Sunday, August 28, 2011

Moving from one machine to other when all files are on External Hard Drive and don't want to go through Backup/Restore route

Today one of the user asked on forum about transferring Organizer metadata to a new machine without Backup/Restore because all the files are already on an external hard drive which can be used with new computer.

It's not a recommended workflow and always recommended way is to backup and restore from one machine to other.

Anyway, if you want to try this route, please make sure that drive head on new computer is same as that of old computer. E.g.- If this hard drive is detected as E drive on old computer then is should be detected as E on new computer. Even if that's not the case, one more step will make things work for you.

Steps -

1. Launch Organizer on your old computer
2. Open the catalog which you want to transfer to new computer
3. Go to Help Menu and select 'System Info'
4. Copy path for 'Catalog Location :'
5. Open this location in Windows Explorer
6. Copy all the files/folders from this location and move it to new computer
7. Launch Organizer and open this catalog now by keeping USB HDD connected.
8. Try some operation on files in Organizer and see if things are working.

If drive head is different on new computer, reconnect all your files correctly and go ahead !!!

Try this and leave your comment about the experiences...


  1. This appeared to work for me!

    I followed your instructions and copied all files in the /My Catalog/ sub-directory of Elements 7.0 on my old PC (running Windows 7 - then pasted into the /My Catalog/ sub-directory on my new PC running Elements 9.0...

    I was asked to 're-build' the catalog. It rebuilt and I can now find and edit the original images on an external HDD that was Drive E: on the old PC but is now Drive L: on the new one.

    It must be magic!!

  2. Charles, I am happy that it worked for you.

    Such workflows are extremely risky as most of the data is basically moving from one place to other. And the very first thing I recommend to everyone is take Backups on regular basis...


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