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Eradicate detected duplicates on disk

Engaged ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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Hi, I'm trying to find a way to help a friend with a Lightroom Classic riddle: he has a beautiful folder structure on disk, but at some point in the past, when weeding out, accidentally chose "remove from Lightroom" instead of "Delete from disk".

 

Unfortunately, this wasn't just for rejects, but also for (plenty of) duplicates.

 

The entire folder structure contains some 50000 photos.  We used the Import dialog and chose a "move" operation for the photos that were rejects (not duplicates), to get them OUT of his folder structure, and then just delete them for good. That was the easy part! 😄

 

Now the question is: how the heck do we do the same for the duplicates? Using "Synchronize Folder", the dialog window tells us that there are ~5000 new photos. When we use an Import with the Duplicate check ON, there are zero new photos. In other words, all 5000 "new" photos are indeed duplicates.

 

When I turn the duplicate check in the Import dialog off, LRC sees all 50k photos in that folder structure... and we don't want to mess that folder structure up, of course. How do I identify the duplicates efficiently, without having to import them, making a mess in the existing folders?

 

Any ideas or help would be appreciated, thanks.

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Contributor ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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Can you import them and then delete all the photos in "Previous Import".

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Engaged ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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Ahhhh of course! Good idea.

 

You think importing with the dupe-check off will not affect any of the photos that are already in the catalog anyway? I'm just concerned because we'd be looking at the folder structure that's already in LRC.

 

Maybe I'll have to set up a little test catalog with a few photos to see how it works. I was hoping I could be lazy. 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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I think @DClark064's suggestion would be how I'd approach it. Do it in stages if you need to keep track. 

Sean McCormack. Author of 'Essential Development 3'. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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There is another, rather more radical, method which will duplicate an image folder structure (with contents), but selectively so: in that it systematically leaves out anything not required by the associated Catalog.

 

This is Export as Catalog. It would be directed to a separate storage location with sufficient spare space; un-checking "export selected photos only" and checking "export negative files" - 'negative' denoting 'copies of the original imported files'.

 

The new copied Catalog will reference these copied image files and their new folder arrangement (within the same location where the new Catalog is being made). Image history, edits and Catalog organisation will transfer fully however syncing to CC, Publish relationships, presets if stored with Catalog, and such: would need careful consideration.

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Engaged ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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@richardplondonthanks for describing the procedure and its shortcomings. That's good to know — and yes, a bit (too) radical perhaps. 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Jan 16, 2024 Jan 16, 2024

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It can take you directly from a messy situation, to a known "clean" one. But more commonly one would select only some images to be included, and use it to archive off that set in the form of a separately accessable, self-contained library. Or used as a stage in getting a set of images plus related virtual info, out of one Catalog so as to then merge into another.

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