Invisible photos ? Empty folders?

New Here ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Lightroom Classic v.11.4.1; Windows 11 v.21H2

 

Hi,

 

I’m a longtime lightroom user with no noticeable problem.

 

I recently updated to a new computer (windows 11, I9 12900k, RTX 3060Ti, 32GB DDR5).

And I’ve got some trouble with my “personal catalogue”, is one unique catalogue where I import all my personal pictures from other folders, most of which a classified by date with a few exceptions like smartphones folders, friends’ weddings…

 

For some unknown reason a lot of these folders are listed in my Lightroom files explorer as empty (0 pictures) and some don’t show the correct amount of files.

 

From want I recall, when installing the new computer few months ago, I copied the files on the new hard drive (went from HDD to SSD), opened my Lightroom Catalogue and recreated the link to the correct main personal folder containing every other.

And did not notice anything weird at the time, I guess I would have…

 

Now I have those “empty” folders with no images showing and two strange symptoms:

 

  • If I ask, from Ligthroom, to show the folder in explorer, the folder is shown normally, so the link is ok.
  • If I try to re-import the pictures, they are considered as already a part of the catalogue (displayed in grey) and would not import again.

 

Missing files could be .CR2 (Canon), .ORF (Olympus) with or without matching jpeg and xmp. Or even simple .JPG.

 

Any solution that would not imply to lose my collection, stars, colors, keywords, etc…?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Could you clarify something? For one of these folders where the count of files is zero, if you click on that folder in the Lightroom Classic Folder panel, do the photos show?

 

If not, then search for (one of) the photos by filename in the rest of your catalog. Use all four of these steps in Lightroom Classic to perform the search.

  1. Click on All Photographs
  2. Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
  3. Expand all stacks (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
  4. in the Lightroom Classic filter bar, search for one of the photos by file name.

 

If you find one of these photos using the above search, see what folder Lightroom Classic thinks it is in. I would guess that it is somewhere else where you didn't expect it to be.

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New Here ,
Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

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Hi,

 

Sorry, I’ve been away from my office computer for a few days to check your diagnostic.

 

But you are pinpoint right:

  • The photos don’t show in Lightroom
  • If I search for them by name, they are within the collection but located in a phantom E: drive and shown with the infamous “?” on the folders and the equally infamous “!” on the images.

 

It’s a rookie mistake but I thought I’ve taken care of that when I recreated the link after the computer installation.

 

So, now, what would you recommend to clean the collection, i.e. make the images appear in their correct current location (drive H: ), “erase” the phantom drive E: and, most of all, be sure not to miss anything?

 

Because an invisible picture is as good as a lost picture…

 

I could search every folder the missing link, but it would be time consuming and how to be certain not to miss anything?

 

For now, when comparing, from Lightroom Classic Folder Panel, two identical folders on H: (actual, real, support where all the images are) and E: (phantom) I get:

  • 66087 images on E: (I guess the mislocated ones)
  • 29482 images on H: (I guess the newly imported, but I don’t understand why some older images are part of that and show also in E: )

 

The real count on the H: drive is 131850 files but that include JPEGs, Raws, XMPs and some “junk files” like thumbs so it’s hard to say what the end result should be.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 05, 2022 Jul 05, 2022

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So, let me make sure I have this correct. Lightroom Classic thinks some of the photos are on E:, which doesn't exist any more. The actual images are in H:, which does exist.

 

In LrC, in the E: drive, where LrC thinks the photos and folders are located, you right-click on a folder on the E: drive (which shows a ? icon), select "Find Missing Folder" and then a dialog box pops up from which you will select the equivalent folder on the H: drive. (Step-by-step instructions with screen captures are here.) If you need to reconnect many subfolders of a parent folder, perform this action on the parent folder (not the subfolders, one-by-one).

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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That’s it.

 

The problem is that the parent folders names are not the same.

 

They are the “Pictures” folders created by default by Windows and for what ever reason the old one (on E: ) is call “Mes images” (French) and the new one (on H: ) “Pictures”.

 

I can’t rename any of them from LrC: no rename option on E: (because it’s missing) and on H: I get an error message saying it’s impossible to rename that folder (I guess because it’s created by Windows).

 

I’m not even certain that I could rename it from Windows, even so that would just miss linked the actual images.

 

I’ve tried to reconnect some subfolders, but nothing is happening as if LrC doesn’t respond.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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The problem is that the parent folders names are not the same.

 

This is not a problem. In Lightroom Classic, you right-click on "E:Mes images", select Find Missing Folder, and select H:Pictures.

 

I can’t rename any of them from LrC: no rename option ...

 

There is no renaming in this procedure. Renaming has never been mentioned.

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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I’ve tired that,

 

First, I get a message asking if I want to merge the two folders => ok

 

Then I get a second message saying that the merge has only be partial they were some files why the same name on both place (logical!) so files and folders in double stayed at their previous emplacement.

 

I did it a few times and it did get better to a point.

 

Then I tried the upper level by reconnecting my E: user folder to my H: user folder, the result being E: to disappear and a new “Mes images” phantom folder appearing on H:

 

But still, I have 3500 pictures in “Mes images” that won’t merge with “Pictures”.

 

(and “Pictures” is named “Pictures” in LrC but when opened in the Windows explorer it is in fact “Images”)

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LEGEND ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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But still, I have 3500 pictures in “Mes images” that won’t merge with “Pictures”.

 

What happens? Describe in detail.

What is the exact word-for-word error message?

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