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Slow backup and diagnosis

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I decided to begin a new post because my previous post was mixed in with another one. I am new and learning the rules. Thank you for your patience! Below is Jim Wilde's comment I am responding to:

"A couple of hours" is simply not right for a backup of a 1.7GB catalog. Can you tell from the backup process if any of the stages seems to take up most of that time?

Where does the catalog reside? If it's on the same internal drive that you are backing it up to, then that's something you should consider changing (a system drive crash means you've lost the catalog and the catalog backups).

Unplugging external hard drives shouldn't have any effect on the speed of the catalog backup."

Thank you Jim. So I believe my catalog and backup both exist on the imac hard drive. Most of my photos are on external drives which I import and work on in LR. There are some still on the computer in various places, a hold over from many years ago when I was starting out. Also, I store select photos in a special collection area in LR. I believe the first checking of integrity takes the longest. However, the computer also freezes up from time to time during the backup which is unsettling! Actually, the whole computer is running slow. I pulled out my old imac (I purchased this one a few years ago) and the old one boots up in a snap unlike my newer one! Also, When I purchased the new imac, the transfer was done by the company. I wonder if something happened in the transfer? Looking at my old imac I notice that the backup file structure is a little different. Would that jam things up? Should I change the location of the backup to match the old one? However, I might relocate the backup to an external drive. Do you think this might make things run faster? Also, when my files were transferred some photos went missing. In fact, I had many photos in the old iphoto catalog which linked to LR and and none of those were transferred over. There are also other missing photos. Could this be jamming up the works? Should my next step be to try to get the photos all linked up as a first step in figuring out what is going on? What do you think might be a first step? Thank you in advance!
 
Solution
Glad that this has a successful conclusion.

This is an example which demonstrates the amount of orphaned data which can reside in a catalog. While it is possible that some of this may have been left, at some stage, by errors within Lr, especially in the early versions, Lr has been running so long by so many users on so many platforms that Adobe will have optimised the stability of their database processing in so far as what is practically possible.

We tend to forget that Lr can be asked to complete complex database updates on lots of metadata fields across very large number of image records. These processes may be running in the background even as you are using Lr for some other task. It s not surprising that these tasks can be...
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A few thoughts.

Every 18 -24 months I create a new Catalog from my existing Catalog. It gives the database a chance to restart from a fresh start. Who knows how many times a Lightroom process has aborted mid way (power cut, system crash) leaving an accumulation of broken indices within the catalog. This may also reduce the size of the database. I am sometimes prompted to do this by the sense that Lr or Lr backups are running slower than usual. The internal housekeeping within the Lr Catalog has improved over the years, but a fresh catalog, with internal indices rebuilt from scratch is worth considering.

I second the suggestion to check the amount of free space on your drive.

Finally, as you have loads of external drives, consider backing up your catalog to an external drive. The obvious benefit is that you do not use your live and backup catalog if/ when your main drive fails. Use your most recently purchased external drive on the basis that it might be the fastest and also least likely to fail or maybe it is time to get a new fast external ssd drive for backup (faster and more resistant to various, but not all, forms of failure). Check how much space your old catalogs are consuming and decide if it is time to delete your oldest backups ( are you really going to go back to a backup taken months or years ago).
 
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The test catalog I had suggested would be smaller as it would be created brand new and you would just add a number of images to it. I was not thinking of trying to recreate your catalog in question and it is a quick test to perform to help rule out problem areas. Alternately, if you have other working catalogs, you could try to back one of them up and see if the problem persists.

--Ken
 
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Two thoughts come to mind. First, how full is your internal hard drive? Do you have any free space on it? If so, how much? A drive that is too full can cause issues if the computer need space to swap files.

Second, have you tried to create a new catalog to see if it also exhibits issues? Yes, it will be smaller than your catalog in question, but if it also exhibits problems, then the catalog alone may not be the issue.

--Ken
 
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Two thoughts come to mind. First, how full is your internal hard drive? Do you have any free space on it? If so, how much? A drive that is too full can cause issues if the computer need space to swap files.

Second, have you tried to create a new catalog to see if it also exhibits issues? Yes, it will be smaller than your catalog in question, but if it also exhibits problems, then the catalog alone may not be the issue.

--Ken
Thank you Ken. My catalog is on the hard drive of my Imac. It has 718.98 GB available of 1TB. (My photos are all stored on external hard drives. ) So I don't think the problem is space. I have not yet tried to create a new catalog. Why would that be smaller than my current catalog?
 
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A few thoughts.

Every 18 -24 months I create a new Catalog from my existing Catalog. It gives the database a chance to restart from a fresh start. Who knows how many times a Lightroom process has aborted mid way (power cut, system crash) leaving an accumulation of broken indices within the catalog. This may also reduce the size of the database. I am sometimes prompted to do this by the sense that Lr or Lr backups are running slower than usual. The internal housekeeping within the Lr Catalog has improved over the years, but a fresh catalog, with internal indices rebuilt from scratch is worth considering.

I second the suggestion to check the amount of free space on your drive.

Finally, as you have loads of external drives, consider backing up your catalog to an external drive. The obvious benefit is that you do not use your live and backup catalog if/ when your main drive fails. Use your most recently purchased external drive on the basis that it might be the fastest and also least likely to fail or maybe it is time to get a new fast external ssd drive for backup (faster and more resistant to various, but not all, forms of failure). Check how much space your old catalogs are consuming and decide if it is time to delete your oldest backups ( are you really going to go back to a backup taken months or years ago).
Thank you Gnits. I don't think space on my hard drive is the probem as it has close to 719 GB available of 1 TB. (see above). To back up to an external drive, do I simply select it when the backup prompt comes up? Is there a certain external drive you recommend? My photos are on a 2 tb g drive which has lots of space available G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C External Hard Drive (Gold). I only have a few backups on my computer. I've deleted most over the years.
 
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Yes, select a new destination at the time of doing a backup. Any working external drive will do. As the root problem is the speed of your backup, then, if you have a choice, pick the fastest drive and which has the fastest interface (eg Thunderbolt 3 is faster than Thunderbolt 2, Usb 3 is faster than USB 2, , ssd drive is faster than spinning disk, etc).

Great that space on your system drive is not an issue.

Exporting your full catalog as a new catalog may reduce the size of your catalog (in some cases significantly so) as there may be a build up of internal broken links and indices within the catalog database, which take up space and may be a root cause of slow backups .

This has solved issues for me in the past, less so now but I still regard this process as part of my long term maintenance of my catalog (which I do approx every 18 minths). Earlier versions of Lr were more buggy, might have crashed more often in the past so maybe less need for me to do this now……. but if I find anything unusual with Lr performance or length of backup, apart from checking the integrity and amount of available space on my backup destination drive I will create a fresh version of my catalog.
 
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The test catalog I had suggested would be smaller as it would be created brand new and you would just add a number of images to it. I was not thinking of trying to recreate your catalog in question and it is a quick test to perform to help rule out problem areas. Alternately, if you have other working catalogs, you could try to back one of them up and see if the problem persists.

--Ken
Ken--Thank you for the clarification! I was confused between the backup and the brand new catalog!
 
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Ken--Thank you for the clarification! I was confused between the backup and the brand new catalog!
No worries. I was suggesting a very quick test. @Gnits also had a good suggestion above. Either should help you try and identify the source of your problems.

--Ken
 
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Ken--Thank you for the clarification! I was confused between the backup and the brand new catalog!
Thank you Ken and @Gnits . I really appreciate your help. So Ken, if I understand you, I should start a brand new catalog and import a few photos into it and then back it up as I always do to see how it backs up. If this is correct, where should I locate the brand new test catalog? Also, I an wondering if I should just start a brand new catalog. BTW, my computer only has 8 gb of ram (I should have known better).
 
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Thank you Ken @Replytoken and @Gnits . I really appreciate your help. So Ken, if I understand you, I should start a brand new catalog and import a few photos into it and then back it up as I always do to see how it backs up. If this is correct, where should I locate the brand new test catalog? Also, I an wondering if I should just start a brand new catalog. BTW, my computer only has 8 gb of ram (I should have known better).

Also, @Jim Wilde, I started a new thread about my issue in this forum to respond to your post in another thread (please see quote at top) as I did not see then how to tag you. Thank you so much for your help! I also rechecked the size of my catalog and I believe it is 2.40 gigs, not 1.7 as I previously mentioned (which was the size of the zipped file).
 
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To keep things simple, save the new catalog on your main internal drive. Copy a hundred or so photos to the new catalog, and then back it up. It should all happen pretty quickly. If not, then your problem is probably not catalog specific.

--Ken
 
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Thank you Ken @Replytoken! Does it matter where I save the new catalog on the main internal drive?

Also, re "copy a hundred or so photos to the new catalog" Is this as opposed to importing them? Do you know where I might find instructions on how to do this? Currently, I add photos to external hard drives and then import the photos to lightroom. I am nervous about making errors and screwing things up. :cautious:
 
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Just create a folder on your main drive. Create the new catalogue in that folder. You'll delete it when you're done testing.

Ken meant "import" to the new catalogue.
 
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Create a new folder on your desktop and create the catalogue in that folder.
 
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Well, I created a new catalog with over a hundred photos and it backed up in a matter of seconds. Editing in it was speedy as well. Is there a way to fix my regular catalog? I have suspicions that the problem has something to do with the way it was transferred when I purchased my new imac. Or perhaps it has to do with missing files? Or all the edits I do on photos that have built up over the years? Thank you in advance for your thoughts and advice!
 
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Just create a folder on your main drive. Create the new catalogue in that folder. You'll delete it when you're done testing.

Ken meant "import" to the new catalogue.
Thanks Hal. Dealing with a small medical issue and multi-tasking is not my strong suit.

--Ken
 
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I am sorry you are not feeling well Ken. thank you for getting me going on this test.
Thank you for the kind words. Usually it is me. In this case, it was my beloved. She is doing better, but it was a very long couple of days.

--Ken
 
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Thank you to everyone on this forum who has been helping me get to the bottom of my slow backup with LR classic. I have now created a test catalog on my desktop with over 100 photos that backs up in seconds. I guess I could just create a new catalog for my new photos. But this still leaves me with the question as to why the other one backs up so slowly. It has s 30,773 images and the catalog is 2.40 gb (although the zipped file is 1.7). Should I try to back it up to an external disk and see if that is faster? Also, there are many missing photos. Could this be causing the slow backup? Thank you in advance!
 
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…. But this still leaves me with the question as to why the other one backs up so slowly. It has s 30,773 images and the catalog is 2.40 gb (although the zipped file is 1.7). Should I try to back it up to an external disk and see if that is faster? Also, there are many missing photos. Could this be causing the slow backup? Thank you in advance!
In your earlier thread, I suggested that slowness may be due to orphaned records in some of the internal tables. If you use 3rd party plugins (and maybe even Lightroom itself) doesn’t clean up properly Important records in related tables may be properly deleted and related records in other tables may get left behind.

That is why it has been recommended by me and others to use the import from another catalog (your slow master) to a new empty catalog. this will only bring over the good records and leave the detritus behind.

As for the missing photos, these should be resolved soonest. The only thing missing in these records is the path to the source file field is not resolving. In theory, this should not slow the backup, but Lightroom might’ve be pausing to try to resolve the missing file.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Thank you Clee. I left that thread because I had jumped in on it when I first joined and then felt it wasn't clear who people were writing to and thought to clarify by starting out anew. Apparently this did not have the intended effect! Sorry! I wiil try to keep to one thread and learn the rules better. Thank you for following up here!

So it seems from what you wrote I should start first to find missing photos. Many went missing when I transferred to this new computer. I have pulled out my old Imac which may help me track down some of the paths. I will start this process and then start the second part suggested by you and Gnits and others. I may run into a snag in tracking them down. Thank you so much!
 
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I am in the process of finding missing photos in order to clean up the mess that may be contributing to the slow backup. I have two external hard drives with the same name. The first is pretty old so I copied most of the photos to a newer drive which I keep plugged into my computer so I can use it while I am working. The older one pretty much sits on my desk unused except now I am using it because it has photos that turn up missing when not plugged into LR. I tell them apart on the computer by the color of the icon, not by the name which is unfortunately the same. I seem to run into snags when they are both plugged in at the same time. Is this a coincidence or is it a bad idea to plug them in at the same time while tracking missing photos. I'm very uneasy about renaming them. Thank you so much in advance for your thoughts and advice!
 
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