second copy..." files. I hopefully should never need these files. So, if these disks crash it won't be a great loss. It is unlikely that the master volumes would fail and need a catalog back up at the same time the backup volume fails.
The reasoning is that I can let the (1TB) volumes fill up and not need to manage the backups up till the disk is full. Over the years, I have accumulated about 8 such disks. I would not trust any disk over 5 years old for critical user data, and at 1TB in size they are too small to serve their original purpose. You may have some similar SATA disks kicking around that you could use for this purpose.
Hi clee,

Good to hear from you. So Lightroom has a "Make a second copy of files" option? I assume it's in the Library Module. If I am wrong please let me know. I will check it out next time I open Lightroom. I wish I had an olser disk that I could use but I don't but thank you for your advice.

John
 

John Cicchine

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Jim just explained that it sounds like overkill to purchase a 4th drive just for your catalog backups... :confused:
Hi Johan,

Good to hear from you as always. I feel basically the same. Especially since this Covid situation my wedding and event photography is basically zero and I am hardly adding any photos to my Lightroom Library. I hope to have my small tabletop studio set up in our apartment and I can then do some still life photography since there is virtually no on location work right now. Still Life is the only genre I can focus on for the near future until I can do some travel again. Thanks again for your help my friend.

John
 

John Cicchine

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I save my Catalog backups in a specific sub folder within My Pictures folder. All my image files are stored in the My Pictures folder which is backed up via ChronoSync Express on to an external drive. The external drive is copied regularly to a second external drive.
Hi Denis,

Thank You for your help with this matter. I never heard of ChronoSync Express and I plan to check the software out. It sounds to me like what I am thinking about doing with Super Duper. That is if I do purchase another hard drive just to store my Catalog Backup I would backup that hard drive to another hard drive but with Super Duper. Thanks again Denis. I really appreciate your help as well as the help of others on this Forum.

John
 
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Hi clee,

Good to hear from you. So Lightroom has a "Make a second copy of files" option? I assume it's in the Library Module. If I am wrong please let me know. I will check it out next time I open Lightroom. I wish I had an olser disk that I could use but I don't but thank you for your advice.

John
It's an option in the Import dialog, not in the Library module. It's basically designed to make an additional immediate copy of the images when importing from a camera card, the idea being that with two copies on the system that will allow the camera card to be reformatted for next use. Note that it's really intended as a security backup pending the user eventually incorporating the new images in their normal backup routine, it's not really intended to be the user's primary backup.

Like Cletus, I also use that option when importing. Whenever I remember I will sometimes delete some of the very old "second copies" (usually when I'm cleaning out old catalog backups), but because they're on a drive with plenty of space I can leave that clean-up for years if needed.
 
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Like Cletus, I also use that option when importing. Whenever I remember I will sometimes delete some of the very old "second copies" (usually when I'm cleaning out old catalog backups), but because they're on a drive with plenty of space I can leave that clean-up for years if needed.
This is why I use a drive that I is too small and too old for critical data. I don't bother with housekeeping chores such as deleting older files until the volume is full. And like Jim, that can be years.
 

John Cicchine

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It's an option in the Import dialog, not in the Library module. It's basically designed to make an additional immediate copy of the images when importing from a camera card, the idea being that with two copies on the system that will allow the camera card to be reformatted for next use. Note that it's really intended as a security backup pending the user eventually incorporating the new images in their normal backup routine, it's not really intended to be the user's primary backup.

Like Cletus, I also use that option when importing. Whenever I remember I will sometimes delete some of the very old "second copies" (usually when I'm cleaning out old catalog backups), but because they're on a drive with plenty of space I can leave that clean-up for years if needed.
Hi Jim,

Sorry for the delay in writing back. Thank You for the suggestion. I may give it a try in the near future. I am looking forward to getting my tabletop studio up and running since I have no wedding or event stuff going on since Covid. As always I appreciate your help and everyone on this Forum.

John
 

John Cicchine

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This is why I use a drive that I is too small and too old for critical data. I don't bother with housekeeping chores such as deleting older files until the volume is full. And like Jim, that can be years.
Hi Cletus,

Sorry for the late reply. Been a bit busy. I remember now I do have and older G Tech drive sitting around and it needs an external power supply. If I can find one I may try as you suggested. I think my next priority is finding missing photos and getting my catalog situation corrected. I cannot seem to find any advice online that will help me locate my missing photos. Whatever I tried so far hs not worked. I know I did not delete and orignals on my hard drives so they must still be there. I will be posting some question on this as soon as I can at a later date and thanks again for your help on this catalog backup issue.

John
 

PhilBurton

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Let's simplify a bit. Your catalog backup drive should be on different physical drive than your catalog, regardless of your storage plan for your production catalog and images.

Phil Burton
 

John Cicchine

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Let's simplify a bit. Your catalog backup drive should be on different physical drive than your catalog, regardless of your storage plan for your production catalog and images.

Phil Burton
Hi Phil,

Once again my apologies for not writing back sooner. Still trying to get caught up here. I see your point and as of now that is what I will do. Just as I saw in the video. BTW the video was by Anthony Morganti. I watch his YouTube Videos quite often and I have learned quite a bit from him. And of course the assistance I receive from everyone here is immearsureable for me. I guess I should also purchase another hard drive to back that up up too. Then that is what I will do once I purchase the hard drives. Ok for now my friend. Once again a BIG THANK YOU to you and everyone on this Forum.

John
 

PhilBurton

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Hi Phil,

Once again my apologies for not writing back sooner. Still trying to get caught up here. I see your point and as of now that is what I will do. Just as I saw in the video. BTW the video was by Anthony Morganti. I watch his YouTube Videos quite often and I have learned quite a bit from him. And of course the assistance I receive from everyone here is immearsureable for me. I guess I should also purchase another hard drive to back that up up too. Then that is what I will do once I purchase the hard drives. Ok for now my friend. Once again a BIG THANK YOU to you and everyone on this Forum.

John
John,

The drive for backoimng up your catalog can be used for other applications also.

Phil Burton
 

Rob26

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I think this topic might become of much more importance as the new Apple M1 computers gain a wider use. I am seriously planning to do it
since I only have a 512gb drive. At the present time my research is into the best external drive to use with the USB4 port available. The speed
advantage seems to be great. The issue at the moment is the lack of external drives clearly dedicated as USB4. Only found a couple, OWC has one. Plenty available USB C and Thunderbolt, but I hope to be able to take advantage of the greater speed of the newer ports.
With the help of this site I will, once funds are available transfer Lightroom over and possibly the Apple Photos then I can reduce my cloud storage which I will not really need once sorted. I take very few iPhone pictures. But did for a while put my pictures in Lightroom and Photos, a very bad move on my part.

Rob
 
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I'm chary of using "second copy." As Julianne Kost has pointed out, those copies won't be organized (or edited, of course), and using them will set you back enormously to Square One. For that purpose, I use large camera cards and keep many recent past shoots on them - not formatted - as my immediate backup. That's as easy - doing nothing - as clicking the Second Copy box in Import (which takes time and disk space for raw-sized files).

What's important to back up are the image files that contain your work - both the culled ones (many) and the final ones (fewer JPGs) in a subfolder. In my workflow they all get backed up locally continuously, and near-continuously on Backblaze where I have 15 TB of edited files for 19c a day - all automated. So there are the card originals, the original raws as working files, and the latter being both locally and remotely backed up - the 1, 2, 3 system with one in the Cloud. I delete the card files as necessary.
 

John Cicchine

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John,

The drive for backoimng up your catalog can be used for other applications also.

Phil Burton
Hi Phil,

Yes I agree and I was thinking the same. Looking into the near future I hope to purchase some other software and perhaps I can use the drive for that. I guess I should just need to make a partition on the drive. I like to maximize the utilization of my storage. Thank You Very Much for your suggestion Phil.

John
 

John Cicchine

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I'm chary of using "second copy." As Julianne Kost has pointed out, those copies won't be organized (or edited, of course), and using them will set you back enormously to Square One. For that purpose, I use large camera cards and keep many recent past shoots on them - not formatted - as my immediate backup. That's as easy - doing nothing - as clicking the Second Copy box in Import (which takes time and disk space for raw-sized files).

What's important to back up are the image files that contain your work - both the culled ones (many) and the final ones (fewer JPGs) in a subfolder. In my workflow they all get backed up locally continuously, and near-continuously on Backblaze where I have 15 TB of edited files for 19c a day - all automated. So there are the card originals, the original raws as working files, and the latter being both locally and remotely backed up - the 1, 2, 3 system with one in the Cloud. I delete the card files as necessary.
Thank You Very Much for your advice. We all know this is a very impotant matter and I appreciate the advice I am receiving.

John
 
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The issue at the moment is the lack of external drives clearly dedicated as USB4. Only found a couple, OWC has one. Plenty available USB C and Thunderbolt, but I hope to be able to take advantage of the greater speed of the newer ports.
USB4 is still only 20GB/s where as TB3 and TB4 are each 40GB/s. USB-C, USB4, TB3 and TB4 all use the same port type. All are backward compatible to older specifications. You probably won't need to add two external monitors but only TB4 can accommodate more than on monitor.

OWC has a TB3 EHD enclosure that provides gigabit ethernet, USB3 ports and one monitor port as well as 2 TB3 ports.
https://www.owcdigital.com/products/mercury-elite-pro-dockI have a 2nd monitor, TB2 EHD, two TB3 EHDs and a USB3 EHD all attached to my M1 iMac via the TB4 port.

You also can get adapters to connect your older USB devices through your TB4 port on the M1 iMac.
 

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PhilBurton

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I'm chary of using "second copy." As Julianne Kost has pointed out, those copies won't be organized (or edited, of course), and using them will set you back enormously to Square One. For that purpose, I use large camera cards and keep many recent past shoots on them - not formatted - as my immediate backup. That's as easy - doing nothing - as clicking the Second Copy box in Import (which takes time and disk space for raw-sized files).

What's important to back up are the image files that contain your work - both the culled ones (many) and the final ones (fewer JPGs) in a subfolder. In my workflow they all get backed up locally continuously, and near-continuously on Backblaze where I have 15 TB of edited files for 19c a day - all automated. So there are the card originals, the original raws as working files, and the latter being both locally and remotely backed up - the 1, 2, 3 system with one in the Cloud. I delete the card files as necessary.
I've always regarded "second copy" as short-term protection. In case I have screwed up an import and already erased the memory card, I can still start over. Delete the most recent import from disk, and then do a new import.

I do keep my "2 star" images, which weren't quite good enough to be included in an album or photo export, or were the inputs to an HDR image. However, the truly bad images, the photos of my shoes, etc., those get deleted pretty quickly.

And of course, all my photos (on my E: Media drive) are backed up along with my D: Data files.
 

John Cicchine

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USB4 is still only 20GB/s where as TB3 and TB4 are each 40GB/s. USB-C, USB4, TB3 and TB4 all use the same port type. All are backward compatible to older specifications. You probably won't need to add two external monitors but only TB4 can accommodate more than on monitor.

OWC has a TB3 EHD enclosure that provides gigabit ethernet, USB3 ports and one monitor port as well as 2 TB3 ports.
https://www.owcdigital.com/products/mercury-elite-pro-dockI have a 2nd monitor, TB2 EHD, two TB3 EHDs and a USB3 EHD all attached to my M1 iMac via the TB4 port.

You also can get adapters to connect your older USB devices through your TB4 port on the M1 iMac.
Hi Clee, I’m still a bit behind on writing back to everyone here for which I apologize. Thank You for this information. It’s a big help for me. I will review it all and write back as soon as I can. Thanks again my friend!

John
 

John Cicchine

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I've always regarded "second copy" as short-term protection. In case I have screwed up an import and already erased the memory card, I can still start over. Delete the most recent import from disk, and then do a new import.

I do keep my "2 star" images, which weren't quite good enough to be included in an album or photo export, or were the inputs to an HDR image. However, the truly bad images, the photos of my shoes, etc., those get deleted pretty quickly.

And of course, all my photos (on my E: Media drive) are backed up along with my D: Data files.
Thank You Very Much Phil for your advice. I still a bit late in writing back to everyone and again my apologies. Also I am having difficulty typing because I am using temporary glasses at the moment while I wait for my new glasses. So I appreciate everyone”s patience with me as well as all the kind help I am receiving. I will get back on this after I get my new glasses and then my next project is to find my missing photos! In the meantime thanks again for your help Phil.

John
 

edo-sky.plala.or.jp

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After coming across this last night I share my thoughts. I keep my Lightroom catalogue and all my photos together on the SAME external disk. That disk is ritualistically backed up to another external disk by Super Duper clone software after EVERY session and BEFORE erasing my card. Usually I have a third copy of the same disk as well. This way you can move to another computer with your catalogue AND photos all on the same disk. If the disk is a 2.5 inch size its easy to take your whole library on a trip in case you get a request for something when on the road. If one disk goes down you have one or two more to be up and running quickly. So I don't run Backups of my catalogue only within LR. Maybe I am wrong but this works good for me and feels safe. Photos and catalogues are on 2TB disks. Movies and connected catalogue are separate set of 2 2TB disks. (I separated the photos and movie a few years ago. LR is mostly for organizing the movie clips and marking the best ones before taking them to Final Cut Pro etc)

My main photo Lightroom FOLDER on the external disk (not catalogue) is 43 GB and contains all the presets ect as well as the newest and older catalogues.
 
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