Adobe Lightroom Classic On SSD


Adobe Lightroom (LR) is more or less the defacto tool photographers use to manage their libraries. It allows organisation of photos to fairly comprehensive editing facilities. One limitation with current SSD’s is the price per MB. With space at a premium it’s generally advised to use traditional spinning hard drives (HDD) for storage and SSD for the OS / programs. LR caters for this scenario and this is what this post will discuss.


Catalog – The way Adobe Lightroom works is it has a catalog. The catalog is a proprietary database which stores things from location of RAW files to edits, meta data such as EXIF, previews, etc.

RAWs/JPEG – The actual photos or files from the camera are stored separately from the catalog usually in the library folder.

With the above structure imagine the following:

If the catalog was lost but the photo files were present then all the photos will be there but without any post production / edits made on the photos. This is because Lightroom uses non-destructive edits i.e when making changes in Lightroom, the photos themselves are not changed. Instead the edits are all held in the catalog and applied when viewed.

If the catalog survived but the image files were lost then you may be able to recover the previews but the originals are lost.

So it is more important to backup the image files more than the catalog but to save any pain backup both. The catalog has intelligent links to the images so if you move them you can re-point the catalog and it will try and match what it has in the catalog to the files in the new location.


Create a new catalog and Adobe Lightroom will ask for a location to create the catalog. It is best to keep this on the fastest drive i.e RAM disk or SSD.


Separating the RAW files from the catalog makes senses since SSD per GB at this time are a lot more expensive and do not have the capacity of a spinning HDD.

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About Danny

I.T software professional always studying and applying the knowledge gained and one way of doing this is to blog. Danny also has participates in a part time project called Energy@Home [] for monitoring energy usage on a premise. Dedicated to I.T since studying pure Information Technology since the age of 16, Danny Tsang working in the field that he has aimed for since leaving school. View all posts by Danny → This entry was posted in Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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