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Moving lightroom catalog to a new drive - all photos present, but without any folder structure

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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I've moved my lightroom catalog from my current external drive (drive D) to my new and larger one (drive F). Before this I've moved all my RAW files by copying them over, so right now I have everything doubly backed up.

I exported the catalog choosing the "export as catalog", and after over 24hrs it was exported with a warning that it couldnt find the preview for 900-ish photos. As ive understood this isnt a problem. 

When opening the catalog in drive F, all my photos (48.000 something) turned up in lightroom, edits and all, but with none of the folder structure. Right before moving the catalog i cleaned it up in drive D by sorting the images under LIGHTROOM -> *year* (ex 2022), -> the individual folders for the date of each shoot. 

As of now, all the photos turn up together without any folder at all. What have happened here? Is it because i changed the folder structure before exporting the new catalog, and that the RAW folder structure isnt the same? 

Also, when opening the original lightroom catalog on drive D i need to find missing folder for all the folders in lightroom. I did not get this before exporting. All the RAWs are still there. Any ideas as to what have caused this? 

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LEGEND ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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I exported the catalog choosing the "export as catalog", and after over 24hrs it was exported with a warning that it couldnt find the preview for 900-ish photos. As ive understood this isnt a problem.

 

Not a necessary step.

 

When opening the catalog in drive F, all my photos (48.000 something) turned up in lightroom, edits and all, but with none of the folder structure. 

 

I am somewhat confused by this, it is unclear to me exactly what you did. The part about "opening the catalog in drive F" is clear, although once you start talking about "none of the folder structure" ... I feel like either I don't understand what you mean, or you have left out steps from your description that could cause this. LrC will not do this on its own.

 

Question: did you, after opening the catalog in drive F, import the PHOTOS (not import the catalog using File->Import from Another Catalog) into LrC?

 

Right before moving the catalog i cleaned it up in drive D by sorting the images under LIGHTROOM -> *year* (ex 2022), -> the individual folders for the date of each shoot.

 

Again, I am confused. What does "cleaned it up in drive D" mean, what are the exact steps, in detail, that you did. "Sorting images under Lightroom -> " Perhaps your meaning of the word "sorting" is different than the way I understand this word, but the way I understand the word "sorting", the folder locations and file names remain unchanged, only the order the files are displayed changes. But you tell me ... what exact steps did you follow to do this sorting?

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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First question: I double clicked the lrcat-file, which opened up lightroom. All the photos were there in the "all photos" folder when lightroom started up. I did not import anything. 

Second question: dragged and dropped the photos and folders into this structure: Main folder "Lightroom" -> Subfolders *year* which are then again divided into subfolders for individual dates. This also changed the position of the rawfiles, as they are now sorted in the same manner, which is way more clean than what I used to have. 

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LEGEND ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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dragged and dropped the photos and folders into this structure: Main folder "Lightroom" -> Subfolders *year* which are then again divided into subfolders for individual dates. This also changed the position of the rawfiles, as they are now sorted in the same manner, which is way more clean than what I used to have.

 

So you have moved the files to a new location. To me, this is not sorting, but anyway, I think I understand what you did. However, this should not cause the symptoms you describe in LrC, where all photos have "none of the folder structure"; but again your words may mean one thing to you and another thing to me. By doing this moving of files into folders using your operating system, LrC will not display the files in their new folders. Does LrC show the files in the old folders, in other words, whatever the folder arrangement of the files was before you did this???

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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On my old D-drive, the files and folders show like they are meant to be. On the new F-drive LrC doesent show any folder at all. The photos just show up under "all photographs" under the "catalog" menu on the left side og LrC's window. 

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LEGEND ,
Sep 22, 2023 Sep 22, 2023

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Yes, this is how LrC is supposed to work. LrC does not know you have moved the photos around into different  folders using your operating system.

 

I don't think there is an easy way to fix this, but the instructions here could be used one new F drive folder at a time, if you want to do that. https://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

 

I think a better approach is to not do this re-arranging of photos in your operating system. If you have backups of the photos in the old folder structure (or they still exist in the old folder structure on the D: drive), use that. Move all the photos from D: to F: without re-arranging them at all. Now, a simple action will cause them to be re-connected in LrC (see Figure 4 at the link I gave). Once they are reconnected, you can do this re-arranging in LrC, not in Windows Explorer, if you really want (but I recommend you don't bother, see below).

 

Even so, I think re-arranging the photos into folders by year and date is not a good use of your time. A better use of your time is to making sure all photos have appropriate keywords and other metadata, then do all of your searching by keywords and other metadata.

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2023 Oct 21, 2023

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So, now the D-drive and F-drive are the same when it comes to the files and so on. Opening lightroom now, the F-drive doesent show in there. 

My question now is just so I dont do things in the wrong order: Do I open the catalog  simply by double clicking on its icon where it is at the F-drive now? Will that open it in lightroom and make the program recognize the F-drive? 

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