My Desktop PC runs Windows 10 and has two drives, C and E. The latter, E, is a backup – a clone of drive C created twice weekly.
I’ve recently gone back to using Photoshop Elements 10 as an organiser, having not used it for several years. I find that if I import photographs from the C drive, then the next time I look at them PSE has linked instead to the copies on the E drive. If I edit one, the edited version is on the E drive rather than on C.
I tried removing the photos from the catalogue and then adding them back again, just in case I made a mistake when importing, but it still links to the versions on the E drive. I then tried disconnecting the E drive. PSE then shows the files correctly, until I reconnect the E drive, and after the next reboot PSE once again shows the versions from the E drive.
Does anybody understand what’s going on?
Yes, what you are seeing is the result of the cloning of your drives. That is becoming a common issue with users cloning their system drive to an SSD drive and keeping the old drive with another drive letter.
It looks like you are cloning as a backup strategy which gives the same problem:
The result is that you probably have the catalog corrupted because the cloning has created two different drive descriptions and identifications in the database... with the same drive serial number. The organizer does not know which is which.
Since Windows is able to change the letter number of a drive if another drive has been plugged in before, the catalog can't identify the drive only with the letter. The catalogs gets the drive serial number from Window.
You can check this with the DOS prompt
vol C :
or vol E:
You should see the same hexadecimal value for both drives.
You won't be able to solve your issue while the serial numbers are the same.
Cloning as a backup is not a solution either. Your cloning utility should be able to simply 'Sync' your media file tree. It should also Sync the catalog folder. Note that the 'synced' catalog folder will work with the media files on the original drive.
Keep in mind that only the backup and restore process of the organizer will save both the media files and the catalog while keeping the links to the restored files.
Are you saying that a backup of Catalog and Files should be made only from WITHIN the Organizer and that making backups from OUTSIDE the Organizer, whether by cloning or by moving, copying, pasting files from within Windows File Explorer or external Syncing Program will create file problems for the Organizer/Catalogs?
Thanks for the really prompt reply - very much appreciated.
I'm not hugely technically literate, so I'm going to have to study your response carefuuly then work out waht I need to do, but I'm sure I'll get there in the end.
Without going too deep in the explanations, I need to ask two questions to suggest practical solutions.
1 - When you unplug the E: drive, is your catalog pointing to files on the C drive, without missing files?
2 - Do you have an available external drive instead of the cloned one?
If so, I would start with creating a full backup from the organizer.
After that, we can discuss the ways to:
- solve the cloning issue
- find alternative ways to backup periodically from the Organizer and/or an external backup tool.
I really appreciate your prompt responses. Sorry to be slow in coming back to you on this - partly due to being tied up with domestic matters and partly taking time to see whether my 'solution' worked long term.
Prompted by your information on serial numbers I checked in the way you described, and of course I found that cloning results in both drives having the same number. It occurred to me that ather than change my backup systems it might be easier to change the drive number. I hunted around and found a small piece of software called 'HardDiskSerialNumberChanger' (good name). Iused it to change the number of my E drive, and PSE10 then worked perfectly, locating all my photos on the C drive. All I do now is simply run the utility after my automatic cloning has run and everything's OK.
I run a number of other backups to internal and external drives, incluing an NAS drive in an outbuilding. These are all done using the Robocopy function as scheduled tasks. I also us Windows File History Backup. I've made certain that the PSE catalogue files are included in these backups.
Thanks again for your help. I may not have used your exact solution, but without your help I would never have got anywhere near identifying the cause of the problem.
This piece of info was given in the help file of the psedbtool from John R Ellis:
Jump to the section "
where you find the Windows command line to change the serial number:
PSE uses the volume serial number as the primary mechanism for identifying drives, and only if it can’t find a drive with the desired number will it use drive letters. If you have two drives with the same number, or if try to assign a new drive letter to a drive that used to be a C drive, it may be necessary to change the volume serial number of a drive. Here’s how to do that:
volumeid letter: xxxx-xxxx
where letter is the drive you want to change, and xxxx-xxxx is the new serial number. You can pick any serial number that’s not used by any of your drives.