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All edits lost when a copy my files back from an external disk // lightroom classic

Community Beginner ,
Jan 07, 2024 Jan 07, 2024

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Hello everyone. I made a terrible discovery today and I'm looking for help.  My workflow is as follows; I copy files from my cards to my HD. I syncronize LR and edit my photos there. I've made sure LR automatically writes changes to XMP.  With many ongoing projects I need to use external disks.  I copy my finished edits to ext.disk but when I later copy them back to my HD to continue working on them (not necessarily the same folder) I lose all my edits.  Even though the xmp files follows every CR2 file.  
Cannot understand why this happens.  The edits should all be there in the xmp, however it seems like LR isn' reading them!? Tried 'reading metadata from file' but nothing happens..  
Any help is appreciated 🙂 

Regards, Tom

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Beginner , Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

Ok, I managed to figure this out: MY EDITS ARE STILL THERE !

1. When I copy my files, raw + xmp to an ext.disk my edits follow along within the xmp

2. When I copy files back to my HD (with finder/explorer), enters LR and chooses to 'synchronize folder': LR WILL MAKE NEW XMP FILES, thus overwriting my edits.

SOLUTION:

1. Use 'import' instead. This will transfer and use your old xmp files, keep your edits.  

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Community Beginner , Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

..as dj_page mentiones here - using LR to move files back and forth will keep your edits. Copy + synchronize folder will generate new xmp files

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LEGEND ,
Jan 07, 2024 Jan 07, 2024

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I copy my finished edits to ext.disk

 

How are you doing this? In LrC, or in your operating system?

 

but when I later copy them back to my HD to continue working on them (not necessarily the same folder) I lose all my edits.

 

Are you importing photos into LrC to work on them from the HD but not necessarily the same folder?

 

Also, why are you moving photos back and forth like this? Why not just import the files straight out of the camera directly to the external HD, and then you never have to move them, and most likely your issue goes away (plus its fewer steps, and thus fewer opportunities for error)

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2024 Jan 07, 2024

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I copy my finished edits to ext.disk

How are you doing this? In LrC, or in your operating system?

- Mainly in explorer

 

but when I later copy them back to my HD to continue working on them (not necessarily the same folder) I lose all my edits.

Are you importing photos into LrC to work on them from the HD but not necessarily the same folder?

- say there is a wedding late in Des. The images would end up in a subfolder in my 2023 archive (folder). If I start working on them in January they would be copied back into my 2024 folder. 
Cannot understand why this matters as the xmp files are in the same folder.. 

 

Also, why are you moving photos back and forth like this? Why not just import the files straight out of the camera directly to the external HD, and then you never have to move them, and most likely your issue goes away (plus its fewer steps, and thus fewer opportunities for error)

- I know.. long story. Has to be this way due to backup, limited storage and various lagre projects. Both video and photo.

 

Thank you for taking the time to help !

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LEGEND ,
Jan 07, 2024 Jan 07, 2024

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So when I ask: "Are you importing photos into LrC to work on them from the HD but not necessarily the same folder?" I am expecting a YES or NO answer, but your words do not generate a clear answer here.

 

I know.. long story. Has to be this way due to backup, limited storage and various lagre projects. Both video and photo

 

Obviously, this is the root of all these problems, and I'm sure there are better approaches that don't involve moving photos and videos around as a regular step. But I can't help further on that as you haven't really explained this. I do point out that there are people who think (maybe you think this too, you haven't said) that in order to edit photos they have to be on the internal drive, and/or that photos on the internal drive can be edited faster than photos on the external drive. Neither of these are true, and if these are (some of) the reasons why you are moving photos around, you can stop moving photos around for these reasons.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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I fail to understand why I can't move my files and folders around and keep my edits as LR is set up to write changes to xmp files and the xmp files are within the same folder.  This was never a problem using camera raw f.i.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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Ok, I managed to figure this out: MY EDITS ARE STILL THERE !

1. When I copy my files, raw + xmp to an ext.disk my edits follow along within the xmp

2. When I copy files back to my HD (with finder/explorer), enters LR and chooses to 'synchronize folder': LR WILL MAKE NEW XMP FILES, thus overwriting my edits.

SOLUTION:

1. Use 'import' instead. This will transfer and use your old xmp files, keep your edits.  

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LEGEND ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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For anyone else reading along: IMPORT is not necessary here. A better approach would be to move the files to the external HD using LrC, this maintains all your edits. Then if you want to move it back to the internal HD later, do this in LrC, this maintaing your edits.

 

An even better approach is to stop this moving back and forth, put the photos on the external HD straight out of the camera, and leave them there. No moving back and forth. How simple is that?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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Correct. Moving files around using LR will keep your edits. Updated my 'solution' 🙂

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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..as dj_page mentiones here - using LR to move files back and forth will keep your edits. Copy + synchronize folder will generate new xmp files

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