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Opening files on new external hard drive - still unresolved

New Here ,
Oct 30, 2022 Oct 30, 2022

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Hi, I have written about this before but still haven't been able to resolve how I access photos I transferred over to new external hard drive. I know it has to do with the catalogue, that the photos that were in a catalogue when they were on the older hard drive are no longer on any catalogue on the new hard drive but I'm unable to fix the problem.

I've tried the Update Folder Location many times but nothing happens. The Find Missing Folder command no longer seems to be available. Somewhere I saw the advice to place the ircat files in the new hard drive so I tried that but nothing happened.

Everything remains perfectly organized and in place when I look at the new hard drive on Finder: under Photographs I have annual folders for each year from 2006 to 2022 and in those annual folders I have all the folders I created by downloading photos during that year. And if I open any of those folders and say I want to open a photo, even using LrC to do so, I can see the photo in question (and all the others). When I say I want to open a photo in LrC it brings up the Copy screen and suddenly all my folders and all my photos are there on the left hand of the screen. If, however, I just copy one photo into its own file and then go back to Library, everything disappears and I'm exactly where I was before, except with that one photo now available to view.

So, does this mean that I have to go through this process and Copy from my new Toshiba hard drive over to the same folder on my Toshiba hard drive, and do this for every single folder from the last 16 years? Copy is defined as copying to a new location and adding to catalogue - but I would be copying to same location and, presumably, finally, adding to catalogue. Is that the onerous solution?

When on this screen, I can also change from Copy to Add and then the destination becomes My Catalog. That seems to be what I need to do but do I need to do it at the level of the folders that actually contain photos, rather than the folders (annual, in my case) that contain folders of photos. It would be simpler if I could just go to the parent folder, Photographs, but there are also only 16 annual folders and adding at that level would be fine. I just don't want to lose the file structure that I've set up on this new Toshiba hard drive, since that was one of the points of putting 16 years worth of photos on this one hard drive.

This is driving me a bit crazy and in my attempts to solve this problem I've now lost 'sight' of the other older hard drive I have connected to this computer. No idea what I did that has caused it to disappear from view under Source on the left hand side, but one problem at a time....

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 30, 2022 Oct 30, 2022

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Are you aware of,

https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic-discussions/lightroom-classic-12-0-1-is-now-availab...

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.7.1 BigSur,; LrC 12.0.1, Lr 6.0, Ps 24.0, ACR 15.0,; Camera OM-D E-M1

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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I wasn't aware of the new version but have now downloaded it. Unfortunately, it does nothing to resolve my problem.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Tried "Update Folder Location" on what folders? The old folders on the old hard drive?

 

And if so, then what did you do? Did you select the corresponding folder on the new external drive? If so, the folders should appear in LrC as being on the new external drive.

 

Show us a screen captures or screen captures to illustrate the problem. Use the "Insert Photos" icon, do not attach files.

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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No, not the old folders on the old hard drive. As I mentioned, I 'lost' the one old drive I have connected to my computer. It no longer appears on the left hand side under Source. I just tried Add Folder, under Source, and I can Add the Photograph folder and sub-folders to My Catalog. If I do that I'd think that then I'd again be able to see it under Source in the left hand column and then I can do as I think you're suggesting: try Update Folder Location on the old hard drive and then select the corresponding folder on the new hard drive.

Should I Add the folder and sub-folders from my old hard drive to My Catalog? (They were obviously in it before but in my attempts to be able to access folders and file in the new hard drive, I must have managed to remove them.)

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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No, not the old folders on the old hard drive. As I mentioned, I 'lost' the one old drive I have connected to my computer. 

 

The old folders on the old hard drive should still appear in your Folder Panel in Lightroom Classic. That's where you have to operate and use either Find Missing Folder or Update Folder Location.

 

It no longer appears on the left hand side under Source. 

 

You are looking in the wrong place. It will not appear under Source (which is in the Import dialog box). You look in the Folder Panel, your old folders on the old drive will be there.

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Sorry. Wrong term. The old drive does not appear in my Folder Panel any longer. God knows what I did. That's why I'm asking if I should complete the Add to My Catalog process that came up when I clicked on Add Folder, hoping to find it again.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Add folder to catalog will not help with folders that have been moved.

 

Find a backup of your catalog file before these issues happened. Use that, the folders of interest will be in the Folder Panel, and then you can either "Update Folder Location" or "Find Missing Folder" and connect these folders to the catalog.

 

In addition, I want you to do a search in the LrC catalog to find one of these photos by file name. Perform all 4 of these steps in order using LrC, and then report back.

  1.  Click on "All Photographs"
  2.  Turn off all filters
  3.  Turn off stacking (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
  4.  Search by file name for one of these photos in the LrC filter bar.

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New Here ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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I believe I made matters worse when I followed some advice from another source, to put my current catalog(s) in a new folder called Old Catalogs and then to drop those old/current catalogs into my new hard drive. Nothing much happened when I did that except that LrC could seemingly no longer find any catalog and had to start from scratch, which meant that I had a 4 MB catalog. I've gone back to the Old Catalogs folder I created and have dropped the old catalogs back in LrC. That has repopulated my left hand column: I can see my old hard drive that is connected and also a couple hard drives that aren't currently connected (obviously can't access files but can see greyed out listing of hard drives and number of photos within).

Then I did as you suggested, and used Find Missing Folder on those folders in my old hard drive that had a question mark. That worked. On those folders in the old hard drive that didn't have question marks I used Update Folder Location and found the corresponding folder on the new hard drive and used it. That also worked. While it was time consuming to do this one folder of photos at a time, it did seem to work, although given that I relocated over 7,000 photos in an hour or so, I'm now concerned that I went through the command for each folder too quickly and that the two external hard drives couldn't keep up. I have a number (most) of folders where it says there are 75 or 325, etc photos but only the first 30 will open up. In Library mode the remaining photos, 30 through 76, say, are listed and numbered but they are grey, as if they haven't loaded properly. Because I apparently successfully relocated all these folders I can't go back and do this again because they no longer show up on the old hard drive. I did try to update folder location with a couple of these partially loaded folders on the new hard drive and chose the exact same folder on the new hard drive, thinking that if it has included the first 30 photos in that folder it should be able to recognize the rest, but it doesn't work.

I'm getting so sick of all of this that I'm wondering if I would be better off to uninstall the LrC app and then reload it, so that I could start with a blank slate, if possible. Would this new download of the app be able to 'see' the storage devices (my external hard drives) and the photos within and be able to add them all to a brand new catalog? Wouldn't that be the situation if I had been using a different photo editor and then switched to LrC?

* I did do the search that you added on to your last note. It works, it locates the photo in its folder, whether it is a folder in a disconnected hard drive or one connected. However, in the case of my connected drives, if I search for one of the photos that is greyed out, an empty frame, it again shows me which folder it is in but it still is unable to load the photo so that I can see it.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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"I'm getting so sick of all of this that I'm wondering if I would be better off to uninstall the LrC app and then reload it, so that I could start with a blank slate, if possible. Would this new download of the app be able to 'see' the storage devices (my external hard drives) and the photos within and be able to add them all to a brand new catalog?"

There is no need to uninstall and reinstall the app to do this. Just create a new catalog, that is all. And yes, of course Lightroom will be able to add all the photos on all your hard disks to this new catalog. It would be just like you started to use Lightroom for the first time. That's also the biggest disadvantage of  'solving' a problem like this. Because it's just like starting to use Lightroom for the first time, you will not see any edits that you made in the past. Everything is like starting for the first time, so that will also apply to your editing...

 

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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Okay. Thanks. I still have another question from my last post:

"I'm now concerned that I went through the command for each folder too quickly and that the two external hard drives couldn't keep up. I have a number (most) of folders where it says there are 75 or 325, etc photos but only the first 30 will open up. In Library mode the remaining photos, 30 through 76, say, are listed and numbered but they are grey, as if they haven't loaded properly. Because I apparently successfully relocated all these folders I can't go back and do this again because they no longer show up on the old hard drive. I did try to update folder location with a couple of these partially loaded folders on the new hard drive and chose the exact same folder on the new hard drive, thinking that if it has included the first 30 photos in that folder it should be able to recognize the rest, but it doesn't work."

I have confirmed that most of the folders that I did Update Folder Location only have 28 or 29 actual photo files. I've been doing some more of this from another older hard drive and now see that if I slow down and wait until I can see every thumbnail before I command Update Folder Location then I am able to fully download each image and all thumbnails show up in the same folder on the new hard drive.

That's great to know for me going forward but how do I recapture all the thumbnails that I have 'lost'. I have some data for each grey thumbnail frame, like the file number and the size of the image behind the thumbnail but I don't see the thumbnail and I cannot open the photo file.

Also, because I have updated the folder location, all these folders, with missing thumbnails, are on the new hard drive and are no longer visible on the old hard drive. With each Update Folder Location the folder in question disappears from the old hard drive list and shows up on the new hard drive's list of folders.

In other words, I can't just go through the Update Folder Location process again because the folders are no longer in place on the old drive. Any suggestions as to how I can access the additional data I need for each of the missing thumbnails so that I can see them and process them, etc?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 02, 2022 Nov 02, 2022

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I'm sorry but I have lost any overview I may have had by now. It's unclear to me what you already have done and what you haven't done yet. Drives can normally catch up with you just fine, but as long as Lightroom is showing empty thumbnails I would keep all drives connected. Lightroom can't update a preview if it can't access the image (and does not have a smart preview as alternative). It also has a nasty habit of not updating previews that are not visible in the grid. So it can sit idle for hours, and then when you scroll down in the grid it all of a sudden needs to update the previews before it can show you the next bunch. If you disconnected the images in the meantime, you'll see empty thumbnails again even though you think Lightroom had time enough to deal with that.

 

Don't mess around with using 'Update Folder Location' again and again in order to to try to update previews. That's not how this works. The 'Update Folder Location' has one simple function: to tell Lightroom the current location of a folder in case it is still linked to an old copy of that folder. It is very similar to 'Find Missing Folder', except that the folder isn't missing but there are two copies and you want Lightroom to use the other copy. That means that the old copy of such folder won't be visible in Lightroom anymore and should not be. So don't try to add it "to let Lightroom remember something" either. And if there is still a problem, use screenshots to illustrate what's going on. A screenshots says more that a thousand words.

 

Work through this step by step. Make sure you understand what you do and why you do it. Lightroom is a powerful app, but it can be daunting at times, so sometimes it may be better to sit back and read an instruction book than to dive in head first and try all sorts of things without really knowing what you do or why you do it. Get the Lightroomqueen book if you do have it yet: https://www.lightroomqueen.com

 

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Nov 02, 2022 Nov 02, 2022

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Drives can normally catch up with you just fine, but as long as Lightroom is showing empty thumbnails I would keep all drives connected. Lightroom can't update a preview if it can't access the image (and does not have a smart preview as alternative). It also has a nasty habit of not updating previews that are not visible in the grid. So it can sit idle for hours, and then when you scroll down in the grid it all of a sudden needs to update the previews before it can show you the next bunch. If you disconnected the images in the meantime, you'll see empty thumbnails again even though you think Lightroom had time enough to deal with that....

Hi Johan, If you've lost all overview you can only imagine where I'm at. Anyway, this part of your reply above does seem to capture my situation. Because I was trying to go through dozens of folders with Update Folder Location as quickly as possible, I did not linger on the old folder location or scroll down so that every preview/thumbnail opened up before I clicked on Update Folder Location and chose the corresponding folder in the new hard drive.

Later, after realizing what had happened, I continued the process but made a point of scrolling down through every photo in the folder on the old disk, so that every thumbnail was visible, before clicking Update Folder Location. And doing so worked, every image shows up. It just takes a lot longer.

The bad news is that I have most of a year worth of folders that I raced through where I only have the first 28 images available. I kept all drives connected and left the computer on overnight but nothing has changed. If I try to develop any of the greyed out thumbnails I'm told the File is not available. I know that these photo files are still on the old disk so I'm assuming that I will have to create a new catalog and place the photos from the old disk in it if I want to access all the photos that did not make it to the new hard drive.

In the meantime, I have signed up with the Lightroom Queen and will download her book. Perhaps after reading it I will know whether it will be possible to get all the photos on my new hard drive in my current catalog and make them accessible to me.

Thanks for your help. While I'm still floundering I do know more now than I did at the beginning of this process. I had thought that the time-consuming part of the process was Finder copying all these folders and photos onto the hard drive but it looks like the Updating of the Folder(s) location is going to take just as long again.

(I am curious as to whether I should have used a different process from the beginning, if I had come to the Forum and said that I wanted to copy folders of photos from three old hard drives onto one new one, would you recommend a different process than copying all photos with Finder and then using LrC to update the hundred of folder locations?)

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 02, 2022 Nov 02, 2022

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LATEST

"I know that these photo files are still on the old disk so I'm assuming that I will have to create a new catalog and place the photos from the old disk in it if I want to access all the photos that did not make it to the new hard drive."

 

No, that is not what you need to do. There is no point in creating a new catalog, you need to reconnect the images in your current catalog. Why didn't these photos make it to the new drive? If these photos are in one or more specific folders, then copy these folders (in the Finder) to the new drive after all, and then in Lightroom use the 'Update Folder Location' menu to link the folders in Lightroom to the new location.

 

"I am curious as to whether I should have used a different process from the beginning, if I had come to the Forum and said that I wanted to copy folders of photos from three old hard drives onto one new one, would you recommend a different process than copying all photos with Finder and then using LrC to update the hundred of folder locations?"

 

I would have told you that 'Update Folder Location' and 'Find Missing Folder' can relink hundreds of folders in one go, if you relink their parent folder. Relinking a parent folder relinks the entire folder hierarchy. I get the impressions that you used this function haphazardly each time you encountered a missing image instead of methodically on entire hierarchies. So yes, next time ask here first. It could have saved you (and us) a lot of time and frustration!

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Nov 02, 2022 Nov 02, 2022

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I'm getting so sick of all of this that I'm wondering if I would be better off to uninstall the LrC app and then reload it, so that I could start with a blank slate, if possible. Would this new download of the app be able to 'see' the storage devices (my external hard drives) and the photos within and be able to add them all to a brand new catalog? Wouldn't that be the situation if I had been using a different photo editor and then switched to LrC?

 

Uninstall then re-install will not fix catalog problems. Uninstall then re-install will not give you a "blank slate". New download of the app will not fix catalog problems. The fix, as mentioned, is to use "Find Missing Folder" or "Update Folder Location".

 

* I did do the search that you added on to your last note. It works, it locates the photo in its folder, whether it is a folder in a disconnected hard drive or one connected. However, in the case of my connected drives, if I search for one of the photos that is greyed out, an empty frame, it again shows me which folder it is in but it still is unable to load the photo so that I can see it.

 

Because it can't find the photo, and you have to re-connect the folder via Find Missing Folder or Update Folder Location.

 

While it was time consuming to do this one folder of photos at a time, it did seem to work, although given that I relocated over 7,000 photos in an hour or so, I'm now concerned that I went through the command for each folder too quickly and that the two external hard drives couldn't keep up.

 

You can re-connect the parent folder rather than one folder at a time. Re-connecting the parent folder will connect the parent folder and all sub-folders.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Yes.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Sounds like you are confusing the Library grid, which shows all the photos that are imported in Lightroom, with the import dialog, which shows all photos in the selected source folder. STOP TRYING TO IMPORT PHOTOS AGAIN, because you will create a much bigger mess than you already have created. Post those screenshots, do not try anything else in the meantime.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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I do understand that and that's why I selected just one single photograph to import. I thought the import process for just one photo might alert LrC to the existence of that one photo and the 100,000 others on the new drive. I am not trying to import photos in bulk.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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@jeffg28527173 wrote:

I do understand that and that's why I selected just one single photograph to import. I thought the import process for just one photo might alert LrC to the existence of that one photo and the 100,000 others on the new drive.



That's not how Lightroom works. It does not 'forget' things and then 'remember' it again after an action like that. Post those screenshots, please.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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