I need to know benefits and consequences - risks and rewards - of doing vs not doing all that before doing it. Is the juice really worth the squeeze?
The risks are that, if you don't have everything backed up on another disk that things could go South and be hard, if not impossible, to get back.
The benefits are you end up with a much less complicated set-up. Once you have the O/S isolated on a partition/drive of it's own, then, when you "back up" the c:/system drive, all you are backing up is the system and it takes a lot less space and time to accomplish.
You can back up the data drives without the O/S going along for the ride and vice-versa.
Think of a disk, whether it be HDD or SSD, as a big stock-yards. Think of the partitions/drives as individual pens in that stockyards. You would not want to mix cows, hogs, sheep, and goats all in one big pen. Think of the O/S as the stockyard office and sale ring; you would want it in a completely different section in case the stock pens caught fire and burned to the ground; likewise the other way around.
Although it may take a bit of doing to get things separated, having things separated just makes everything easier.
On a poverty-level Kentucky budget, a 24-exposure roll of film would have two Christmases and a summer vacation on it and we might have to wait another six months before being able to afford developing the film.
I still have trouble remembering that it doesn't cost anything to take thousands of pictures; it just almost seems impossible to be true.
1) Do I want all old photos to remain on BOTH drives? I'd like to keep the old and new photos all together on one drive/folder.
2) If the Catalogs are on BOTH drives (which I believe they are) which one is accessed and kept updated by the Organizer? What should I do with the stagnant Catalog on the other drive?
3) If I deleted the old photos from the C drive, will that mess up the Catalog? Original photos still exist on the D drive (formerly C). I'd prefer all photos to be on the D drive with the most room. I have an external 250 GB drive for the backups.
1) My advice: While it's possible to keep BOTH versions on each drive, updating and enriching a new catalog will NEVER be synced to the other. So, while this can be used as a kind of backup, you'll have to chose between which drive to use for which purpose. Very important: you have two 'clones', each one on its own drive containing the three elements of a catalog managed library: the photo files, the catalog folder and the links in the catalog pointing to the files in the same drive.
3) I'll start with the third question. You are right about preferring photos on the D: drive. Plenty of space, no speed issue: speed depends on your RAM and scratch disk. A conventional drive is perfect. For the catalog folder itself, theoretically it's faster on the faster drive, but as it is mostly managed in RAM and scratchdisk, you won't find a difference. So, I would store it also on the conventional drive. Only set your scratch drive to the SSD. Much easier to separate OS and softwares from photos and catalogs for backups as indicated by Buckskin, whether you use catalogs or not.
2) You should be able able to test and compare the two duplicated libraries in each drive. They should work exactly the same from each catalog. To start the catalog on the old drive (now D:) look for a 'catalog.pse19db' file and double click it. That will open the original catalog with the organizer. My guess is that you won't see a difference compared to your situation before cloning. Remember that when you are in a catalog, you can see the catalog folder location from the menu Help >> System information.
Now, I have seen many catalog issues after a cloning session like this one. They come from the way a catalog database stores the identification of the drive beside the path description. The drive letter, obviously, but also the internal serial name of the drive in Windows. The 'cloned' drive takes over the C : letter name and also the internal serial name. The original drive has its letter drive changed by Windows to D : The result is that each catalog has twice the same serial name for C and D, but two different drive letters. From the many issues reported, it seems that the Organizer is smart enough to prefer the internal serial name and ignore the wrong drive letter. No problem for the catalog on the new C : drive, but for the catalog on the now D: drive, there is a risk of all files showing as disconnected or even seen as being on the new C : drive. Anyway, there is a risk of confusion in the database, and even if both catalogs seem to work well on their own drive, there are risks for ulterior issues in backups.
So, to avoid any risk, do a full backup of your catalog from the C drive catalog. This will enable you to reinstall the the catalog and photo file trees on any other drive, partition or master folder if needed.
Then check for the catalog on the now D drive that it really points to the same drive for the location of the files themselves.
When you are satisfied with the catalog on the D drive, you can delete both the catalog on C and the photo files on C to free up space on the SSD. In the worst case, you'll always be able to restore from the backup on another master folder on the D drive or elsewhere.
Start with Item #2. You need to make sure you know which Catalog PSE is using. I'm not the PSE expert here, but I'm sure one of our other members can chime in with how to find that out. Then make sure you know where the catalog is looking for the pictures (you should be able to easily see that in the Organizer Folder view)
Always...Always...Always - make any moves and changes to files/folders within the Organizer. If you do it under Windows Explorer, the Organizer will get confused and you will have to fix it later. So if you want to move files from one drive to another, do it via the Organizer.
I would keep all you photos on one drive (and you can move and organize them via the Organizer)
All images in the Organizer say they are imported from Volume D. Is that referring to the Catalog location or the image files location?
Does anyone know whether reference to history of photos being on the D drive (volume) refers to the photo files or Catalog?