Lightroom Does Not See External Drive on New Laptop

Explorer ,
Jan 26, 2022 Jan 26, 2022

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Hello

I have been trying to do this for days and I cannot get Lightroom Classic on my new laptop to find my photos on my external drive.

I followed the steps in the Anthony Morganti video and I do not think I did anything wrong. 
Also, see attachments

1) I moved my photos from within Lightroom (drag & drop) from my old laptop (D Drive) to an external drive - which I want to keep as my main photo storage now.
2) I've installed the current version of LR Classic and copied my LR Catalog onto the new laptop.
3) I plug in the external drive with the photos
4) I double-click the correct lrcat file (I moved it to D Drive on new laptop, but that should not matter – it was on C Drive of old laptop)
5) LR opens and there is no Drive visible under Folders.
6) There is nothing listed under Folders - no drive / no folders / no photos (yes, the drive is working I can see it and the photos in Explorer)

6A) If I plug the external drive back into my old laptop LR recognizes the Drive - green/active color; photos and folders not greyed out; no exclamation/question marks
7) There is a Filter Folders box which does nothing
8) The only option is to Add Folder which then takes me to the Import Dialog and I have been warned elsewhere not to do that.
9) If I click the down arrow on Collections, my collections are visible (not greyed out) but with no photos in them “0” (I assume that this info is coming from the catalog file)
10) Troubleshooting. I have tried different ports. I have moved the Catalog onto the external drive. I have renamed the drive letter on the external drive. Yes, I know it sounds like I messed up in the troubleshooting process, but I have reverted everything to the steps above 1 to 6
11) Fortunately, I still have my photos and catalog backed up on other external drives

Thank you for any helpful advice
Andrew

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 27, 2022 Jan 27, 2022

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Hi Andrew,

 

We're sorry about the trouble with Lightroom Classic. Would you mind sharing the exact version of Lightroom Classic and the operating system you are using? Are you able to see the External drive outside of Lightroom Classic in the File Explorer?

 

Please restart Lightroom Classic and connect the External Drive and check if that helps.  Try to relink the parent folder to the drive. Also, in the Lightroom Preferences, check that Lightroom is either set to use the correct catalog, or to use the most recent catalog by going to Edit > Preferences >  General.

 

Let us know if that helps.

 

Regards,

Tarun

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 27, 2022 Jan 27, 2022

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My web browser cannot see your attachments. So I can't help, but I'd like to help. Please use the "Insert Photos" icon to include your screen captures in your reply.

 

However, a question:

 

1) I moved my photos from within Lightroom (drag & drop) from my old laptop (D Drive) to an external drive - which I want to keep as my main photo storage now.

 

Did you confirm, by looking at the drive using your operating system, that the photos are now on the external drive and are in the proper folders?

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Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2022 Jan 27, 2022

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Hi

Thank you.

Yes, the photos are on my external drive. If I plug in the external drive to my old laptop then everything is available in LR: External Drive is "green"; all folders available; no question marks; no exclamamtion marks (see first image below).

The other image is what the external drive looks like plugged into the new laptop - no photo source available.
You will probably need to zoom my images since they are small file size.

This is what I am thinking of doing:

1) Create a new folder on external drive "External Drive Test"

2) Add 1 photo from elsewhere on my new laptop to that folder
3) Open up LR and then Import that 1 photo through the normal LR Import process ("Add" that file since it is in the right place on the external drive)
I assume that this will trigger LR to see the complete external drive.
Hopefully, LR will now see all the other folders/files on the external drive and I will be able to "find missing files"  (without importing them, of course)

 

I would like someone to confirm that this process will work. Does this seem correct without causing a catalog problem or some other mess?

Thank you

Andrew


Lightroom - Old laptop.pngLightroom 1.png

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Your screen captures have text too small for me to read.

 

What if you do this: click on All Photographs, find one of the photos on the drive by searching by File Name. Then right-click on it and select Go to Folder in Library? Does a folder in the Folder Panel now get highlighted (you may have to scroll up or down to find the highlighted folder)? Does Lightroom Classic then show all the photos in that folder?

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Thank you for kind reply.

I'm not sure that would have worked since Lightroom didn't see any drive available from which to select a photo. Also, my idea above - adding a folder/file to my external drive and then importing that file did not work. LR still couldn't see any other folders on the external drive.

As it turns out, I solved the problem but I have no idea how or why there was a problem.
I went back to square one. I uninstalled LR; deleted my catalog from new laptop and reformatted (thus deleted my photos) from my external drive.
I reninstalled LR, copied the photos and catalog onto the external drive and then I exactly followed the video tutorial above and it worked...well...mostly worked.

For some reason even after going back to square one (Windows? LR? Drive?) was creating new folders and/or changing names that I simply still do not understand and is too confusing to even try to explain. You'd have to see it to believe it.

Something like it was saying that I had a "G Folder" on my external drive which I absolutely never made - my external drive was plugged into my G Drive on my old laptop when I copied my photos onto it.
Also, after reformatting my external drive and copying the photos onto it again and plugging it into the new laptop, LR? the Drive? Windows? was still showing the name of a top-level folder previous to the reformat. It should never had been there since I reformatted the drive.
I clicked the top-most parent folder and the "? marks" did not go away. Then I clicked the "G Folder" under the parent folder and was prompted that the Folders already exist in LR do you want to merge so I clicked yes and then had to do that again with another folder until I only have the parent folder visible. I do not even know that I am explaining all the steps correctly.

As it stands now, LR looks stable and like it is behaving correctly. Metadata is there etc.
I'm a little concerned, but I'm not convinced that I have some virus or serious bug to worry about. Just something very odd that was going on. I'll guess I'll know for sure after some time with the new laptop and LR and then again in 3 to 5 years when I need to do this all over again.

This thread can be closed and it probably will not be much use to anyone else.

Thank you again

Andrew

 

 

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