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LR classic re question marks -- all folders currently have them.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2020

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Hi: All my Lightroom folders/images have question marks, which appeared when I opened LR this morning. I'm aware this means catalog is disconnected from hard drive. However, attempts to reconnect by right clicking on Folders and navigating to folders on hard drive and selecting doesn't work. I get an error message or the selected images/folder in LR literally disappears or images are grayed out because hard drive thinks they're already in LR catalog. Adobe's online instructions say that merely right clicking on Folders in LR would relink with hard drive, but no. Also received a message asking me if I wanted to "merge" folders, which didn't seem right to me. Would so appreciate help. Thanks. Lorraine

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LR classic re question marks -- all folders currently have them.

Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2020

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Hi: All my Lightroom folders/images have question marks, which appeared when I opened LR this morning. I'm aware this means catalog is disconnected from hard drive. However, attempts to reconnect by right clicking on Folders and navigating to folders on hard drive and selecting doesn't work. I get an error message or the selected images/folder in LR literally disappears or images are grayed out because hard drive thinks they're already in LR catalog. Adobe's online instructions say that merely right clicking on Folders in LR would relink with hard drive, but no. Also received a message asking me if I wanted to "merge" folders, which didn't seem right to me. Would so appreciate help. Thanks. Lorraine

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2020

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This would suggest that either you have moved the images, and have not used Lightroom to move the images, in other words, you used your operating system tools to move the images and Lightroom has lost track of where the images are located. The other possibility is that images are on an external hard drive that is either asleep or is disconnected.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 11, 2020

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Thanks so much for responding. I haven't moved the images via my operating system. I do realize that they need to be moved through LR, otherwise LR loses track of them. If they were moved via os, instructions to reconnect would work, correct? Seems odd that I'm getting error message or option to merge, which I've never received before. My hard drive remains disconnected. I only plug it in when I want to back up something. LR worked perfectly fine yesterday. I got the questions marks when I turned on my computer this morning. L.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 11, 2020

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see: http://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

 

Just another Adobe customer; My Sys; APP: LRC 9.4, PS 21.2.1; CMP: WIN WS 16GB OS 10 v1909 (18363), mid 2015 MBPr 15” 16GB MACOS 10.15.6; 4K EXT DSPY; CAM: Canon 5D Mk III, Fuji X-T3

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2020

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You get the 'Merge' question if you try to relink a missing folder to a folder which already exists in Lightroom. So for example you have a missing folder A on drive D. You right-click it, choose 'Find Missing Folder' and select a folder A on drive E. If that folder happens to be in Lightroom already, then you will get this question.

 

Usually this happens when people first try to relink a single missing image, and the reason that the image is missing is that Windows assigned a different drive letter to the drive. So originally the image was in folder A on drive D:, but now that drive is assigned E: When you relink a single image from folder A, Lightroom will add folder A of drive E: to the catalog, but the missing folder A of the drive D:, is also still listed in the catalog. If you now try to relink that folder to drive E: Lightroom will conclude that you try to relink this folder to a folder which already exists. This could well be the same folder, and in fact it is, but Lightroom needs to be sure of that.

That is why it tells you the folder in the new location already exists, and asks you if you want to merge them. If you are sure this is indeed the correct folder, then you should click the Merge button.

 

By the way: your remark that you see images disappearing or be dimmed sounds like you are (also) trying to reimport them. DO NOT REIMPORT IMAGES. That is not the way to solve this, and only makes things worse.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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GLGracey LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Apr 12, 2020

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Right before I received your email I clicked Merge and it worked. I had the feeling that reimporting images (which, as you say, was a doomed exercise) was not the answer. Your explanation of drives was interesting, but not easy for me to follow since I am unfamiliar with where the drives are. I haven't been aware of them and don't know how to locate them. All of which is to say I don't know how this issue came about in the first place. I was working normally in LR, shut down my computer and when I logged the next day, I encountered the problem now resolved. In any case, thank you very much for your help! I so appreciate it. Lorraine

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