I have a Seagate 1TB external that I knew was going to fail. I copied all photos over to a Western Digital 4TB. If the Seagate wasn't plugged in, it said the photos were missing. Makes sense. Pictures in a collection can only be associated with one original source file. Makes sense.
When the drive finally died, through a lot of internet searching, I found directions to re-associate the items from the old file location to the new one. I thought that would make everything fine. Instead, now Lightroom knows where the photos are, but no longer relates any of the photos to their edits or any other metadata. My synched collections on my phone are empty when their counterparts seen on my MacBook are blank. Now thousands of photos are undeveloped, found faces are now lost, keywords are gone. It's as if I just imported every photograph I've taken in the past fifteen years anew.
So I found the last backup, unzipped it. Moved the current catologue file to a safe place and replaced it with the backup. When I reopened lighroom, the photos were back to being missing, but now they were just gray boxes. So I put everything back pending more research. I havent found anyone else posting with the same problem, so I tried to go back to the gray boxes that have edits, keywords and faces. Now Lightroom won't even open. So before I accept the lost of so much work, I will try to reach out.
I know enough about databases to understand that every photo, regardless of its title must have a unique identifier. It would seem to me that when I find missing photos the edits tied to that ID should be updated to relate to the new ID. For that reason, I marked this as a bug and obviously a problem.
I have no idea what to do next. All help is greatly appreciated!
I'm working on a MacbookPro with Lightroom Classic.