Today’s Question: Say you clone a hard drive to a new one with higher capacity and give the new one the same name as the old drive. Will Lightroom see the files and folders on the new drive properly? That is, the same as it did with the first drive?
Tim’s Quick Answer: As long as the overall path (hard drive identifier and folder structure) remain the same from the original hard drive to the replacement hard drive, Lightroom Classic will be able to keep track of the source photos without any difficulty as part of this overall transition.
More Detail: Lightroom Classic keeps track of your source photos based on the storage location for those photos. This is why it is very important that if you want to move or rename your photos or folders that you do that work within Lightroom Classic.
Of course, if you’re going to be transitioning to a larger hard drive, you may not want to move the photos to the new drive within Lightroom Classic. Instead, you may prefer to copy the photos from the source drive to the new drive, such as with synchronization software like GoodSync (http://timgrey.me/greybackup).
As long as the path to the photos on the new drive is a perfect match to the original drive, Lightroom Classic won’t be confused, and your workflow won’t be interrupted. First, that means making sure that you’re duplicating the folders and photos from one drive to the other with the same overall structure.
Second, you’ll want to make sure that the hard drive itself has the same name. For Macintosh users that means the volume label of the new drive should match the old drive. You can change that volume label by right-clicking on the hard drive and choosing the option to rename. For Windows users you’ll want to change the drive letter for the new drive to match the previous drive using the Disk Management utility.