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Mac volume nightmare

New Here ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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I am experiencing a nighmarish problem with my library.

Every two or three months, the Mac OS file system (apparently) decides to change the way it identifies the  external disk with all my pictures. As a consequence, Lightroom sees all pictures in the catalog as missing. Last time it happened, I spent months reconneting pictures - the way it works, when you show it the path to a picture, it reconnects pictures from the same date. So I had to do it for every date,

Now it happened again. There doesn't seem a way to tell Lightroom that all pictures are actually in the same disk as always, and that the  paths are the same, so it can reconnect everything automatically. Or is there? I don't want to spend months reconneting images, for this to happen again and again. Even if this seems to be an OS problem, there should be an easier way to fix it, right?
Any tips? Thanks!

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LEGEND ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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This is an external drive right?  I'm also on a Mac; I've never seen this. It almost sounds like a drive issue (dismounting or something). 

 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2022 Dec 03, 2022

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I don't see this either on my Mac. All my images are on a big external drive. It's also unlikely that MacOS disk handling has anything to do with this. Lightroom does not use the more sophisticated method to identify disks that MacOS uses, it uses a simple path with the disk name in it. That means you can easily change to a backup disk by just changing the name of the backup disk so it's the same as the original disk. Lightroom will never know what you did, not even if that backup disk has a different capacity!

 

So if Lightroom suddenly loses the connection to the images, there is something in that path that changed. Or there is something wrong with access permissions. Did you give Lightroom Classic full disk access (Quick Tips: How to give Full Disk Access to Lightroom Classic on macOS)?

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Dec 03, 2022 Dec 03, 2022

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Every two or three months, the Mac OS file system (apparently) decides to change the way it identifies the external disk with all my pictures.

 

Specifically, what changes? Give details.

 

As a consequence, Lightroom sees all pictures in the catalog as missing. Last time it happened, I spent months reconneting pictures - the way it works, when you show it the path to a picture, it reconnects pictures from the same date. So I had to do it for every date,

 

You should be able to reconnect entire "trees" of folders by reconnecting the parent folder. See Figure 4 here.

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New Here ,
Dec 03, 2022 Dec 03, 2022

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Specifically, what changes? Give details.

 

Basically, the system sees the drive as a new, different one even if of course it's tthe same. In fact, in the hard drives section of Lightroom classic, the drive appears listed three times. In the Mac finder, when you call it from withing Lighrtroom, the "old identity" appears with a "forbidden" sign, The user-assigned name (Macintosh HD or whatever) is the same, but it's clear that the system and Lightroom at some point decided that it's a new drive and then a new drive again. In 20+ years using Mac, this is something that happened every now and then, but usually the consequences are much less important that in an app like Lightroom that relies on paths to thousands of files.


You should be able to reconnect entire "trees" of folders by reconnecting the parent folder. See Figure 4 here.

 

Thank you so much, I'll try that.

 

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New Here ,
Dec 03, 2022 Dec 03, 2022

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I now see in disk first aid that there is somethihg called "Mount point". This changed first from "Disk name" to "Disk Name 1" and now to Disk Name 2"

Unfortunately, finding missing folders won't work becauee Lightroom shows me the "old" drive as having 150000 missing pictures and all folders missing and the new drive with no missing folders but no pictures in them (because they are linked to the "old" drive). So if I reconnect the folder in the "new" drive in will reconnect to nothing.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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Strange. I have indeed seen such a mount point problem a few times, but not in the last ten years or so. What you could try is manually rename the disk using the Finder. That should make it possible to relink missing folders to it, because now this should be a new disk for Lightroom.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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I used to see this problem (multiple mount points for the same disk) in older versions of Mac OS X but haven't seen this in a long time. It also happened only with very specific external drives. The solution at the time was to unmount the drive and then manually delete the ghost entries in /Volumes from the commandline or through finder (use the command-shift-G shortcut to navigate to /Volumes). Then reboot the machine and reconnect the drive. This should clean up all the ghost versions of the disk. I think this is happening because the drive disconnects itself when your machine goes to sleep and then doesn't reconnect fast enough for mac os x to notice and then thinks it is a whole new drive. There used to be a setting in the energy saver system preference panel that has disappeared with Ventura that had some influence on this about putting disks to sleep or not.

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