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spacecadet

C drive full- how to get LR to refer to images on USB drive instead?

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Not sure if my title is clear enough, but I need to get LR to point to images on an external drive so I can clear space on my C drive. I have an existing catalog that uses the external drive but I can't remember how I established that catalog. Basically I need to add two years' images to that catalog and have LR find them on the USB drive instead of my C drive. My current catalog will stay on the C drive.

Importing between catalogs doesn't work because it doesn't move the images. Can anyone help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a pretty good explanation of choices for doing this...  https://www.lightroomqueen.com/move-photos-another-hard-drive-leaving-catalog/  I'm not sure I understand your exact situation but when I updated to a larger external drive to hold my images I used SuperDuper to copy the images from the old drive to the new one. I disconnected the old drive and then went into Lightroom (the catalog is on my computer) and right-clicked on my top folder to choose to show Lightroom where my photos were. I had followed a Scot Kelby suggestion when I first started so ALL my photos are in a parent folder so I only had to do that once. Since you have more than one catalog you may have to do something differently. I only have one catalog and keep images on one drive. I do have my more recent images still on my computer but can delete them whenever I want.

 

Paulette

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I'm not clear what you are asking. Are you trying to add new images on an external drive to an existing catalog or move images that are already in a catalog to an external drive? If the latter then NYCat's link is what you need. It is not difficult.

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I'm not really understanding the current relationship between your catalog on the C drive and the other catalog on the external drive. You say that you can't remember how you established the external drive catalog, does that mean you can't really use it as the basis of anything else or does it form an identical mirror to the catalog on the C drive but copied at a date long since past? Alternatively, are these two entirely separate catalogs with sets of completely different images?

 

Are these two years of images that you wish to add to it part of the catalog on the C drive? In effect the difference between the two catalogs? If that is true then have you made any deletions or edits to the images on the C drive that were copied over to the external drive since that date?

 

Sorry if I'm barking up the wrong tree, or trees.

 

It is possible to add any number of images in one catalog to a new collection and then "Export this collection as a catalog", copying the images at the same time by selecting "Include negative files" , all the processing edits go too of course. It is then possible to go to the other catalog and "Import from another catalog'" choosing to copy the negative files to the new location. Maybe this could work.

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Posted (edited)

You might need smart previews on your main drive so that if the thumb drive isn't attached, you'll still be able to do some work on the files.  Export the files you want to move as a catalogue (I highlighted all scans from my home scanner and exported those as a catalogue).  Export as Catalogue shows up under the File menu.  Pick your destination drive and give the catalogue a name (I'm doing a small test with some scanned files just to check how this works.  

 

It works but everything connected to the thumb drive catalogue is on the thumb drive, including Smart Previews and the catalogue file.  If that's okay, then do it that way.   the catalogue and the smart previews on your C drive, put the image files on the thumb drive (and that will have to be a rather large thumb drive).  

 

Otherwise, move the catalogue file and the smart previews database to an appropriate location on your C drive (in my case, in my home directory/Lightroom, and in a folder I created for this catalogue.  Then click on the catalog file to make sure it opens Lightroom appropriately.    Tested on my machine and with a thumbdrive holding the catalogue photo files.   The catalogue will open to the Smart Previews when the drive is disconnected (just tested).  Rectangle under the file size is a button that shows a pop-up informing you that you're working with the Smart Previews.  If you don't think you're going to work with the files much again, leave everything on the thumb drive.

 

This is all with CC Lightroom Classic. 

Edited by MizBrown
clarification

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Ground control to spacecadet - come in please and tell us about your problem in more detail. I have a feeling that Harry and MizBrown may be overinterpreting. I am guessing that all he wants is to have his existing Lightroom catalog on his C-drive reference image files on an external USB drive in which case it is very very simple - no need for exporting catalogs or having two catalogs at all. But it is not clear what he wants. 

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If that's what he wants to do, then he just moves the image files inside Lightroom Classic (so LR can keep track of them) to the external USB drive.  Same rectangle shows up if the previews are on the C drive but the USB drive isn't plugged in. 

 

If a person knows they're never going to revisit files except on special occasions, then the Export as Catalogue using metadata for dates and highlighting all that you want exported work be simple enough -- and the previews and catalogue file would be on the USB drive.  When that catalogue isn't open, the older files are gone once deleted (also do this inside LR so that LR knows the files are gone, not just missing).

I'd see if the price point for an external hard drive was significantly higher or lower than than the biggest USB flash drive that could hold the data.  Some of my backup drives are not much bigger than a cell phone.  My whole photo collection is 478.94 GB on an external drive, backed up to two other external drives that go elsewhere, and also backed up to a 2 TB internal hard drive in my Windows laptop when I get around to it.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all but I managed to figure it out. Yes my question was a bit of a dog's breakfast. My machine was a bit stroppy yesterday so I turned off everything extraneous hence no contact.

Miz, Harry, that's pretty much what I did. "Import from another catalogue".  Let LR do the moving and all's well. I now have everything before 2018 on USB.

 

Edited by spacecadet

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With my setup I do the moving then let LR search my drives to create backup. LR backup only records where the images are so it can find them again.

 

At least that is how it works with my system.

 

Allan

 

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