Lightroom Classic: Does Lightroom have a backup equivalent similar to Aperture vaults?

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Does Lightroom have a backup equivalent similar to Aperture vaults, Hello, I just finished talking to one person from the help desk, they recommend I write to you to give you feed back. I have been using Lightroom Classic CC to process my images and manage my videos for one year now. The files are stored on external drive #1. I also have external drive #2 for backing up all those files. My issue is, how to go about making a carbon copy of external drive one, to external drive #2. I understand and have used the option of making a second copy to external drive 2 when I import the images. The issue with that workflow is that after I’m done editing, erasing and reorganizing my folders. The drive 2 no longer reflect what is on drive one and you manually have to go in and manage all those changes. Which takes way too long, it’s tedious to do and when you finish theirs a good chance you made human errors. So I quickly stopped using that workflow and instead I would wait until I finished my work on drive one before exporting to drive 2. Again, too much work. I used to use Aperture for years until Apple stopped supporting the program. Aperture had a simple mirroring backup system. They called it the Vault, once vault #2 was created it would reflect automatically all the changes you made to your images. Including keeping track of deleted photos, etc. I need and want a simple solution that will do the same thing as what Aperture did for my backup. So far, I’m very pleased with the product and how I can manipulate my images. But I have not yet found a simple backup solution except for getting a third-party program like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. I was surprised to hear from the help desk that they didn’t have anything to recommend except writing this feed back. Please help.
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Marc Bélair

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  • dissapointed with Lightroom classic CC backup options

Posted 4 months ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Aperture vaults contain your images only when you use a 'managed' library; i.e. when the images are stored inside the Aperture library. When the images are stored outside of the library ('referenced library'), then the vault is only a backup of the library itself. 

Lightroom always stores the images outside of its catalog, so Lightroom is like Aperture with a 'referenced' library. Lightroom can save a backup of the catalog on quit, which is only a backup of the catalog, not the images. You could say that this is the equivalent of the Aperture vault in case you used a 'referenced' library.

You can (and should) use a separate utility to make a carbon copy of your image disk. In fact, the utility called 'Carbon Copy Cloner' is indeed perfect for that. 
(Edited)
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Marc Bélair

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Thanks Johan for responding so quickly, you confirming that I need to use a separate utility to clone my external drives helps me greatly. 
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Andrew Rodney

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LR (nor really Aperture) provided a full backup and you shouldn't depend on their 'half baked' solutions. LR will backup your catalog but your images, presets, camera profiles? Nope. So that's not too useful. 
As Johan states, get a dedicated backup application and backup everything! In more than one location on more than one drive. 
I dedicate the biggest drives I can for only images, the catalog, presets, previews etc (using Store Presets with Catalog preference), everything LR dedicated for that one drive. I clone that to other drives. That drive can now be inserted into any machine with a copy of LR and run with full access to what I need with the exception of files Adobe insists on storing deep in the system folder (again why at least Store Presets with Catalog is a partial aid). 
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Marc Bélair

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Andrew, thanks for your comments and sharing your workflow. Much appreciated.
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Marc Bélair

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Downloaded Carbon Copy Cloner, worked like a charm. Took 10 minutes to clone my external drive #1 to external drive #2, 50 GB of images and videos.