Tag Archives: Backup

Moving Computers – Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom Icon
Adobe Lightroom Icon

It is always a pain to move to a new computer because there are so many files and settings that need to be redone for the user to really get productive again.

With this idea in mind I offer the following tips and advice in regards to moving an Adobe Lightroom User from one machine to another.

This guide is geared towards people who are technically proficient on the Windows operating system, but should be able to serve as a guide to those working in a Macintosh environment.

If you have any other ideas or tips please feel free to send them my way!

Transferring the Data

As any User of Lightroom knows, the Catalog and Image files are the heart of your work and business, and if you are moving to a new machine, you need to consider what to do with them as you move forward.

On the “C:” drive of Old Machine –

There are several of options available to you, if your original catalogs and Images are still on the main “c:\” hard drive of your old machine.

Transfer files across the Network

If both machines are still attached to a network, you can easily transfer the catalogs across, but that is going to take time, and chew up various network resources.

Remember, depending on the number of Images you have, your catalog directory could easily reach several gigabytes worth of data,in my case: Catalog: 12.7 GBs & Images: 261 GBs

Remove the old hard drive –

If you remove the hard drive, you have two basic options, but before you begin, backup your files on the old machine in your normal manner.

Install in new computer –

By simply taking the hard drive out of the old machine, and installing it into your new machine, is most certainly the easiest of the options, and also gives you a second HD spindle when dealing with I/O operations in Lightroom.

But before you remove the hard drive, be sure to check the compatibility of data interfaces on your new machine – Can the new machine deal with the older IDE interface?

An example I can give, is my new machines, that is based on the Asus Z87-Pro motherboard, which does not have any IDE connections.

Also keep in mind, that if you connect the old “C:” drive, and it wants to reinitialize for whatever reason, and you have not backed up your data…

External case –

This is another good alternative, and does give you the flexibility to move to different environments with little issue, and also gives you the additional spindle speed during I/O, but is subject to the port speed when you plug-in, assuming that the chipset on the external drive is the faster of the two.

Backups

There are three critical areas that need to be transferred to your new machine for it to work in a fashion that you are used to: Images, Catalogs and Preferences.

Images –

Do I really need to say more?

Catalogs –

As mentioned earlier, catalogs can easily reach several gigabytes worth of data, but does all that data need to be transferred to the new computer?

Again Users of Lightroom know, and unless they have change the default settings, the program will prompt you to do backups, which are located in a sub-directory of the main catalog directory.

c:\My.Adobe.Lightroom.Catalog\Backups\

By simply looking into the backup directory, one could easily save time and the amount of data that needs to be transferred, by simply cleaning out old unnecessary files, but this is completely user based.

Just check to see which “Date – Time” named directories really need to be moved.

Preferences –

Since this is most likely a new software install, none of your preferences will be in place, so where are those files located?

Like all other User preferences, they are stored in the operating system’s Users profile directory, that is hidden through the normal interface, that can be easily accessed with a little forethought.

C:\Users\%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom

Once you are inside Adobe Lightroom directory, it should be very easy to recognize which directories are most important to you.

In my case I transferred files from these directories onto my new machine:

Adobe\Lightroom\Export Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Filename Templates
Adobe\Lightroom\Import Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Keyword Sets
Adobe\Lightroom\Locations
Adobe\Lightroom\Metadata Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Smart Collection Templates
Adobe\Lightroom\Watermarks

Once installed in the new directories, Lightroom should have no issue accessing the “.lrtemplate” files. (BTW – If you really want to be geeky, you can open up these files in a text editor and play with them to your heart’s content)

Conclusion

When I moved to my new machine, I used a combination of techniques described above.

On my old machine, the Lightroom catalogs and images were already located on an internal secondary SATA hard drive, so I just removed the old hard drive, and installed it into the new machine.

From there, I copied the images and catalogs (approx 275 GBs) to the root directory of my new machine, creating a new backup of the files.

Even across the SATA III bus, this still took several hours, and I could smell hard drive smoke. (just kidding!)

When I got to my preferences, I connected to my old machine across the network and simply copied the files into the associated directories.

From there, I reconnected the Lightroom catalogs to the local main image directory, now located on the root of my main “c:\” drive.

Finally, I rewrote my old robocopy script to include the additional external hard drive, that I added for redundancy in my backup solution.

  • HDD1 (1.0 TB) – Enhanced (WDC Black) (Live Data)
  • HDD2 (1.5 TB) – Seagate Barracuda 7200 – Backup 01 (Internal)
  • HDD3 (2.0 TB) – WDC Green – Backup 02 (External)

Some may argue, that having all my data on the “c:\” will produce bottlenecks, while I would agree in theory, I also have to wonder with my usage of Intel’s RST technology, reduces this as an issue.

I have also, set the cache files of both Lightroom and Photoshop, to the extra space left over on my Solid State drive, as mentioned in another post.

If you have any thoughts or ideas I’d be very interested in hearing from you.

Good luck!

- Andrew
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Saving Private Space – Outlook PSTs

Day 04 - 120305 sunset Shamona Creek es 007
Day 04 – 120305 sunset Shamona Creek es 007

Last week, I spent the better part of the day backing-up all my files to make sure nothing would get lost, which should be common practice, for anyone looking to do an upgrade, or in my case a full rebuild my machine, moving from Windows XP to a brand-new install of Windows 7.

Why?

Well, XP has been my workhorse for several years now, but there are several applications, that are beginning to require Windows 7, namely Adobe Lightroom 4.

For the most part, the Rebuild of my main computer went quite well, and I can see a definite improvement in the general speed of my main desktop.

I also spent a fair amount of time prior to the upgrade, tracking down the various serial numbers which lay hidden in numerous e-mails that I have accumulated over the years.

There were a few applications that I have reservations about in my move to Windows 7 but after a day or two, my fears were alleviated.

Today, was my day to finally get back in touch with the real world, and tweak my Outlook 2007 for my new environment.

In my haste, trying to get back online last week, I inadvertently connected the wrong PST as my default, and this morning I paid for it.

After trying to do what one would think simple to clean-up of my mistake, I decided to go ahead and just create a brand-new PST.

What really amazed me, was that I was able to save approximately 600MBs of disk space just by copying the emails to the new PST, and that was after contacting the original PST!

So the moral of this quick story, or should I say rant, is that if you need to recuperate some disk space, one might take a look at copying your old emails to a new PST, but be forewarned it can take some time.

- Andrew
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flickr Award Counter – Backup, Restore and Transfer

If you get involved with the Flickr photography groups that have awards, you will notice that there is no really good way to track what you have, until flickr Award Counter (fAC) by Andy Felton (PhazeShift).

flickr Award Counter can take some time to initially setup, because you have to enter in each Award Title (think of a naming structure), and the URL to the Award image for the greasemonkey/javascript counters to work, but once it is done, fAC works great!

But beware, once done, there does not appear to be a direct way to back up all your filter/counter work.

Backup

After some hunting, I found a thread on the Flickr Hacks – “Award Counter – backup?“, which suggested that one backup the Firefox “prefs.js” file, which can be found (example: Win XP):

C:Documents and Settings%profilename%Application Data ¬
MozillaFirefoxProfilesdm24ria8.defaultsprefs.js

where

%profilename%

is the current user, and

dm24ria8.defaults

could be “any-name.defaults” within this path, and includes “prefs.js”, and all the more fun if there are multiple users! A-)

The simplest backup, is to copy/duplicate the “prefs.js” file within the same directory and adding the “.bak” extension (“prefs.js.bak”) or copy the file to another location, and leave yourself a reminder of where!

Restore

To restore, just replace the damages file with the backup from above.

Transfer

Many times, all you want to do, is to transfer your filter/counter information from one machine to another.

If you use the Restore method mentioned above, one of the immediate down sides is that the destination machine, will inherit the “prefs.js” settings from the source machine.

In some cases, this might be sufficient, but what if you ONLY want the filter/counter information.

about:config

On the machine that has the Main/Source of filter/counters, launch Firefox, and type about:config in the address bar.

You will get a warning screen, and just agree.

[Technically, you are on your own now, so...]

Scroll down to the following filter:

greasemonkey.scriptvals.http://www.phazeshift.co.uk/download//flickrAwardCounter.awards

Double click on the entry, and a new window will open up.

In the “Enter string value” window, copy the string value.

Move to the destination machine, and find the similar entry, and paste in the source filter information.

Quit your browser, and re-launch Firefox, and check your work.

This has been done transferring an existing series of Firefox 4.0 XPro filters to Firefox 4.0 Win7Pro (destination):

C:Users%profilename%AppDataRoaming ¬
MozillaFirefoxProfilesx5lnhhwl.defaultpref.js

with out issue (“x5lnhhwl” will change).

Your mileage may very.

Feature Request(s)

  • Ability to Export/Import filter/counters
    • These could be “traded” via Flickr

Please feel free to add Comments or Feedback.

– Andrew
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