Elements: What is the best way to store 150GB of data for the use of Organizer?

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I am working on a big project: to put all pictures and movies of the last 14 years together and organize them and make them visible via Photoshop Organizer. The data are at least 150 GB (and still growing). I bought a brand new Mac and together with my work and other data this new Mac is almost full ...

What is the best solution regarding speed, overview and easiness: (of course it is a personal choice but I can use some help to decide)
1. Use an external drive: is it fast enough? Does I have to connect the catalog every time I want to see a picture and does that take time? Are there any problems to expect. I do have an external drive of 2 TB.
2. Buy a network drive and put all the data there. And a backup also on the external drive. Any problems to expect here?
3. Keep all the Photoshop data on my old Mac (2009 and no Retina screen, it will die some day ...)
4. Put all the pictures and movies on my new Mac (as long as posible) and put all other data on the external hard drive)
5. ????
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Martine

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Posted 3 years ago

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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My personal choice is solution #1: using an external USB drive. No speed problem. You need to plug the external drive to he computer, but once plugged in, it's immediately working.
If the external drive is not plugged in and if your catalog is on your computer in the default location, you'll only see very small thumbnails when working with your catalog. All files will be shown as 'missing' or 'disconnected' until you plug the external disk again.
You have a choice: keeping the catalog on the computer or also on the external drive. Very small speed difference, but if you have the same Elements version on both computer, you can access your catalog and image alternatively on each computer (you are allowed two activations).
I don't like network solutions at all.

Of course, you are right to backup on an other external disk... or why not in your new computer with lots of space?
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Martine

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Thanks for your extensive answer. Indeed, I will choose solution#1: the external drive. I hadn't thought of idea that the catalog still shows the thumbnails, so I still have the pictures available if there is no external drive (ok thumbnails but it is something).

3 more questions for the next steps:
1. Am I doing it right if I copy all data and the catalog from my old computer to the external drive by using Organizer - File - Backup? Does it make a copy from the catalog or from the data too? I definitely want to see in the 'Finder tree structure' as I have now on my old Mac. I saw in a trial that when you make a Backup all pictures are being converted to Bxxxx files and there is no structure to see. How to prevent this?

2. When making a backup, I read somewhere, that the prictuedates in Finder will be set to today. Is it true that I can not see the original picture date anymore in the Finder?

3. If I have my catalog on my new Mac AND on my external drive, how does it work when I make a change in the catalog? Which catalog will it change? Or is it the same?
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Question # 1
When doing a backup, you create a special folder which is not a simple copy of your image files folder tree. You have to do a 'restore' to copy the image files and the catalog (in 'custom' destination in your case). The 'restore' process from the backup file creates a faithful copy of your picture file tree. The renaming and the 'flat' structure in the backup folder can only be understood by the restore process (it uses a backup.tly file as a crosslist for that purpose).

Question # 2
False, the 'date taken' metadata is kept, as explicitly written in the post you have read. The 'date created' metadata is created by the finder. I am not a Mac user, so I can't tell you how to show and order by 'date taken' as in Windows, but in my view
That metadata is only useful if you are using the organizer, not the finder.

Question # 3
When you have the catalog and pictures on the external drive, If you make a change in the catalog, it is immediately shown when you plug in the other computer.
Both computers use the same catalog and media files;
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Martine

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Hi Michel,

I'm very grateful for your help. I'm in the process now of getting everything done.
I've bought an external drive and I'm moving - within Organizer to keep the Catalog up to date - all the images to this drive. This drive will be the Main carrier of all my images and Catalogs. I did not use the backup procedure because I had to change the folder structure anyway. Up till now everything is going great.

I'm almost that far that I have to move the catalog also to the external drive. My idea is to copy the folder with the Catalogs. But I have some questions how to do that properly:
1. Which items to copy to the external drive? Only the Folder named 'Catalogs' or more f.e. the whole folder Elements Organizer from Application Support/Library/ ?

2. When I want to do a Full Backup on a different external drive does this Full Backup work with the catalog on the external drive? Or should it also be on my Laptop?

3. I am thinking not to make a Full Backup everytime but make a Full copy of the Images and the Catalog Folder. Reason is that the data are directly available without restoring and I can also use the images in programs other than Photoshop. Is there anything against this idea? (only thing I can think of is the time ..)

4. If I also want to have the latest Catalog on my 2 laptops (so I can see the tumbnails even when my external drive is not attached) what is a good way of working to have always the latest copy on my laptops (the main Catalog will be on the external drive)

Thanks again for all your help!
Martine
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Martine,
If you make a copy of your picture folder tree and of your catalog folder outside of the organizer, the data in your catalog will not reflect the new drive location. All pictures will be shown as 'disconnected'. A "reconnection" will be necessary (and not easy).
If you do the backup and restore process, nothing to do to reconnect. The database is updated during the process. Your picture files tree and your catalog are now on the external drive. It's a copy, the original catalog and pictures are still on your original computer.
what's also possible is to use the organizer to move your images folder tree to the external drive. The catalog is updated for the new location. You have to move (or copy) it also to the external drive. That must be done outside of the organizer with the finder. As a catalog is a whole folder (with the same name as the catalog name) you simply copy or move it on the external drive (outside of the pictures folder tree). Generally, such a drastic move has to be made after a backup for safety, so it's not really faster than doing the backup/restore process.
If you copy the full 'catalogs' folder, all your catalogs will be copied in a single operation.
I'll come back a little later for your other questions...
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Your question #2:
"When I want to do a Full Backup on a different external drive does this Full Backup work with the catalog on the external drive? Or should it also be on my Laptop? "

Precisely, when the full backup is restored a different external drive, the restored catalog and restored picture tree will work together.
Once the catalog is on the external drive, you also have the option to copy its folder to your laptop. That catalog copy will also work with the restored picture tree on the external drive. So, why not do that copy to the laptop if you want? Simply remember that what you do for organizing in a catalog is ignored by the other.

Your Question #3:
Once again, you can't use an Organizer backup folder yourself like a copy. You are using a 'restored' catalog and image folder tree.
If you are doing copies of catalog and image folder tree, the catalog will show everything as 'disconnected' as explained in my previous post. The picture files will be available to any other program.

Your question #4:
The picture folder tree is on the external drive.
Your 'main' catalog is on the external drive.
If you copy that folder in a laptop, that will work perfectly when the external drive is plugged in. If it is not plugged in, you'll be able to browse your thumbnails, do tagging and rating... but some operations like writing metadata to files, changing captions or date taken won't work.
Once you have worked on the laptop, if you copy the catalog folder back to your main computer (or another laptop) everything will be up to date.
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Martine

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Hi Michel,

Thank you so much for your extensive answers. I succeeded in the process of tranferring everything! The external drive contains all the pictures and the catalog and is up and running fast. I'm really very gratefull with all your help.

What I did:
I copied all the pictures within Organizer to my external drive and copied the catalog in Finder (Mac) to the external drive. I reconnected it on my new Mac and within a minute all pictures were connected. Next time I have to do this I will do the backup- restore process.

There was only one problem I encountered: On my old computer, reconnecting the (external) catalog was succesfull but in the beam at bottom of the screen the hourglass kept on turning and hour glasses where being shown instead of some pictures. I left the computer running for a day but it kept on turning ... (catalog is 50.000 pictures) Do you know what was going on?

And two last questions:
1. Is there a maximum of pictures in a catalog on which Organizer runs smoothly? I like to keep all the pictures in one catalog but it should not get to slow ..
2. Earlier in the process I've made a backup on another external drive. This backup is old now, so I want to remove it and put another on there. Can I just delete the Backup files?

Thanks again!
Martine
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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"1. Is there a maximum of pictures in a catalog on which Organizer runs smoothly? I like to keep all the pictures in one catalog but it should not get to slow .. "
No, I have 60.000 items in my catalog and there are reports of users with twice as much.
"2 Earlier in the process I've made a backup on another external drive. This backup is old now, so I want to remove it and put another on there. Can I just delete the Backup files?
Yes, you can delete it.
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Martine

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I am very frustrated. I have been working for 5 days to import all my pictures into a new catalog on an external drive, made tags and cleaned up and last saterday Organizer unexpectedly stopped. I could not repair the catalog, so I opened the Backup but this one - while restoring - also crashed. I had to get back to an older Backup on my old MAcBook (which is so much slower), so I lost 5 days of work..

1. It is really clear that Photoshop is not working well on my new MacBookPro. Are there any instructions for setup that can solve the problem with continuous unexpected stops of the program? Even when not using the program it stops ...
I have to use a hub for the external drives so maybe that can cause trouble as well.

2. The pictures are still on my external drive. This is the good part. However when reimporting today in my catalog I found out that a part of the pictures gets the shooting-date of today in organizer .. 80% of the pictures go well, but the other part gets this wrong date. What is happening here? I do not want to set the date manually of all his pictures..

I have to say that I am thinking of stop this whole Photoshop project... so I really need some help ..
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Martine

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Hi Michel, or anyone who can help me,

I still have problems working with Photoshop Elements Organizer on my Macbook Pro. I have found some ways to improve the achievements (restarting my MacBook, closing all the other programs when working with Photoshop Elements Organizer, closing the program once in an hour), but still it is not optimal.

I have been searching for answers on the web for a long time, but I only can find information about Photoshop CC on IOS. One of the solutions mentioned there is to change the RAM memory that is being used by Photoshop. For Photoshop CC you can do that under Preferences. However, this option is not available for Photoshop Organizer. Can you tell me how to do change the RAM for Photoshop in my situation?

Thanks so much for your help!

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Sorry, I don't know anything about Macs...