How to Transfer PSE 2020 to new computer, current computer has photo files on OneDrive

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 days ago
I recently purchased the Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 bundle which includes, video editor.
I use Windows 10 

I have purchased a new robust Dell Desktop computer which will be my main computer and where the organizer catalogue will be kept.

My current computer has my photo folders mostly organized by year and in a path that includes OneDrive, however I have settings set so that most of the photo files remain resident on my computer. ( I admit, this has gotten a little confusing in the past since windows 10 apparently want to keep it's own picture folder intact)
I am attaching a photo capture (two photos) of my PSE folder Structure plus a capture of my system info.

I know I can't sync the catalogue on OneDrive with the idea of using it on multiple devices. My desire is to keep my old computer at a different location. Still having access to PSE 2020 and photos when needed and OneDrive, but not relying on that older computer and catalogue to by my primary catalogue for Active changes.

QUESTION is, how do I download PSE 2020 to the new computer and how do I move my current catalogue and photos to that new computer.
I know I can backup on the old computer and restore that backup to the new computer BUT would I do that as Original Location or New Location??

 ALSO, I am concerned that since I believe the Restore includes the photo files that are in the OneDrive path will I end up with duplicate photos in my files since the OneDrive settings will be telling the software to keep a copy resident on my computer, or will it recognize  a copy is already there, put there by the restore??

AND, all of my photos and certainly many videos are not in a OneDrive path. Does the Restore Folder contain ALL of the photos and videos on my computer or just some part of them? I take it the PSE Organizer Folder structure picks up ALL photo and video folders even if I am not typically looking at them through PSE organizer. In this restore scenario, what of the total photo/video on my computer are transferred during the restore and what files do I need to transfer to my new computer manually because they are not included in the Restore?

Sorry this question is a bit convoluted because I'm not sure exactly how the catalogue works. I' open to any suggestions!

Any help out there from someone who also uses OneDrive with be appreciated. I'm looking for the cleanest file structure while still automatically saving any changes up to my OneDrive files.

Thanks in advance, Clint
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 4 weeks ago

  • 2
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
1) Which OS do you have on the current computer (not the new computer)?  
A transfer cable could bring-over most folders but a copy/paste can do same.  
A USB cable is not a transfer cable although one can appear like a USB cable.  
Still, I would never rely on a transfer cable for folders kept in the same format.  

2) Do you have your folders backed up to an external drive?  (copy-paste)
Never backup files from a Windows utility to be opened on a new computer.  
The backup utility date-stamps, and if there is no record of that backup on
the new computer, the new computer will reject the copy according to
Windows "pirated and read-only disc" rejection as it rejects the copy. 

If you have an external drive with a copy-paste, not a backup date-stamped utility,
it will copy-paste your folders to the external drive and to your new computer.    

I'm a better fan of an external hard drive backup system which can simply copy all folders to the new computer.  I am not a fan of a cloud or One Drive backup.  Maybe another will see this differently than myself but bad things have happened in that type of development.  A copy from an external drive backup folder will preserve your folder format as shown.  Onward to a new computer, you will install your folders to a new computer assuming you want them in the same format as shown. 

A mechanical external drive with a (real) magnetic disc for a hard drive rather than silicon, (NOT in "silicon mobile drives") is always the best for installing a subset of folders in the same format.  Besides, I always use something that doesn't get viruses, and nobody can assume a cloud or app will not get viruses.  If an external drive is not connected by USB during its down time, it will never have a virus in its backup files. 

Professionals use several external drives even as many as 3 external drives for one backup.  Only one backup is asking for a problem in the future.  

Steve Lehman, mcse



Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1325 Posts
  • 278 Reply Likes
I am only using OneDrive separately from the Organizer and just for a small subset of recent files I want to be able to access from my smartphone and to share with friends or relatives.
Since you want to get feedback from other users, I rather advise to post on the Elements forum:
https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements/bd-p/photoshop-elements?page=1&sort=latest_rep...
I think you won't have problems to move your media folders and the catalog folder to a new computer via backup and restore. You choose to restore to original location and I don't think it will create duplicates. I think that theoretically, you could use a cloning software like Acronis to clone your master drive with its partitions. Ask in the present feedback forum...
The backup contains all the files referenced in your catalog, not all the files in the computer.
After the transfer, both computers start with exactly the same catalog and media folder, but after that transfer, everything you do in a computer is ignored by the other.
If you state exactly what you want from OneDrive, it will be easier to discuss the catalogue principle and probably to suggest better workflows.
- Is it for sharing on different computers, different types of devices?
- Is it to share with other people?
- Is it mainly to have a backup?

Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you Steve and Michel for your replies and assistance. Hopefully the below information will supply  more incite into my circumstance and questions. Your help is very much appreciated. Thanks again, Clint

FURTHER CLARIFICATION, My OS is Windows 10, I use Microsoft File History backup on my current computer and I also alternate Acronis Clone image backup between two external drives. I think I could Restore the Acronis Clone to the new Windows 10 computer and possibly  be done with it. BUT, I really want to do a 'clean' install on this new computer if at all possible. I have the external drive capacity to make a backup of the entire path (This PC > OS (C:) > user > Clint >.......) files, from the older computer and paste to my new computer if that is what should be done (it would include OneDrive files). If this makes sense, are there any other files I should consider moving?? From what I have read I should not use File History to restore/move files from my old computer to the new one?  

Assuming moving ALL of the files mentioned above to the new computer makes sense? I would then install the PSE 2020 Software to my new computer and then restore a PSE catalogue backup from the old computer to the new computer. Michel you said use Original Location, right?  Looking at my file structure photo do you see a better way of selecting a New Location that would clean things up?

 If I do the above my hope is the restore did not duplicate my photo files.  I say this because I would have moved them over with the major file transfer (which includes the onedrive path) and organizer photos, I take it, also contain photos carried over in the  backup/restore. 

OneDrive: my reason for using it and having my main photo folder on that path is two-fold. First, it does create an additional cloud backup of those important photos and Secondly, I like to have all of my primary photo files (by year) available immediately for  

Steve, Attached is a photo of my Windows 10, OS.
As suggested Michel, I posted also on the Elements site link that you supplied. 
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Your windows 10 emblem has the correct version, and if it's not your computer manufacturer will install Windows 10 updates, ongoing.  

I will not disagree with the way Michel says to do this. The only thing I do not agree with is that you did a backup to restore everything from your C-drive as if you can replace all its root files.  Clint, you cannot restore a root backup onto a hard drive.  It won't restore the entire computer as a clean install.  It will mess up your computer or refuse to install it.  If you want a clean install you would do that from the disc for Win-10 from the D-drive which will help you to reinstall Windows. 

Frankly, if there is nothing wrong with your OS I would not install a clean install.  Instead, focus only on your backup files which you showed us was your folders and files.  You can reinstall a copy of  those files as shown, from an external drive.  If you wish to install the same folders and files from a cloud, then that can be a good route to take as Michel does this and he has not had a problem with it.  I normally use an external drive. 

Even if I was installing all my old folders/files I would not do a clean install.  Clean installs only are justified when there is a virus problem.  There is no mention of that so I don't think you should go there.  Maybe you mean a clean install from the folders and files I don't know, but perhaps that's what you meant.  Windows 10 has a whole lot of things that can reinstall, restore, or it has a blue screen which in other OS was a blue screen of death, but for Windows 10 the blue screen has a host of things listed for you to do if in case you are trying to complete a restore from the restore feature.  And for that reason, there is no other reason to have a blue screen.  And frankly, there is no reason to restore an OS from its restore feature even if you think the restore will do a clean install.  It will not.  It only back dates to another time within the history of its OS as the restore feature does not restore the entire computer hard drive.  In fact, doing so, too often, could damage drive clusters. 

So for that reason, as a Windows engineer, I do not recommend using the restore and a clean install is really not going to make things better for you.  Simply installing your folder and files will. That's really the only thing you are trying to accomplish.  So stay with your backup files and install those in the places or folders where you wish them to be. 

Hopefully Michel has a few instructions for getting your backup photos into your catalog.  That really what you're trying to do and I wish you could stay with that.  


Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1325 Posts
  • 278 Reply Likes
Unfortunately, my first tests show that there is a big risk of duplication using the organizer restore process.
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Yep.  An external drive is best to use and he has one of those.  
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you again Steve and Michel for your replies. I need a day or two to think through all of this again but I sure appreciate your help. One of the big problems is that I have OneDrive intertwined in it all.
 
One question, if I may, that will help me with my thoughts.

My understanding is that the catalogue stores all tags, etc and paths to a certain photos, groups, albums.  And, when backed up using the PSE backup tool it copies that information plus an actual copy of the photo to the backup file.
If this is the case, lets say I manually copy and paste to the new Windows 10 (copy to the pictures file by- passing OneDrive for now)  all my photos that I use in PSE. And I then copy and paste the catalogue (not a backup)  that I am currently using in PSE to the same Catalogue Location path  (see my system photo).  Since I will know where the photos are do you think I would have any problem re-connecting those photos with the catalogue and all of my Tag info, events, groups, people, etc will show up intact?? Is that a big job if it will work or is it sort of browse the location and say connect all?
Once I have this piece I'll think through it all again and get back to you.
You are appreciated!


Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Michel can give you an answer for the catalog detail.  He knows that better than anyone here. 

I respect the answers given but I won't want to confuse you with two answers from both of us.  That said, the only thing I can contribute to this is this info:  As a network guy I have always had a problem with structured backup utilities, such as the old Windows backup. 

All structured utilities will give a date/time stamp.  Then if you want to move it to another it will give you a little trouble as if the utilities in the new app or OS has not recorded a date/time stamp of that backup and it may not want to copy from it.  This system is from the 1996 pirated copies, which OS discs made in Japan were being bootlegged and sold to the USA at big discounts for any OS except for Windows 10.  This ended a year before Windows 10 was release.  In fact, I had a copy of Windows 10 as early as 1996 with a transparent screen (beta version) as I was testing it to be release by 2001 but it was released 2 years early.  During that time at Microsoft, we had a team of guys who were "purchasers" of the bootleg discs who would meet "sellers" in dark parking lots to buy those discs and destroy them.  The difference between real and bootlegged was that the bootleg copy didn't have the Microsoft Windows holograph on the box because the amateurs didn’t know how to duplicated it.  As far as I can remember they were bought up by 1998 but since then the pirated copy rendering of a disc to make a disc "read-only" upon installing still exists in Windows.  This may get in your way. 

This is why I stressed that you use an External drive with the old copy-paste because the X-copy utility still works well.  There is not a work-around for this.  You can copy file onto a new computer but not install the entire folder or utility from a backup utility program because the new computer has never had a record of that backup.  Discs work if copied only, and external drives work in the same way so don't corrupt your external hard drive.  As long as there is an X-copy (copy-paste) it should work. 

So make a folder on your External drive.  Ignore the backup utility on the external drive and  the Windows backup utility also.  Use the copy-paste to that folder on the external drive.  Then move the USB connection. 

All of your folders, files, including all photos will copy to that folder and it will show the same folder format you showed to us.  Then just copy that to the new computer the same way by creating a new folder or designated folder such as Documents or  "pictures".  Now make a new copy which you can distribute photos into your PSE catalog and know you won't choke your computer trying something else or a utility you can’t use.  

If Michel has a work around for the PSE backup utility, maybe that will work.  I never trust a date-time stamp recording in a backup utility.  


Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1325 Posts
  • 278 Reply Likes
Since I will know where the photos are do you think I would have any problem re-connecting those photos with the catalogue and all of my Tag info, events, groups, people, etc will show up intact?? Is that a big job if it will work or is it sort of browse the location and say connect all?

If Michel has a work around for the PSE backup utility, maybe that will work.  I never trust a date-time stamp recording in a backup utility. 



Yes, big problem for big libraries. You will be prompted to do an automatic reconnection which will only work with small and simple folder trees; then you'll try to help the process by navigating to different folder branches... I have never succeeded with big libraries. (LR is much better to reconnect a big library.)

Reason for disconnected files:


The reason the files are shown as disconnected is well-known. In the main sqlite database (catalog.pse18db), the location of a given file is stored in two pieces: in the media table for the hierarchical folder path AND in the 'volume_table' for the drive identification, see:


So, even if the path is correct (same tree structure on both drives) the drive must be correct, not only the drive letter, but also the 'serial' which is read from Windows as described by John R Ellis in his psedbtool app. The serial in the new drive will be wrong, except if the sort of 'x-copy' has been 'cloned' from Acronis or similar.
http://www.johnrellis.com/psedbtool/

Workarounds:
- cloning? No problem at all for your catalog since there won't be any disconnection, but I don't know what will happen with OneDrive. (Note for other users, there is a risk to use a cloned disk as an additional external drive but that's another story).
- my own and frequent solution is to use an Sqlite tool to edit the volume_table for the new serial (and/or the drive letter).
- variant suggested by John R Ellis: start with re-assigning the same internal serial number to the new drive before restoring.

What I'd like to know is how OneDrive works when you want to reinstall your OnDrive folder on another drive when you have lost the original drive. I'll have to browse Microsoft help, but maybe in the meantime other advanced users can shed some light on the OneDrive recovery process?













(Edited)
Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1325 Posts
  • 278 Reply Likes
Follow up on the risk of duplication after backup and restore of a OneDrive image folder.
I have tried the following test to see how I could use backup and restore for an image folder in OneDrive... and discovered unexpected results.

- 1 Normal backup of the folder, nothing special.
- 2 Delete the contents of the folder from OneDrive for a clean restore.
- 3 First test to restore to the OneDrive Folder with keeping the original folder structure: bad idea, this creates additional user subfolders. Not the good solution even if it's possible to move the resulting folder up just under the OneDrive folder from OneDrive. Trying to restore under C: root keeping the original structure is forbidden as if C: was read only?
- 4 Second test, without keeping the original folder structure: works well.
- 5 third test, trying to restore over the already restored files: various messages to confirm overwriting catalot and files (not very obvious, but you have to agree to all overwriting). Result: no problem at all, all files are skipped without duplicates (immediate result for a test folder of 700 files).

My conclusion is that if you set the destination of the restore to the OneDrive folder without the option to keep the original folder structure, you can avoid duplication. The positive result is that now the catalog folder is just under the OneDrive master folder, all its links are now updated for a new computer.

Still to test:
1 - restoring not a single subfolder, but a folder tree.
2 - restoring after OneDrive has synced back the files from the Cloud to the new computer (to recover the catalog with updated links).



Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks Steve and Gosh Michel!
 I am at a 'loss for words' as to the energy and attention you are putting into helping find the best solution to my PSE file transfer question.

Michel Said: "My conclusion is that if you set the destination of the restore to the OneDrive folder without the option to keep the original folder structure, you can avoid duplication. The positive result is that now the catalog folder is just under the OneDrive master folder, all its links are now updated for a new computer.

Still to test:
1 - restoring not a single subfolder, but a folder tree.
2 - restoring after OneDrive has synced back the files from the Cloud to the new computer (to recover the catalog with updated links)."

FYI, My new computer should be delivered in the next day or two and time-wise I am currently deep into a Cyberlink Power Director video-editing project which should wrap up the first of the week. Once that happens I'll be able to put my old and new computers side-by-side and work on the new installs/file transfers. 

Having said that Michel, it sounds like the best solution you've come up with so far is a restore of the PSE Library Catalogue backup to the new computer, selecting NEW LOCATION (OneDrive folder) and selecting without keeping the original folder structure. If I did that, I suppose it would be smart to disable the OneDrive link to the cloud before hand on my new computer. I could then at-first set OneDrive up to just sync, say one folder, to see how the sync behaves?

I am looking forward to hearing what results you find from your "Still to Test:" items.

I appreciated all of your information on disconnected files and I certainly understand it better now. However,  I have to admit that the John R Ellis tool and getting into that level of detail is really above me. I can change a drive letter on a device and move files confidently but that's about it.
Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1324 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
Sorry, but unfortunately, further tests did not confirm what I thought: a new test did create duplicates with -1 suffixes and restoring a test folder tree either merged the files in a single master folder or created a new folder tree including the full path hidden by the OneDrive path depending on the original structure or not.

Contrary to what I wrote above, Don't try to restore the backup on the OneDrive system folder on the new computer. More tests would be necessary. The restore would sort of work with a master folder as the destination just under the root drive if you chose to restore the original structure (with correct links), but of course the result would be outside of the system OneDrive folder. You would get a tree starting with C:\[master]\User\[your name]\OneDrive\... where OneDrive would not be the real system folder. I imagine there could be a possibility to install the system OneDrive after the restore and moving the folder tree under the false OneDrive to the correct one... but I don't think I'll be able to test and check it.

Copying the folder tree and the catalog folder instead of restoring would require to update the catalog with one of the solutions mentioned above, without needing to move the whole folder tree under OneDrive. Reassigning the same internal serial number as the old computer before the transfer seems the easier way.

Cloning the drive seems a valid option keeping the same catalog, but I am not sure of the consequences on the OneDrive syncing.
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for the reply, It's a lot for me to get my mind around and I appreciate your patience.

The most critical point of all for me is to not lose my catalogue information, tags, groups, events, etc. so I am willing to put the time in to get PSE right on the new computer and make that my main computer.

With my understanding of all you and Steve have said what I am thinking might work and be the best thing to do is the following:

1)  First, copy from my old computer all of my photo files and paste to an external hard drive for safety.

2)From within the PSE program on my old computer, clean up my photo files deleting any unused folders, dup photos etc. In other words get my photo files in good shape.

3)From within the PSE program on my old computer,  MOVE individually all of the (by year) photo folders that are currently in the OneDrive path, C:Users\Clint\Onedrive\Pictures, to the Pictures folder, C:\Users\Clint\Pictures  (shown in the first image below, sorry it's so bad). I'll need to see if this deletes photos from the OneDrive cloud. If not, I will make sure I have copies of all on an external hard drive and then manually delete Photos from OneDrive Cloud.

4)Perform a new backup using the PSE tool

5) On the New computer load PSE 2020 software. Open PSE 2020, select Restore Catalogue in the File menu. NEED ADVICE here: My aim is to restore the catalogue to the system Picture icon. So, do I select Original location or New Location? And, if  program will be asking a question about original or new file structure what would my answer be? Critically, I want to see the same yearly folders, e.g. 1900's, 1920's, etc....to 2020 below the Pictures icon on the new computer. My thought is that file structure may end up looking something like--- The Systems Pictures icon,>  the Pictures Folder > then my by-year photo folders.

Questions-Concerns

1) First of all, given the circumstances, does this sound like a sensible plan to get my photos and all related catalogue info to the new computer.  I can manually move any photos-videos that don't come over with the catalogue restore. 

2) It seems to me that this method should eliminate any path or dup issues but what about  Drive Letter, Internal Serial Number potential issues? Is there something I need to consider here before I restore the backup to the New computer. If so, how would I go about changing them?

3) My New computer shows the System Picture path to be C:\Users\choll.  My old computer Picture folder is C:\Users\Clint\Pictures. Will this have an impact on the restore? I suppose it can be changed on the New and Clean Windows 10 computer to be Clint rather than choll but I'm not sure how.

4) within all of your testing Michel I take it the backup/restore issue when OneDrive was in the path was a problem regardless of whether one was restoring to the same computer or to a different computer, is that correct? I ask because I see there is a relatively new tool in Microsoft called a backup to OneDrive). From my brief research it sounds like if one chooses that backup it copies the mentioned folders, including the Picture folder, to OneDrive. After that is done I don't know what the computer file structure looks like but in the past I have always  had to manually moved the folders to the OneDrive System folder. Maybe it is the same thing just automatic or maybe it just sees those main folders where they are?

Sorry this is taking so much of your time. Your thoughts will be appreciated.


Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1324 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
Clint,
I'll be away next week with my second computer synced via OneDrive. All the tests I have done will be available. I expect to find the OneDrive folder synced rapidly since it's a small size. With a big library, I don't know how long that would last with DSL connection instead of fiber.(max 18 Mb/s instead of 140 to 400 Mb/s.)

I'll try to summarize the present findings.
- If you only trust the PSE backup, nothing will be changed on your old computer and in the Cloud. The restore on another computer or other folder than OneDrive will keep everthing in the catalog;  no syncing will take place; the resulting folder tree will appear under the chosen custom folder, including useless subfolders such as 'users' and 'your name'. Excellent for safety, but no easy syncing with the Cloud.
- If you mainly trust the OneDrive syncing, you'll have problems with reconnecting files in the catalog, but there are workarounds.
- In both cases, there will be ways to solve the remaining problems. Remember that after you find a good solution, you'll stay in the same situation if you have to migrate again to a new computer.

Having two computers synced via OneDrive like me may be good for you but that depends on the size of the OneDrive folder and the speed of you Internet connection. Adding periodical Organizer backups would be a safe and easy solution.
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for the Summary.
 I think for the moment I'm going to move my photo files off of OneDrive (about 100GB). I'll do that from within PSE folder structure. Then I'll create a new backup in PSE and restore that backup as a NEW LOCATION to the system pictures folder on my new computer.  I needed to do some housekeeping of my files in my OneDrive cloud anyway so it's a good time.  I'll decide after I'm up and running on the new computer how to incorporate OneDrive in the future. I have plenty of OneDrive space, it's the size of my photo files that could be a problem. I'll be interested to learn how your second computer sync works during your trip. 

Did you have any thoughts on my question 3 from the last post? I looked  into changing the name on my user path to make it the same as my old computer. It sounded a bit complex/risky for me and I'm not sure it has any bearing on the PSE restore or any other files I may be bringing from the old to the new computer. Maybe better to keep different path User names on different computers?

For convenience a copy of question 3 is below. Perhaps Steve has a thought on this.

3) My New computer shows the System Picture path to be C:\Users\choll.  My old computer Picture folder is C:\Users\Clint\Pictures. Will this have an impact on the restore? I suppose it can be changed on the New and Clean Windows 10 computer to be Clint rather than choll but I'm not sure how.
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I have restructured PSE 2020 on my old computer by moving photo folders  out of the OneDrive path. They are now under C:Users\Clint\Pictures as you will see in the attached screen shot.
There is also a screen shot of my restore plan for PSE 2020 on the new computer. 

1)Does the plan to select PC Pictures as the new destination make sense? 

2)Should I check-mark the box to 'Restore Original Folder Structure' ?
I'm not sure if this pertains to my folder structure by-year OR If they mean the 'tree' structure.


Current PSE 2020 Structure

Restore Plan below

I'm ready to move forward on this and look forward to your wisdom.
Thanks, Clint


Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1324 Posts
  • 277 Reply Likes
Clint,
I am not sure about your question to select or not the same folder structure. The reason is that I NEVER use the Windows 'Pictures' to store my library; the general usage (not only with Elements, but also for Lightroom as I have read) appears to store that library in a different drive or partition, or even a new master folder just under the system root drive. You avoid the following traps:
- a number of PSE users complain they have duplicate folder trees because they see they files either in the real full path with the users and names or the shortcut under 'Pictures'
- Microsoft has renamed 'Pictures' to 'My Pictures' or vice versa depending on Win versions, which fools the restore process
- Restoring the 'original' folder structure if you choose another drive or partition creates unwanted top level subfolders (users, your name...)
- It's often much easier to share your catalog between several computers if it's stored as well as the folder tree on an external drive
- not for all, but it's easier for me to change the drive identification in a sliqte utility to keep all links connected with a disk with a strict copy of the folder structure. That is similar to the 'reconnect' function in Lightroom.

I understand you structure on the old computer works ok, so just do the restore on the new computer drive without specifying anything other than the drive name, and check the box to keep the original structure. If that creates intermediate folder steps, please post a screenshot. Even in that case, there should be no disconnection. You would only have to move the useful folder tree up.
(Edited)
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
I think your question is targeted to Michel but as a PC tech I need to make this comment. 

With the tree structure shown, this will not work.  You will need to copy from Pictures-downward.  Do not use any of the area above that point where there is This PC, Clint, Adobe or anything other than Pictures.  Even if Clint is a "user" the user folder in the root already has that information.  Unless you want to setup another user which happens to have your name, do not do use that folder.  You will get an error message. 

As I had made this comment before, you can not copy root information and copy it onto your PC without corrupting your entire computer.  So eliminate everything except the Pictures and the year-folders.  The tree structure yo show will corrupt your Regedit files which must not be changed (ever).  
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Steve, I appreciate your comments very much! Hopefully the information in this overall-post will provide  insights for others in the future. 

Regarding this excerpt from your last post:

With the tree structure shown, this will not work.  You will need to copy from Pictures-downward.  Do not use any of the area above that point where there is This PCClintAdobe or anything other than Pictures.  Even if Clint is a "user" the user folder in the root already has that information.  Unless you want to setup another user which happens to have your name, do not do use that folder.  You will get an error message. 
When you say "....need to copy from Picture-downward." Are you assuming/meaning if I were to manually X-copy (copy-paste) my Picture folders to an external HD for placement on my new computer? My screen shot (attached again) was intended to show what the current file structure in PSE 2020 looks like ( In this scenario I would be backing up for restore to the new computer). I don't see any way I could move my by-year photo folders (within the PSE structure) to a different location in the tree that would avoid the root file path when backing up and I don't think that is what you meant ??  I think you have probably already answered this question with your prior comments (copy below) but I'm just making sure.
This is why I stressed that you use an External drive with the old copy-paste because the X-copy utility still works well.  There is not a work-around for this.  You can copy file onto a new computer but not install the entire folder or utility from a backup utility program because the new computer has never had a record of that backup.  Discs work if copied only, and external drives work in the same way so don't corrupt your external hard drive.  As long as there is an X-copy (copy-paste) it should work. 
So make a folder on your External drive.  Ignore the backup utility on the external drive and  the Windows backup utility also.  Use the copy-paste to that folder on the external drive.  Then move the USB connection. 
All of your folders, files, including all photos will copy to that folder and it will show the same folder format you showed to us.  Then just copy that to the new computer the same way by creating a new folder or designated folder such as Documents or  "pictures".  Now make a new copy which you can distribute photos into your PSE catalog and know you won't choke your computer trying something else or a utility you can’t use.  
If I used the X-Copy (copy-paste) and then separately moved a copy of my Catalogue to the new computer  it sounds like I would have major file reconnect issues. My Catalogue is critical and I have about 25,000 photo files.

Following is an excerpt from Adobe link https://helpx.adobe.com/in/photoshop-elements/kb/backup-restore-move-catalog-photoshop.html#sa_src=web-messaging regarding moving  PSE to a new computer.

New Location copies the catalog and photo files to a new location that you specify. The folder structure for photo files is flattened. The folders containing the photos aren't created within other folders like they were on the old computer. The table below shows an example of how the folder structure changes (and how the Restore Original Folder Structure option impacts the process). On the old computer, the photos were stored in the C:\Photos\Vacations\2015\Hawaii folder. The catalog is restored to the C:\My Picture Album folder on the new computer. When the catalog is restored, the photos are placed in C:\My Picture Album\Hawaii.
Is it your opinion that this "flattening" does not work within the Windows environment for the reasons you have already expressed? If I followed Adobe's restore to New Location method and selected the Pictures folder destination (see prior attachment) on the new computer it looks like my old structure C:User\Clint\Pictures\1900, etc. would become C:Pictures\1900, etc. on the new computer.

I'm interested in any further thoughts you may have on this and really appreciate your insight!






Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Michael, 
Your warning about "NEVER using the Windows 'Pictures' to store my library" did not go unnoticed. I mention this because in my recent reply to Steve I did bring it up again. I could simply make it a different New Location.

If I did use that method and 'flattened files' do you think I would have major file disconnect issues?

AND, if I did get in trouble with it couldn't I just do another restore on the new computer and this time check the original structure box?  

--Using an external drive with catalogue and tree between computers is a thought worth exploring. However, it seems to me that it would slow things down quite a bit. Do you know?

--Also, I need to look into the sliqte utility further. I found a webpage. http://johnatten.com/2014/12/07/installing-and-using-sqlite-on-windows/#:~:text=SQLite%20is%20a%20handy%2C%20mature%2C%20highly%20performant%20database,of%20the%20tools%20designed%20to%20work%20with%20them.

Your assistance is very much appreciated!




Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
I didn't think my comments was hard to understand.  But if I draw from your last depiction, if you copy files to C:Pictures/1900 it will end up as a program under x86 programs file in the root directory.  Do you want to be pestering Windows itself , while searching for your files inside the root files??

Why not just follow what I told you.  Copy the pictures folder (with all your photo files) onto the exiting pictures folder on the new computer.  THEN call it a day. 

You have to already know that the rest of your file-path includes the root files from your previous computer and that would corrupt your new computer.  It's an easy instruction.  Copy pictures and paste to pictures.  It's the old common copy/paste exercise.  Everybody does that.  And yes all of your photos will copy as it uses all of your memory resources from both computers to make the copy transfer.  As a tech will say "this is easy-deezy".  
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for your quick reply Steve! Sorry if I'm sounding dense on all of this.

As you say, it's easy-deezy to "Copy the pictures folder (with all your photo files) onto the exiting pictures folder on the new computer."  In fact, I already have them copied to an external hard drive. My concern is reconnecting those photo files to my current PSE Catalog that I've been building for six years. No problem for me to copy and move my current Catalog to the proper system destination on the new computer. But, will it work with my 25,000 photo files?
If you look back at Michael's July 22, 2020, 9:00 AM post you'll see that I ask this exact question and his reply was:
Yes, big problem for big libraries. You will be prompted to do an automatic reconnection which will only work with small and simple folder trees; then you'll try to help the process by navigating to different folder branches... I have never succeeded with big libraries. (LR is much better to reconnect a big library.) 
Current Catalog location
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Michel is his name BTW and he is correct.  It does not work with large collections and nobody can put a minimum number on the numbers of photo files to transfer at once. 

Yes to the copy Pictures folder to the Pictures folder.  It will end up with two Picture folders, but heck you could use another Pictures folder maybe.  When we transfer folders, we just hang them onto another folder by the same name.  It works better for those who don't know where to navigate folder and files.  And technicians do that as well.  It's the "lazy technicians way to computing".  

So in this confusion, you are trying to find out the why, how, when, and where.  I am wanting to answer the WHY:  Adobe never meant for this catalog to be any more than a small collection of photos because they knew that (at first) Elements was meant for the average person, those average people who would only have a few photos to work with.  That said, this means that more professionals are actually using Adobe Elements for its easier back-button in the Editor which is easier than the "back" (button) in the full-grown Photoshop which is in the File menu and it says "step back" which no average person would understand.  There is no back-button like Elements.  

So, Elements was made for those who are more simple in nature and so they can get all the buttons and stuff they need to succeed at storing photos and editing photos, and more people are getting into Light Room which is another way of saying, that is for people who wants a little more shading and a little more coloring and to work with their RAW photos. 

So now this has become an average person's nightmare where Adobe will positively need a "Photo Editor for simple folks" and of those who grew into Elements, they should stay with Elements.  THIS means Adobe needs a third photo editor for the "simple folks" because more professionals are using Elements and its become more sophisticated than a program targeted toward simple folks'. 

You and all others have grown into Elements and understand it but those who are new at this, are still taking baby steps and will never succeed because it looks "so complex" as one customer said. 

In my photo business, I have pickup and delivery for my customers as I visit the 50+ and 60+ customers who already have Adobe Elements on their computer and I sit with them for a few minutes to show them how to do things in Elements, and they say "wow that's complex stuff" and yet I have not shown them anything else than the clone tool.  Most of them have not gone past the learning element in the program and when I select 'Expert Mode' they completely freak out!  They say "wow! No way! I am NOT an expert".  But I explain that it tosses all of the tools into the mix at once and forces them to learn more about it, and right away.  It's like riding a horse, there is only one way to learn, and that's to jump on and learn all of it at once.  AND they will learn a good portion in 12 months as the rest of us learned it within 2 months maybe.  They need to learn this stuff or be left behind.  Otherwise, NONE of them will ever get past pictures from their camera and their file/print.  

I say all of this because:
 this is why I jump in and tell the gritty truth about things and get you to just jump into it and copy and paste.  For what you copied to your external drive, you need to do for your new computer, a copy and paste 

As for getting them into the meta files and sorting throughout the organizer, all of that is Michel's understanding.  I never learned any of that.  I have my own system in a folder tree and I don't need a catalog to keep my photos organized.  Michel does understand the organizer well.  Even the meta files. 

In my photo business I have employees who have their own systems, but when it comes to our customer photos, all of us have ONE system so we can take over any account that I may have left behind.  My employees know I will keep working until I'm 72 or more and they are on guard in case something happens in the meantime, and they need to take over the files I left behind.  My system will be easy for them to take over. 

SL

Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Thank you Steve, Your response has provided very nice and soft evidence that none  of us who use this software are really after the same thing. PSE has a lot to offer, Some are yet to discover what they are after.  I really got into it because I had lots of old family photographs that needed to be organized. I looked at other systems at first. I needed to scan organize folder into dates, family groups etc. and put them on a timeline. PSE organizer appealed to me but I know some other folks that don't use it at all. They just use the editor. As I started to pull some of the older photos together I began to touch them up and make a few slide shows or videos. I purchased the new computer so I'd have more Horse power. Its just fun for me and I learn every day. I like the learning. Now that I have more information from you and Michel I'll decide how to take the 'plunge' and get the Right system running for myself. I'll post my result on the forum and maybe others can learn from our conversations. You certainly have a bead on the stuff way under the hood when we need that kind of help

With my equipment, I like to set it up the best I can so that I will hopefully enjoy the most flexibility possible. It sounds like with your business you are fairly organized ad maybe don't need to use the Organizer much. Like I said, it for my personal use and the organizer is my only Partner. So I need her in good shape so she can look after me. I admit I have too much invested in that 'one egg basket.' I'm looking into alternatives to that when I have the time.
Maybe I'll wake up in the morning and Michel will have a 'silver bullet' for me
Photo of Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

  • 917 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Silver bullet?  If you see it as evil then you need to get rid of it today.  
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I used the term 'silver bullet' in the following context Steve. I guess it was not the best choice of words and I probably should have left out the entire last line on my post. I don't see the program as evil. 

silver bullet,  Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. 
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/silver+bullet

Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1325 Posts
  • 278 Reply Likes
Looking back at the initial question, which was about sharing a catalog and photo library hosted in the Cloud, I see that the main concern of Clint has become one of the most common questions about how to do a restore on another computer while keeping the same catalog and folder structure. That question about Windows files structures and system folders has brought legitimate warnings from Steve about how Microsoft and Adobe have devised their storing and backup strategies; obviously, both the softwares and the user base have changed a lot. I have no inside knowledge of their purposes when they started more than twenty years ago, but I have used both practically since the start.

The hard fact about the organizer is that it is built around a catalog. For me, that has always been a no-brainer: I worked in logistics and had to program simple softwares to manage stocks in various warehouses. Managing goods or photo files is similar. Same principle to create a catalog for all paintings and items in a big museum (with thumbnails and a lot of indexes), same to manage hundreds of thousands of photos. Many users have more than one hundred thousands photos in their catalog.

The problem with a catalog  is that it's an excellent tool for a single users, or at most two or three users sharing the same home computer, but apparently it's extremely complex for a pro user group; I don't think any Adobe software, even Lightroom, does satisfy those pro users.  So, in Steve's professional example as well as in Cloud sharing, it appears that only a simple hierarchical folder structure is possible, not a powerful catalog database. And it's not a simple coincidence that the warnings from Steve about Windows system folders are about separation of programs and data, and between different users. The Organizer works well if you are a single user as in most cases today. No need for a redundant folder hierarchy with "User/Your Name/Pictures". You store your data of all kinds where you want outside of the Windows system folder.

So, is there, has there ever been a risk of  interfering with the 'reserved' folders of Windows when storing the data files and restoring them? Not at all, Clint.

To start with, we have to consider what is unique, not in the catalog itself, but in the backup and restore process of the organizer. The process has been thought from the beginning as a tool to migrate the library and the catalog at the same time to a new computer, which should necessarily be needed  after a few years. Other softwares like Lightroom don't backup your image files. You have to  use an external tool. You can backup only the catalog. You have to be smart enough to restore the image folder tree in exactly the same structure as the original, then you ask LR to 'reconnect' all files. With a catalog backup folder, you have renamed copies of each piece of the library and the catalog, plus a catalog.tly file which stores the folder structure.

Why don't you risk to alter anything in all your folders above the 'Pictures' level? Simply because only media files present in the catalog are restored in the same path as before. If the path  was
C:\This PC\Windows(C:)\Users\Your name\pictures\Weddings\Year 2019\Photo...jpg
and you restore under a 'My Library' master folder on a E: external drive,
You'll get the following structure after the restore:
E:\My Library\This PC\Windows(C:)\Users\Your name\pictures\Weddings\Year 2019\Photo...jpg
Only the jpg file will be restored, all the upper level folders will contain no files at all, but the structure will be recreated. The folders which were system files will be normal folders, no interfering with Windows subtileties or the registry.

Chances are that you won't like the redundant and useless top folder hierarchy; then you'll prefer to use the organizer in tree mode and to drag and drop all files under 'pictures' directly under 'My Library'. Then you'll delete the useless empty intermediate folders like Pictures.





(Edited)
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Thank you, Michel, for your well explained and detailed lesson on the organizer catalog within PSE. Your wisdom on this subject of relocating photo files to a new computer is appreciated and something everyone can learn from.

You are so right! I started out asking about transferring files that were in the OneDrive path on my old computer. From the information presented it sounded like a better idea (for me at least) would be to move my photos out of the OneDrive path before transferring . I did that and cleaned up some other files in the process in preparation for the transfer. I’ll decide what to do about OneDrive once I have PSE up and running the way I want it on the new computer. I should note that PSE 2020 on the old computer was working smoothly with my 25,000 photo/video files in the OneDrive folder. It was the transfer that concerned me.


Today I first made sure I had no disconnected files by running the Find>All Missing Files feature in PSE and then  I did a fresh backup to an external hard drive using PSE’s backup tool.

My plan was to simply restore the resulting’ backup.tly’ file to my new computer targeting the  New Location, C: drive, and maintain the current file structure. This was one of your earlier suggestions and I liked it, but the program would not let me select C: drive as the location. My choice then was to either create a new folder to use as the target restore or to go ahead and chance using the window's system Pictures folder. Some genuine concerns have been mentioned by long time PSE users on the subject of using the window system file to house the photos. I don't take that lightly. For what it's worth I decided to contact Adobe support on the subject, a senior advisor told me it should be no problem so I decided to take the chance . I figured I could always do a second restore if things went haywire.

As shown in the below screenshot. I selected the Windows Pictures folder as the new location but kept my original file structure.


The restore went smoothly.  PSE started processing files once it was completed and magically photos appeared on my screen without me having to even restart the program. Everything appears to be intact. I completed another (Find> All Missing Files) search and none came up. All of my organizer information, tags, events, people, etc. seem to be 100%. So far so good!

The issue you brought up (quote below) did occur as I expected it would.

Chances are that you won't like the redundant and useless top folder hierarchy; then you'll prefer to use the organizer in tree mode and to drag and drop all files under 'pictures' directly under 'My Library'. Then you'll delete the useless empty intermediate folders like Pictures.

The following screenshot shows the resulting file structure. It's not too bad the way it is but I did a test with my 1900 folder and moved it up to directly under the Windows Pictures folder. It seems to be working fine sitting there so my plan is to move the balance of my year folders to the same location. Do you see any problem with that?

The one concern I had is that the Master Photo Folder- folder, in the tree has some of the pse18 catalog etc. information files in it and I wondered if there might be a reason it needed to stay above the (year)photo folders? BTW, the Master Photo Folder is also the name of my catalog. (actual catalog is in the PSE default location, I didn't change anything.)



Thanks again for your insight. I hope all of this is being helpful for others.
Photo of Clint

Clint

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Update:
I went ahead and moved all of my 'by-year' photo folders to the Windows System Pictures Folder . As previously mentioned I tested by moving only my 1900 folder initially. After working with the program for a while I didn't note any negative issues.

I am now going to investigate the implications of somehow using OneDrive again with PSE. That was the original question on this post so I want to complete the thread by letting you know what I come up with.