So I recently started traveling and had to opt for many more portable solutions. I was/am on the hunt for better solutions. Though this is very fresh and new, so I thought I had some time to use this set up and play with it to figure out exactly what my needs and wants are in a more practical solution.
Here is my setup - 2015 Macbook (the tiny one with only use USB C port) running on OSX 10.11.6 El Capitan; USB 3 hub with SD slot; 2 x Seagate 2TB external HDD; Lightroom 6;
Here is my issue - My external HDD with the photos in lightroom, lightroom database and catalogue file(s) on it is no longer mounting when I plug it in.
Series of events leading up to it - The other day I was importing my photos from my SD card to Lightroom and it threw an error about a quarter of the way through. I'm sorry I didn't catch the exact error as I was sorta on the run and didn't think to take better note. Basically it did not finish importing the photos. Lightroom was still running and functional. So I tried re-importing the images. It got further but did the same thing again. So I tried a third time and it didn't even make it to the first one. The external hard drive was no longer reachable.
Here is what I have tried - I unplugged and replugged it back in. It would not even register. I restarted, still could not recognize it. So I tried with just a USB to USB C adapter and not through the port. It still would not recognize it. After many attempts at open DiskUtil to run first aid on it, I stuck it in the freezer and it actually worked after about half an hour. I did not have any other computers to test it on. Though I attempted to run a virtual Linux environment to see if it helped, because they are typically better than mac's at reading external HDD's. I did not get it fully running before I was able to get it working after freezing it. I had to run, so I just crossed my fingers it would hold out until I had more time and internet connection to back this up to something like amazon s3.
Some additional things I can note which may be helpful to know. I have the exact same external hard drive I use for some other storage, and it has no issues through the hub or directly plugged in (with a USB C adapter). Also, "sometimes" I can plug in the hard drive that is giving me issues, and though it does not show up in Finder or Mount to the Desktop, I can open up Terminal and run
diskutil list and it shows up. But when trying to manually mount it via
diskutil mount /dev/diskN it just hangs.
My Question - I still have lightroom open and running. In fear of closing it and not saving the work I've done. Is there something I can do save the work loaded in lightroom? Maybe plug in my second hard drive that is working and tell it to recreate a new lightroom database file from it's in memory state? (I don't know exactly how lightroom works or if that is possible).
Further Question - Do any of you have recommendations on steps to take once this is recovered to not end up in the same situation again? Maybe further reading? Anything? Also, under the circumstances I am not able to make any kind of recover from this failed hard drive, what is the recommended path to reconcile any work or minimize my lossage? For example: is my still currently open running lightroom able to produce a new database file in a new location?