Bill, Thank you for the great pointers. I finally got around to tackling this task and your guidance was perfect. All multimedia documents are now in a single folder and PAF Photo and Citation links have been updated.
Here's some lessons learned in case anyone else finds themselves in the same situation.....
1) Making a PAF backup and copy multimedia rather than moving it was a great common sense tip. Disk space was not an issue and we just archived unneeded files later. So we were never risking existing data
2) AS PAF help recommends, the multimedia folder is best defined in the same directory as the PAF db file so the relative links are straight forward (example /FamilyNameMedia ). This allows the PAF file with media to be easily loaded on different machine.
3) Exporting the PAF db to GED format and importing into a text editor as Bill described in the earlier post was the key step to cleaning up links. I ended exporting several times and doing a 'Find' on the word "FILE" to quickly view all links. Exporting iteratively made it easier to see what was done and what was left to do.
4) Bill's suggestion for clicking the camera icon and letting PAF make the same edit for all links was very helpful for photos.
5) A lot of our multimedia files are scanned documents linked as 'images' which are not treated as photos by PAF. However, PAF provides a solution by selecting the 'Tools', 'Global Search and Replace', 'Search and replace text in - Multimedia file names' menu choice.
So it quickly became a 3-step task... search the GED text export file to find the location of linked multimedia, copy the media to the new directory, use the 'Global Search and Replace' action to update the relative links in PAF.
Also, once I got to this phase, limiting the GedCom export to just include multimedia links made the export considerably smaller and consequently searching was much faster. (Since we were using the PAF 'Global Search and Replace' function we didn't need to worry about extra data such as the person that the media was linked to. )
Finally, the reason this project was delayed was that we switched from Windows PC to Mac OSX late last year. The bootcamp dual-boot software that ships with the Macbook works well and we were able to run PAF in a windows partition on MAC HW. Dual-boot got to be cumbersome thoughand put extra steps in the backup process. So while we were able to retire the PC in favor for a Mac, the solution was not perfect.
We recently gave the windows emulator 'WINE' a second look. It's much improved and is allowing PAF to run from within the MAC OS disk partition. No mode dual boot and we also get much simpler access to TimeMachine, MAC's cool backup utility. We're running snow leopard (MAC OS 10.6) for anyone thinking about running PAF on their mac.