Users Guide‎ > ‎

Network Installation

Network Drive Installation - Put All Pictures and Associated Database(s) on a Network Drive
The instructions below are basically the same as for a portable drive. The only real difference with a Network Drive is that you need to Map the network drive to a drive letter.
It is suggested that you Map a folder on the network drive to a drive letter instead of mapping the whole network share to the drive letter. This gives you some added control of the Network. For example you could create a folder on your network drive called "Picture Drive Image" and then map "Picture Drive Image" to the P:\ drive. You would then have all the pictures, database, etc.that are created in the P: drive confined to that folder instead of being spread out over the network share. This does not, of course prevent the whole network share from being mapped normally to it's normal drive letter.
One example of a folder layout for network drive or folder mapped to the P: drive is as follows:
(This assumes the network drive will be mapped as the P: Drive on any PC it is used on)
P:\ <-------The root directory of the P: Drive.
\PicasaStarter <-------The folder containing PicasaStarter and the shared settings file. (PicasaStarterSettings.XML)
\P_Database <--------The Picasa Database "Base" Directory. Each Base Dir contains one Picasa database set.
\Pictures <--------------All Pictures are in this folder and subfolders
This kind of folder arrangement ensures that the pictures and database and PicasaStarter settings will always be available on the same path when the drive is mapped to the P:\ drive on any PC.
Steps to Create a Database on a Network Drive:
A network drive must have the PicasaStarter settings, the Database, and the Pictures all on the same network path so when that path is shared to another PC on a network, all the necessary files will be available to Picasa on that PC. These steps are best accomplished on the "master" Picasa PC since that PC will normally be the one that is in charge of the Picasa resources.

Installing the Drive and PicasaStarter:

  1. Connect the Network shared drive to your PC and  ensure that the PC has Read/Write access to the share.
  2. Using the Windows Map Network Drive function, configure a folder on the share as suggested above to be the Drive letter you have chosen.
    P:\ is a go
    od choice since "P" could mean "Pictures".
  3. Create a folder called PicasaStarter. For greatest flexibility the folder should be at the root of the mapped drive, for instance if using the P: drive the folder should be created as P:\PicasaStarter. Being at the root is not a hard requirement, but it makes it easier to use the virtual drive functions.
  4. Copy PicasaStarter.exe and it's DLL file(s) from the zip file to the folder you created.
  5. Double-click the .exe file to start PicasaStarter.
    Note: Since PicasaStarter is running on a network drive, you will be asked to confirm that you want to run the program, Click Run or Yes. After PicasaStarter setup is complete we discuss ways to eliminate this security warning at the bottom of this section.
  6. A First Run screen will come up unless PicasaStarter settings are already assigned. Select OK on the first run screen to keep the default settings.
  7. At this point you should select "Personal Database of..." on the PicasaStarter main screen and click Run Picasa. Your normal local Picasa window should appear and should run normally. If it does not, please troubleshoot the installation. Picasa should run identically to the way it runs when started without using PicasaStarter.
Starter - Main Screen
Starter - Database Configuration Dialog

Creating Database on Portable Drive

Installing the Pictures and Database on the Network Drive:
  1. Create an empty "Base" folder for the database in the same place as the PicasaStarter folder, and call it something meaningful like "P Database".
  2. Create another empty folder or folders there for the pictures if they are not already on the drive. There can be a number of Picture folders created, for instance for different picture sets.
  3. Go into the PicasaStarter folder and double-click the PicasaStarter.exe file to start PicasaStarter, and confirm the security warning.
  4. At the main screen click the Add button to add this database to the list.
  5. In the configuration dialog, name the new database something meaningful. You could name it "P Database" or "All My Pictures on P" or anything you will remember. It doesn't have to be named the same as the database folder you created above, but it can be. In the description box, describe what it is for and where the pictures are if you wish.
  6. For the Database Path,BROWSE to the location or drive you created the PicasaStarter folder in and select the database Base folder you created above. You could also make a new database Base folder in this browser and select it, just make sure it is on the network drive. Each Base folder you create will contain one Picasa Database.
  7. If you are creating a new empty database, click the Create Empty Database button and select OK to get back to the main screen. Skip steps 8 and 9.
  8. Click "Copy and Existing Database" to bring up the copy database screen. Select the predefined database that is always present in PicasaStarter, and click the button "Explore..." at the right-hand side of the Selected Source box. A windows explorer window will open at the place the database is located. Select the folders "Picasa2" and Picasa2Albums" located there and do "right-click"-"Copy". Close explorer window.
  9.  The destination box should show the database you defined above that you want to copy the original one to, click "Explore..." for this database as well. Do "right-click"-"Paste" in this directory to put a copy of the original database there, then close the explorer window, and click done to dismiss this dialog, then click ok to finish the add new database dialog.
  10. Click "Run Picasa" and Picasa should start using the new database. If this is the first time you have used the new database, Sometimes there is a problem this first time and Picasa starts extensive reindexing. Minor reindexing to build thumbnails is ok. If there is major reindexing, you can exit Picasa and erase the 2 folders Picasa2 and Picasa2Albums from the new database folder, and recopy them using the procedure in steps 8 and 9 above. You should now be able to run Picasa with this new database.
NOTE: At this point you have created a new copy of your original Picasa database. This database is on the Portable or Network drive but the Pictures are still in their original locations.
If all the pictures you want to keep in this database are on the Network drive, the only remaining task is to remove any folders that are not on the drive from this database. Any pictures not on this drive will not be there when the drive is accessed by a different PC or User. Start Picasa with this database selected and go to Tools - Folder Manager. Look at all drives and folders, especially those listed in the Watched Folders section, and make sure all picture folders on the Network drive are set to Scan Always (Blue Circular Arrow). Everything not on the drive should be set to Remove From Picasa (The Red X). This does not delete the pictures, only removes them from this database.
Picasa Tools Menu Folder Manager
Moving Your Pictures to the Network Drive
( Without needing to re-create the database from scratch)
Moving pictures to a portable or network drive is easy if you don't have any time invested in the old database. In this case all that is necessary is to use windows explorer to copy or move the picture folders to the Portable or Network drive, and set the picture folders to Scan Always in the Tools- Folder Manager menu.
If you have spent hours and hours getting all your Facetags and Labels and Albums just right you will want very badly to save all that work when you move your pictures to a Portable or Network drive. It is fairly easy to move the pictures and database to a new drive using the Picasa Move Folder command, but it takes some time and concentration. When Picase Moves folders it instantly updates the database, and you don't lose albums, captions, etc.
Go to the User Guide topic: Moving Pictures Without Rescanning to move the pictures to your Portable or Network Drive. 
  • When you use Picasa to move folders it moves everything in the folders, so only move folders containing only (or mostly) pictures
  • Since Picasa really does move the folders, if you want your pictures to be in the C: drive or the original drive also you will have to back them and the C drive database up so they can be restored to the C drive later.
  • Again, Work carefully and make sure you have backups for the pictures (My Pictures folder??), and the databases, so If you screw up you can recover.


Avoid The Security warning when starting PicasaStarter from a Network Drive

When PicasaStarter is run from a network drive, Windows presents a security warning about running an executable file from a network drive. There are a couple of ways to address the problem, either changing the security settings, or running PicasaStarter from a local drive.
    By Running PicasaStarter from a local drive
PicasaStarter now has the ability to run from a local drive, but still get it's settings from the network copy of the settings file. To use this feature do the following:
  1. Install PicasaStarter on a local drive such as the C: drive or other local location. See the Users Guide Installation section for details.
  2. After the local copy is installed, run the local copy and on the main screen select options.
  3. In the options screen select Browse to the right of the Path to settings box.
  4. Browse to the PicasaStarter directory on the network drive, and select the PicasaStarter directory, and click OK.
  5. Click ok in the General Settings dialog, and click yes when asked to confirm changing the settings path and using a different file.
  6. The local copy of PicasaStarter will now use the Network database and settings identically to the network copy but without the warning.

An alternate way to use the local PicasaStarter if you want to keep your local databases is to Add the network database to the local copy. A slight disadvantage to this is if the network settings change, the settings will not be known to the local copy, but this is not likely to be a problem. Anytime a database definition is added to the network PicasaStarter settings, they will also have to be added to the local copy.

    By Disabling Security Warning for Drive
Windows Allows the user to disable the security warning for a specific mapped network drive or UNC path. This is not the preferred method since it compromizes the security of the drive by allowing any program on that network drive to run without a warning
  1. Go to Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Security -> Local Intranet -> Sites -> Advanced.
  2. Add the mapped drive or UNC path (eg. P:\ or \\machine).