Lightroom has been nagging me for ages to upgrade the the latest version. I’ve not done so until on Thursday because I’ve been busy and didn’t want to risk anything in case it went pear shaped.
I backed up the catalogue and then upgraded Lightroom which took about 10 minutes. When it loaded noticed the last 10 months of photographs were no longer in Lightroom. Oh heck I thought. I was glad that I took that backup. So I reloaded using the catalogue that I’d backed up. Lightroom politely told me that it needed to convert the back up catalogue to a new format for it to be compatible. This took about 20 minutes, but it did load OK and all the photos were there complete with the edits which held in the catalogue.
However, I soon noticed that my customised presets had gone and all of the watermarks that I use to put the copyright message on CPS images for the website. So I had to recreate them all which took about 20 minutes. The lightroom catalogue is so important as it contains scripts of all the edits you do to every picture registered in Lightroom. The original picture isn’t touched. When you open it in Lightroom the script replays and performs the edits.
I think the moral is to make sure you do a back up of whatever you can before you do an upgrade.
I usually wait until Laura Shoe says the upgrade is OK, but this time I did update straight away. Lr was quite alright but when I opened it a second time it asked me to delete some certifications before it would run.
It might be a good idea to leave things if there is a problem as you will not be the only one and it may get fixed quickly.
Things like watermarks and develop presets aren’t stored in the catalog — that only keeps the details of the edits you made to your pictures. (It’s a sort of database that maintains the details of where your photos are and how you processed the files. The files themselves aren’t modified by LR.)
Your various presets, watermarks, plugins, layouts, etc are all stored elsewhere. (The locations are given here. The locations are different for Windows and Mac.) Upgrades really shouldn’t overwrite this stuff, but I’ve always found it useful to back up these directories, too — just in case. And ‘just in case’ seems to include your latest upgrade, Pete! 🙁
Many thanks for your advice. These things are great if they work, but can go wrong as our pcs and macs can be so different from the standard. I suppose it’s impossible for software providers to test every scenario. That why, like John says, it’s a good idea to wait a while for others to test it for you!
Thanks for the link Ian. It was very useful. I can now add those folders to my backup strategy.