Does LR lose file pathway to backup RAW files if moved?

crimbfighter

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So here is my basic workflow. I import all images onto my SSD hard drive in their own folder. Upon import, I create a backup copy of the RAW files on an external hard drive. That external hard drive now contains about 6 years worth of RAW file backups. I want to migrate all of my backup RAW files onto my NAS, which is much safer as it's not only about 11 TB's, but it's in RAID and insulated from my computer in the event of a virus attack. My concern is that if I move the backup RAW files, does LR lose track of them similarly to moving RAW files that are part of the catalog in Windows Explorer, outside the LR environment, and then having to re-establish the file path in LR to find the RAW files again.

My concern is that I can't manually go through some 40k photos over hundreds and hundreds of folders and re-establish each file path. Does anyone know if LR remembers the file path to the backup RAW files in the catalog? Or, if I move all the backup RAW files, is there an easy, bulk way to re-establish the file pathway?
 

goooner

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Maybe giving your raid drive the same drive name could work. If you have the same folder tree structure on your raid than you have on your esternal drive.
 

smoke665

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Yes, no, maybe, if you're creating the backup copy during the import process. However it's my understanding that if you use Bridge to move files it updates Lr. Bridge has a nice batch tool that makes it easy to move and rename files. I use it to pull the files off the SD cards place copies in my working folders and a copy to the backup file. Them I import from my working file.
 

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LR has a "Find all missing photos" function (Library : Library). I don't know if it works with backups.
 

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Since you have the main files in your SSD drive in a certain location and that location is not changing, the location of the backup files is somewhat irrelevant. If ever you lose a certain amount of files on your main, (Or lose the main drive entirely) simply copy all those files into the same folders from wherever your backups are and then copy your LR catalog file back (which is also being backup up on separate drive hopefully) and catalog wont know the difference. Not like you would be doing this frequently so the manual step of copying the files is not a big deal.
 

Dave442

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I just did something similar in LR and it was quite simple, although not as extensive as your case. In my case it was just to move my 2019 images from my 2018 drive to my new 2019 external drive (that I didn't buy until mid January).

Steps I did:
Now with my 2018 external drive disconnected and the only the 2019 drive connected I restarted LR.
LR shows the new drive with the folder 2019 and it has the ? in the folder icon. I just right-clicked on this base folder that had the sub-folders with the missing images. So in this case I right clicked on my root folder 2019 and then told LR to Find the Missing Folder. The root folder had one image (I always place one image in each of my base LR folders just as a placeholder) and it also had folders for each of the first 18 days of the month with multiple images in each of those folders.

Now all my images for 2019 are linked to my new 2019 drive and it was just a couple mouse clicks.

I my case I have the Year as a base folder and then within that year folder are the folders for every day that I import images within that year. All my drives use the folder structure Archive/Raw/YYYY/yyyy-mm-dd. My image files also have the yyyymmdd added to the front of the camera file name so that just looking at the name of an image I know what folder it belongs to.

If you don't have a base folder in which all images are missing then you need to select each specific folder that has the missing image files.
 
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crimbfighter

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Maybe giving your raid drive the same drive name could work. If you have the same folder tree structure on your raid than you have on your esternal drive.
I don't know if that would work or not. Part of the issue is that my NAS is a bit different than just an external drive connected to the PC. I have two options for accessing it, either I mount the NAS as a network drive in windows explorer (which then makes it vulnerable to a virus if my computer got infected) or I access it through a web browser interface, which insulates it from any virus. Through the web browser means it is not recognized by the PC as a drive. It gives me something to ponder, though.

Yes, no, maybe, if you're creating the backup copy during the import process. However it's my understanding that if you use Bridge to move files it updates Lr. Bridge has a nice batch tool that makes it easy to move and rename files. I use it to pull the files off the SD cards place copies in my working folders and a copy to the backup file. Them I import from my working file.
I was unaware Bridge communicated with LR. I'll look into it a bit more. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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crimbfighter

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LR has a "Find all missing photos" function (Library : Library). I don't know if it works with backups.
I have used that feature from time to time when I move a folder in windows in stead of through LR, but I also don't know if it works the back-up. I have never actually had to restore my LR catalogs from backups, so I don't have any personal experience with how the restoration process goes. I guess the lingering question there is does LR automatically retrieve and copy the RAW files from the backup location back into the primary location where the working files originally were? If not, and it's a manual process to copy the backup files anyway, then my original question is pretty much irrelevant.

Since you have the main files in your SSD drive in a certain location and that location is not changing, the location of the backup files is somewhat irrelevant. If ever you lose a certain amount of files on your main, (Or lose the main drive entirely) simply copy all those files into the same folders from wherever your backups are and then copy your LR catalog file back (which is also being backup up on separate drive hopefully) and catalog wont know the difference. Not like you would be doing this frequently so the manual step of copying the files is not a big deal.
Yeah, like I just mentioned in my above response, I wonder if LR even does an copy function of the backup files automatically, anyway. If it doesn't, then your suggestion of manually copying the backups to the primary drive would be the only option.
 

smoke665

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I was unaware Bridge communicated with LR. I'll look into it a bit more. Thanks for the suggestion.

I thought about your post the other night while trying to go to sleep. Man I hate to do that. LOL

I use Bridge to do my initial culling, it's quick and simple. Then I bring images off the card and put them into designated folders using the Tools>batch rename command. The batch command gives you the option to copy to another folder or move them. I first select all the images or folders, then run the command. The first time, I transfer the images to my working directory checking copy. the second time I run it, I check move, and transfer the images to the backup. That gives me the original raw image in my working directory and a copy in the backup. At that point I import the previously culled images into Lr.

Now I may be wrong but regardless of if you transferred the images off your card to a working directory via Bridge or via import file management in LR, they are still raw images in that working directory. Lr saves the location, and all your editing commands in the Catalog, unless you've told it to create an XMP sidecar to be stored at the image location. How Lightroom Classic CC catalogs work . The problem comes in, if you move that raw file from your working directory, using an outside program, then the location information stored in your Lr catalog is no longer valid. However, it's my understanding that you can copy that raw file in the working directory as many times as you want, and it won't affect the image location already in the Lr catalog because Lr doesn't care if you made a copy it still has it's copy at the location the catalog is pointing to. Bridge can make fast work of making copies and sending them to a backup. I thought I had read once that Bridge would update the Lr catalog if you "move" a file, but I can't find it in the Adobe documentation now.

If you want a copy of the image WITH Lr edits in a backup, then it's a whole different matter.
 

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