why does it takes ages

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guido.coza

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For reasons of my own I have my LR catalog on a external HD. I connect this HD either on my laptop or on a iMac.
Since I have the catalog on the HD it takes 15min and more to backup the catalog, even with hardly any changes done to the cat/pic. It "feels" like, it takes even longer, for the first backup after a change from either computer to the other.
any idea why it takes sooooo long?? ( HD is a 2tb WD with usb3)
 
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What version of Lightroom are you using? We do not ask you to fill this in for no reason.

Lightroom 6 is indeed slow when it comes to making a catalog backup. A total time of 15 minutes is not exceptional, depending on the size of the catalog.
 
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Also, writing to/reading from an external disk can be much slower than doing so to/from an internal disk.

even with hardly any changes done to the cat/pic.
Lightroom backs up the entire catalogue, irrespective of the changes made since the last backup. For a catalogue of a given size, the backup process should always take roughly the same amount of time. It may run faster the second time because the OS stashes recent IO in unused memory.
 
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To further expand on Johan's comments, How is the EHD connected? USB2 will be slow. USB3 a little better, Thunderbolt 2 or 3 will be the fastest that you can expect. Second, have you considered updating the OS to MacOS 10.13.x? I/O issues fall into the realm of the Operating System Apple has made a lot of improvements since Mavericks.
A catalog backup in LR6 consist of three parts:
  • Referential Integrity checking: Making sure there are no orphaned records or other errors
  • Catalog Optimization: Rebuilding the database in a new more compact catalog file
  • Making a copy of the new compacted catalog file. (This is what Adobe calls the backup)
It is the first two steps that are labor and time intensive. Lightroom uses temporary files through out the process and if you don't have enough free space on your primary dusk drive, this will slow everything including writing out the final files on the EHD. So if you have a large Catalog file and less that 100GB free on "MacIntosh HD" it really does not matter where your master catalog file to backup catalog file is located.
 

guido.coza

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First of all, thanks to everybody!
Yes indeed I use LR 6.10 and, yes it is "checking catalog integrity" that takes for ever(18% bat. live of MBP)
The HD is connected via USB3 and there is about 400GB free space on iMac and 300gb on the MBP.
I was suspecting that the exHD would be slower but not THAT slow, and, when I had 2 catalogs and merged them from time to time, I did not feel it would be as slow as now. But OK, it seems there is nothing I can do, and Cletus, you don't really want to advise anybody to "up"grade to 10.13??
 
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and Cletus, you don't really want to advise anybody to "up"grade to 10.13??
Thanks for the snarky question. Yes, I do mean to upgrade your Mac to High Sierra Version 10.13.x Unless your hardware is too old to support the OS, every Mac user should IMO be running MacOS 10.13.x the Latest update is 10.13.2
 
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You can do a test by manually copying your catalog (the .lrcat file) to your external drive and see how long it takes. This will give you an idea if the slowness comes from LR or from the OS/Hardware.
The copying process is not the bottleneck here. The bottleneck is how long it takes to verify the integrity of the catalog. If you uncheck both the option to verify and to optimize, you will see that the actual backup doesn't take long.
 
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