Lightroom catalog and missing images problem

Explorer ,
Mar 31, 2010 Mar 31, 2010

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I'm having a weird problem. Any ideas how to fix it?

As I did synchronize folder to my catalog in Library view, Lightroom says I have 1898 images missing. If I select any of those "missing images", Lightroom acts perfectly normally, and I can do anything to that image. If I select Show in finder, any image is located exactly where Lightroom thinks it should be. So actually it's not a missing image, Lightroom only thinks it is.

Also, synchronize folder wants to (re?)import those "missing images". I don't dare to do it because I'm afraid I lose all edits and collection data. Although Save metadata to images seems to work, so missing edits probably is not a problem.

And if I go to Photos Missing From Folder "2009" in catalog tab, Lightroom shows all "missing photos" normally. None of them e.g. has missing photo badge (question mark symbol) in them, and I can edit or export any or all images normally.

I'm a bit afraid what now.

Is my Lightroom catalog falling a part? Is my harddrive failing?

Some info:

My Images are in USB hard drive.
My catalog is macbook hard drive.

Most images are NEF.

OS: Mac Os X 10.5.8 (macbook)
Lightroom: 2.6

Total number of images in Lightroom: 33013
Images in synchronized folder: 6337
missing images: 1898

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Explorer ,
Apr 01, 2010 Apr 01, 2010

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When I synchronized one folder, which contained 97 images, which are all "missing images", Lightroom says:

"some import operations were not performed.

The files already exist in the catalog."

And as result I get empty duplicate folder in folder view.

Any ideas how I could fix this? I optimized catalog, but that changed nothing.

Also, same problem with backup catalogs... 😠

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Explorer ,
Apr 01, 2010 Apr 01, 2010

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Curiouser and curiouser!

I converted one of those missing 97 missing images to DNG and conversion went OK. (remove original, don't embed original RAW file.)

After that I synchronized that folder and again LR said there were 97 missing images. Although this time LR imported the DNG file and now I have two identically named folders in LR. Original folder contains 97 images (including DNG, which LR still thinks is missing) and other folder only contains the DNG file (Which was just imported, so it's not missing.).

I don't understand...

Edit: (I also tried selecting all images and then export as catalog, but problem persisted with new catalog).

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Explorer ,
Apr 01, 2010 Apr 01, 2010

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Now I'm actually a bit afraid.

I selected Synchronize folder to my root folder in Lightroom, just to see how much images LR thinks I'm missing.

LR said there are 27420 new images (correct figure is probably something like 2000)
and continued there are 10718 missing images... (every missing image I checked works, I can edit and export them, and show in finder shows correct image, so none of them seem to be really missing.)

There are now 35220 images in my library and that's probably also the number of images in my folder structure.

What can I do?

This shows well what I hate in Lightroom. When one notices that catalog file is corrupted, backups may not help because roots of corruption may be too far a way.

Saving metadata to files may help somewhat, but there is always some information that cannot be saved to files.

Thank god I have used collections mainly on temporary  basis, because now it really seems that collections should not be used to really organise images, because collection data really cannot be backuped.

Sorry if this seem to turn to a bit bitter, but I'd just like to get my database fixed and working again. I don't dare  to work with obviously broken database, although it seems to work to some extent.

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Explorer ,
Apr 05, 2010 Apr 05, 2010

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And weird results just seem to increase. I have folder 2009 which contains 01, 02, ..., 12 folders (one folder for one month), but not any individual images. Every subfolder contains subsubfolders based on date and short description. These  subsubfolders contain images. (E.g. folder path is like: Photos/2009/05/20090515_1_photowalk/)

When I go through every monthly subfolder, and synchronize folder, Lightroom thinks six of those folders have missing images and seven folders have images which are not imported yet. Total number of missing images is 1646 images, which I can all locate and edit through Lightroom. Total number of images to be imported is 2639. But if I go to folder 2009 and select synchronize folder, I get 2840 images to import, although there should be same number as all individual folders together... And most of those images LR wants to import cannot be imported because they already exist in library.

Any ideas how to fix catalog without losing collection data and virtual copies?

I could import create new catalog and import all images to it, and then I could export virtual copies from current catalog as raw files (NEF/DNG?) and import them to new catalog. Somehow that just seems awkward solution, at least regarding virtual copies, and I would still lose all collection data.

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Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2010 Apr 07, 2010

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Ok... Problem might have roots in folder naming.

I removed scandinavian ä characters from folder name and after that LR correctly said those images in renamed folder were missing and showed the missing image badge in thumbnail. After I located images through it, those located images work correctly. Too bad ä (and ö) is (are) fairly common letter in finnish.

Quick test also shows that renaming folder in LR to remove letter ä from folder name fixes this problem. Too bad I already created new catalog and imported all images to it. Anyway, my trust to original library is broken, even if I'd be able  to fix it with fairly small job. Also my trust to Lightroom got a small scratch.

I still don't understand why this happened...

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New Here ,
Aug 23, 2014 Aug 23, 2014

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I also had this problem in catalogue and tried to fix for long time but could not, i thought no way to do better than leave it

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2010 Apr 14, 2010

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Edit>Preferences>Import

Make sure the check box for "Treat JPEG files next to RAW files as Seperate photos" is checked.  I had the same problem after setting this to import from my camera so I didn't see both the jpg and the raw files on the camera. I sync'd my collection, noticed more than 1300 missing files, could explore to them, could manipulate them, then realized that setting. Reset it, re-sync'd and the files were no longer missing...

Downside was that now I have a whole bunch of dng's and raw files that state the sidecar file is missing, although it's a quick click on the '?' and it resolves but leaves the filename.dng+jpg in the filename ...

Check please ...

TT

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 17, 2016 Mar 17, 2016

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Thank you! Fixed my problems of 'missing' JPGs next to DNGs

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Explorer ,
May 05, 2018 May 05, 2018

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Thank you!  The "Treat JPGs as separate from raws" was unchecked in my Lightroom Classic CC prefs and that's were it was showing files as missing that were on disk and recognized by lightroom. Simply rechecking that pref and re-syncing showed no more missing photos!   YEA!

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2010 Jun 04, 2010

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Hi, I have the same problem. LR says I am missing 3325 photos from my 2010 folder which has 4565 photos. it says on the "catalog" section 'missing photos from folder 2010'. I tried changing the folder 2010 to say 1910 and when I restart LR, it still shows missing photos from folder 2010. which is weird because I dont have folder 2010 anymore. Any suggestions? Thanks

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 04, 2010 Jun 04, 2010

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dachan,

Did you change the name of the folder inside of LR or outside of LR?  Anytime you make changes to the folder structure or naming outside of LR, LR has no way of knowing what you did until you relink it, so it is usually best to change things inside LR.

John

John G. Blair Studio

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New Here ,
Jun 05, 2010 Jun 05, 2010

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Hi John,

Initially when I found out about the problem, I changed the folder name inside LR. Then restarted LR but it still showed photos missing from the "old folder" after renaming it. what I did wasI made a new catalogue and imported from the old catalogue. It messed up some of the order of my files though.

dennis

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 04, 2010 Jul 04, 2010

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Same problem here: Photos get shown as "missing" but when I rightclick on "Show in Finder" they are where they are supposed to be. Have a German LR3 but no Umlaute (ö,ä, ü) in my folders/images/descriptions.

Seems like bug. Would be nice if someone from Adobe could confirm it.

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New Here ,
Jan 14, 2012 Jan 14, 2012

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I just had the same problem in LR3 and had me equally concerned since it was in my main database with over 100K images. In my case I tracked it down to the fact that I had changed some of the root folders' capitalization (i.e. 'Photos' to 'photos'). I did the folder renaming within LR, and it was still tracking all of the images successfully (like you said - there was no missing file symbol, and editing, exporting, and 'show in finder' all still worked).  Just seems that some of the catalog systems never got the memo...

I fixed it by renaming the folders back their the original name, but appending a temporary character (so the program would see the rename as more than just a capitalization change*), followed by a secondary rename to the desired lowercase name.  !Et voila!

Not sure if this will help your exact situation, but it could be related. Hopefully you've found a solution by now

*a tedious workaround I've learned is necessary when making capitalization changes in Finder, which must be only 'semi' case-sensitive...

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New Here ,
May 21, 2013 May 21, 2013

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I have the same problem Did any of you find a solution? In my case it is related with accentuated characters, as I explain here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/5337560#5337560

Any help would be appreciated.

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New Here ,
Aug 01, 2013 Aug 01, 2013

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I'm having the same problem with LR 5.  I guess they never fixed the issue.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2014 May 05, 2014

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I have the same problem, please help!

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New Here ,
May 18, 2014 May 18, 2014

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I've been having this problem on and off for a while now and while I was perusing through this forum I noticed that the photos would appear on my search screen but when the process had finished they would then mysteriously disappear.

What I observed was that I had understandably ticked "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" which you would think would be a logical thing to do - but presto, once I deselected this option the photos were inserted back into their appropriate folders.

Maybe LR may be presuming that the images are there already and that our subsequent searches are merely duplicates - very strange indeed.

Hope this helps.

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2014 Sep 08, 2014

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This issue has been around for quite some time. I found a "fix" that worked on my machine although I cannot guarantee it will help other people.

So the setup I had is similar to the one mentioned in original post:

Pictures: located on external HDD connected through USB

Catalog: located on internal drive

Symptoms

     1. If I import the pictures from some location on external HDD it appears at the root of the catalog, not in the location I specified during the import.

     2. When clicking on "synchronize folder" for folders that existed in my catalog before I have a dialog that shows NNN pictures missing and exactly NNN pictures ready to be imported

     3. Clicking "Reveal in Finder" takes me to the correct location

     4. Clicking "Library -> Find all missing photos" shows 0 missing photos

     5. Reverting the catalog from an "uncorrupted" backup doesn't help

What helped in my case

1. Start the Lightroom with your external drive connected

2. Check that the issue is still there by clicking "synchronize" on one of old folders and seeing obscure numbers like e.g. 760 photos missing 762 photos to be imported

3. Go to Finder and eject your external hard drive

4. All the pictures that were on external drive should now be marked as missing in Lightroom

5. Reconnect your external drive

6. Ligthroom should recognize it immediately and all the pictures are no longer missing

7. Check that the issue is gone by clicking "synchronize" on one of old folders and seeing reasonable numbers like e.g. 0 photos missing, 2 photos to be imported

Hope that helps.

Since I'm not sure how adobe forum notifications work, I'll mention some people from this thread in this message

inhathanh, lr101, flowerdealer, MatthewTurley, freemind42

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 21, 2014 Sep 21, 2014

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Wow,

This so worked for me as well. I was already ready to toss LR and try to cope with Aperture (which is far better in many areas but lacking in others), but now I can give LR another chance...

Thank you so much!

BR. Toni

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Contributor ,
Jun 10, 2015 Jun 10, 2015

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Too bad this didn't seem to help me – I'm still having 228 photos in "Missing Photographs". I don't have any photos as missing or to be imported when using Synchronize Folder, though, so I guess my missing photographs are a bit different then.

Hope there would be a solution to get those not-really-missing photos not show up in "Missing Photographs".

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2015 Jun 27, 2015

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So I had a similar problem and was able to "fix" it.  My situation was almost exactly the same as the OP, but my photos live in a folder under control of Dropbox.  In my situation, I'm assuming it has something to do with dropbox, but I'm not 100% sure.  Here is what I did to fix it:

1.  In Lightroom, export the problem folder to a new catalog.  It copied all the images located within, both raw and jpg, to a new location and created a new catalog file.  Open the catalog to make sure everything looks complete and is all there.  This is just kind of my way of backing these specific photos up, so I can still have all my collections, edit history and develop settings, ratings and flags, etc.  Luckily I have XMP sidecars also, but that only gets you so far on its own.

2.  Go ahead and synchronize the folder, despite the fact that it wants to remove all your photos and re-import them.  Really the only reason we move ahead with this is to reveal the problem.  Since I have the photos backed up (sort-of) in the other catalog I made in step 1, I'm only doing this to reveal the problem.  In my case, I had my photos in a folder called "X100T" inside a folder called "Photos".  When I synchronized, I noticed Lightroom was putting them in a different folder, called "photos" (notice the lower case P).

SO, now I know why there is a problem.  Finder shows the folder with a capital P, but for some reason, Lightroom thinks they are in a folder with a lower case p.

3.  Stop the synchronization and remove the newly imported photos from Lightroom, including the folder that it created.

4.  Rename the folder (within Lightroom) to whatever the synchronization revealed.  Just make lightroom happy and change the folder name to what it tried to import them under.

5.  Import photos from Catalog.  Choose the backup catalog we made in step 1.  It's going to place them in a new folder since the export process copied all the photos to a new location.

6.  Update folder location (within Lightroom) from newly imported photos from the backup catalog to the original folder (in my case, the "X100T" folder inside of the lower case p "photos" folder).

7.  Try the synchronization again.  It SHOULD now work properly.

*8.  Rename (within Lightroom) back to the preferred folder name.  This step is optional and not really required.  I'm leaving it as is in my case, because something is doing this in the background any way, so might as well just let it be and deal with the lower case p.

When doing this process, be careful!  None of the steps should be done from Finder or Windows Explorer.  Everything described above should be performed WITHIN LIGHTROOM.

This is weird, because somehow, there was a change made to the folder naming on my hard drive.  The problem was, that I could see no symptoms of the problem, until going forward with the synchronization.  I can't nail down how the change got made (I definitely did not make it), but I can only assume dropbox somehow did this in the background?  Maybe it doesn't like capital letters, even though they show up that way everywhere I look.

This drove me nuts for a couple days, so hopefully this can help someone figure out why Lightroom thinks photos are missing when they really aren't!

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Contributor ,
Jul 24, 2015 Jul 24, 2015

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I think my problem is now solved as well. Went ahead as owlcavestudios‌ and exported the problem folder to a new catalog. Then deleted the problem folder, then Import from Another Catalog and lastly moved the new folder to the old place.

I don't know if anything went missing because of this (I guess if any photos were part of any catalog, that would not work anymore, maybe) but no more Missing Photographs on Catalog tab. Hurray!

One things for others to know: I first tried without deleting the problem folder and choosing Update Folder Location for the new temporary one but then something weird happened (could not choose the folder anymore even though could see the photos in All Photographs tab) and in the end deleting the problem folder and just moving the new temporary one to old place made it all work.

Thanks for all!

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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Thanks a lot. this helped solve a tricky problem for me with LR CC.

I had just restored my photos from my backup and for some reason few of the folders had the first letter in capital.

I didn't actually do what you suggested, but it gave me the direction. I just changed the case of the letter in the folder name and all was good.

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