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Lightroom: old hard drive is full, how to set up new drive

Eric Brody , Sep 02, 2011; 12:01 p.m.

I have almost 40k images on a 1TB hard drive which is now essentially full. It has resided in my Mac Pro tower. (It is multiply backed up). I purchased some new 2TB drives and want to use one of those as a new "photo" hard drive and retire the old 1TB drives as archival storage. I have used the old drive with Lightroom 3.
The new 2TB drive is blank. How do I put the old photos onto the new drive in a manner so that Lightroom will refer to them as it did with the old drive. I am stumped.
Any help would be appreciated.
Eric the confused


Howard M , Sep 02, 2011; 12:19 p.m.

you can drag the topmost folder over to the new drive and then tell LR will have ?? for all the photo's. In Library, you right click and tell it where the photo's are. As long as you do not disturb the lower level hierarchy, you're all set.

Rob Bernhard , Sep 02, 2011; 12:25 p.m.

Assuming you have a parent folder that houses all the photos in sub-folders, just copy the parent folder (with all the children) to the new HD and disconnect the old one. When Lightroom starts it will put a question mark on all the folders. If you have the parent folder as a part of the structure within Lightroom, just right-click on it and choose "Update Folder Location." Browse to the location of the new parent folder and click Ok.
Lightroom will update the location of all the folders that are children of the parent.

Michael Elenko , Sep 02, 2011; 01:03 p.m.

I've gone through your scenario a few times with my Mac Pro and hard drives. My two-second solution is to give the new drive the same name as the one it replaced and then use Superduper to copy over the files. I append the old drive with an "Old" designation.


Eric Brody , Sep 02, 2011; 01:46 p.m.

Michael, I took your advice and it worked perfectly, so simple, yet elegant. Very much appreciate the prompt responses from all of you.

Sravan Nerella , Sep 02, 2011; 02:14 p.m.

I did exactly the same thing as Mr Elenko and it worked perfectly with my lightroom. Just make sure light room is completely closed before you do these manipulations. An make sure the naming is exact including all spaces. I actually went from an internal disk to an external disk using the same method on my mac pro and it works perfectly.

Marios Forsos , Sep 06, 2011; 06:25 a.m.

You can also - for future reference - change files' physical location directly from within LR - just go to the "Drive" tab, right underneath the "All Photographs" menu at the top left hand side and you'll have access to all the physical locations LR has stored images in. ANY manipulation you make there will automatically update LR and you won't have to deal with the ?? problem.

Andrew Rodney , Sep 06, 2011; 10:44 a.m.

I've gone through your scenario a few times with my Mac Pro and hard drives. My two-second solution is to give the new drive the same name as the one it replaced and then use Superduper to copy over the files.

Exactly! Works like a charm. Use a utility like SuperDuper (don’t just drag the files from drive to drive). Although that can work, a utility is a much saver way to ensure you get a bit by bit exact clone.

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