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File associated with another photo in catalog error

New Here ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Is anyone able to advise what to do when you get an error about a file being associated with another photo in the catalog?  I had my photos stored on an external disk which corrupted.  Some were being tricky to recover so I thought it would be easier to re-download them from my memory card, thinking I could just point lightroom to the new file location, as I'd done with photos I had managed to recover.  However, with these photos it asks me where the new location is, but then when I point it to the new location, I get an error saying the file is already associated with another photo in the catalog.  Any ideas how to sort this so I don't lose my edits on the original photo?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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You should not get this error if you do it properly. The error usually occurs if you try to relink an image to the wrong original, i.e. you select a file as the new copy to link to, but that file is already imported in the catalog as another photo.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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File associated with another photo — this almost always happens because you have (accidentally?) imported the photo more than once. Now you have two copies of the photo in your catalog, normally one with edits but shown as missing, and another one.

 

Please do the following search in Lightroom Classic, by following all four steps.

 

1. In the Lightroom Classic Library Module, on the left, under Catalog, click on All Photographs
2. Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
3. Turn off all stacking (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
4. Search for at least one of these photos by file name using the Lightroom Classic Filter Bar

 

If you find two copies of this photo, we can then provide instructions to fix this.

 

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Thank you, I have indeed found two copies of the photo - one which has the edits applied, and one which doesn't.  Any follow on instructions would be greatly appreciated.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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I assume you want to keep the copy with the edits, and you don't want the one with no edits. However, the one with edits is missing, and the one with no edits is not missing. If all of that is correct, in Lightroom Classic, delete the photo with no edits from the catalog (BUT DO NOT DELETE FROM THE HARD DISK), and then the re-connecting of the missing photo with edits ought to work.

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New Here ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Thank you so much, this has indeed worked!

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