I recently got a new external drive and moved my photos from the previous external drive to the new drive in Lightroom Classic (not Explorer). The folder structure looks like this:
E:\Original Photos\Elements Photos
The folder called Original Photos contains about 14K individual photos as well as the 3 subfolders I listed. When I opened LR Classic I saw that all of the photos were missing. I have been able to 'find' and reconnect the 3 subfolders, but the 14K individual photos are still 'missing.' When I click on an individual photo to find the missing photo, it is looking at E:\ for the photos, not E:\Original Photos. I've tried using the Find Missing Photos feature but nothing happens (I even let it run overnight). Any advice on how to find those photos without having to find each individual photo?
Not sure what you mean by "missing". Can you explain in a lot more detail? Is there an exclamation point icon on the photos? Is there a question mark icon on the folders? Are the photos missing in Lightroom Classic or missing in your operating system or both or neither?
"Find Missing Photos" only searches the catalog itself. It does not search your hard disks.
The photos are on the hard drive and were in the LRC catalog prior to moving them to the new external drive, which was done within LRC. Now the photos are on the new hard drive but in LRC, there are 14K photos with the exclamation mark and "Photo is missing" appears when I mouse over the exclamation mark. So, they are missing in LRC but not on my hard drive.
If I click on the exclamation mark, a window pops up that says:
"DSC00043.JPG" could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?
Previous location: E:\DSC00043.JPG
I can click on Locate and change the location to E:\Original Photos and find the photo. I have done that about 50 times but don't really want to do it 14K times.
You can right click on a folder and use Find Missing Folder for the top level folders.
Hi Sean - Thank you for your response. Find Missing Folder isn't an option when I right click on either E:\ or E:\Original Photos. It was an option for the 2021 and 2022 subfolders and worked like a charm!
These are the options I see when I right-click on E:\ and E:\Original Photos that might help (but I'm afraid to click on them):
Create Folder Inside "E:"
Hide This Parent
Update Folder Location
Import to this Folder
You could potentially use Hide This Parent on Original Photos and it would only show the lower level folders like 2021, 2022 and Elements Photos (assuming you don't have photos in the Original Photos folder). You can right click on these folders where Show Parent folder would have become an option.
The problem is that the 14,000 photos are in the Original Photos folder. I don't understand why I was able to right click on 2022 and 2021 and Elements Photos folders and use Find Missing Folder to reconnect those folders but it isn't an option for the Original Photos folder. The folder structure on the old external drive is exactly the same.
It's because they're child folders.. Maybe try moving the subfolders out of Original Photos (in Lightroom) and it may become an option then?
You really gave me hope there! I just tried it but it still isn't an option. What would happen if I imported those photos into LRC? Would I get duplicates?
Yep. Lightroom would think they're new files..though they may fail the 'Don't Import Suspected Duplicates' option.
Can you screen shot the folders panel?
That's saying that Lightroom isn't seeing the 14000 in Original Photos, as in they may exist on disk, but Lightroom has no connection to them. It would say 14000, not 0 if it did.
At this point, yes you could import them using ADD in import. But any settings you'd previously applied would've been gone.
If you had a recent backup, you could potentially start this process again, but using Update Folder Location from when the files were on the main drive in Lightroom.
Generally what I recommend have everything in one parent folder. Copy that folder to the new drive. Then, when the copy is complete, right click that parent folder and use Update Folder Location to point at the new drive. This means you have everything in two places during the process. You can remove the original files once you know the new location is working properly.
Hi Sean - I really appreciate your help. I ended up restoring from a recent catalog and only had to re-import a couple of days of photos. That was much easier that manually 'finding' 14,000 missing photos.
I'm glad you got sorted. I gave that option as sometimes the pain of adding a few days photos is easier than the other option, so I'm glad it worked out.