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FILES CAN'T BE FOUND but associated with another catalog

Jun 1, 2012 9:46 PM

In Scott's Kelby's Book LR3 on page 88 step 6, he talks about 3 options for importing a catalog.....

 

In particular he talks about option#3 and says he has NO IDEA wy anyone would choose that option of importing without the images.

 

SENARIO: I just switch to MAC. All my work for years was on Windows PC including LR and CS4 design premium. So now when I go to work on images in the same location on THAT windows hard drive I get the message that I cannot do JACk with those images because they are associated with another catalog.

 

I can't even click on the "?" in LR4 to find them without the same message coming up.

 

I was thinking of firing up the old Windows Box, somehow finding all the images through LR3 and then using option #3 to import all 10,000 images or at least their locations to my new shiny Mac system(s).

 

Objective: I am trying to access the images on an EXT. HD that gives me the "files are assiciated with another catalog message".

 

Windering if importing that catalogue would help?

 

IS THERE A WAY TO DISASSOCIATED A CATALOGUE FROM AN IMAGE?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2012 6:53 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Step 1: Ignore everything Kelby says about the Library Module.

     

    Step 2: Please tell us exactly the steps you followed to get yourself into the current situation. "I just switch to Mac" isn't really an explanation of how you got there. Please give us details so we can help you. Also, please quote the exact error message that you are getting. Thanks.

     

    Step 3: Every time you think of re-importing an image into Lightroom ... tell yourself that re-importing is a terrible idea. And then, don't re-import.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 8:54 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    So, please fill in a few more details

     

    1. The catalog file and all photos were on the ext. HD? Yes or no?

     

    2. I don't understand the phrase "picked one with a "?" I went to year, folder, day, file". Please explain this further, especially the part "I went to ..."

     

    3. Are you sure that you have quoted the error message exactly? The words you quote seem meaningless to me

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 10:48 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Well, I have been asking for details about what you did, and you now are saying you don't have the catalog file and photos on the external HD. How did you get your catalog file to the new Mac? Where is the catalog file?

     

    Now earlier you said "selected ALL PICTURES ~12,000 images" and then you clicked on the question mark. What happens if you select only one photo and click on the question mark? Do you get the same ERROR message or not?

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 11:20 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    I don't think there's a need to import a catalog if you have a working catalog from Windows.

     

    To tell you the truth, I'm stumped at this point. Everything I can think of is a long-shot, and doesn't really match the symptoms you stated.

     

    So, I give you one long-shot, and hope that someone else has a good thought. The long-shot is make sure your catalog file is in a folder where you have write permission.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 11:50 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    Select just one file, click its question mark and try to link it to the original. If you can produce the "each file can only be associated with one photo", then we've got a file we can work on.

     

    With it alone selected, go to All Photographs and sort the catalogue by capture time. Ensure no filters are active. What I suspect is that you will then see duplicate thumbnails for this picture, one with no question mark and others missing - that's what the message generally means.There could be other things happening, but focus on just one picture for now. Once we're sure what's happening to it, the rest will probably be easier to solve.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 12:10 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    And follow up this one file in Finder too.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 12:46 PM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Part of the problem is that we can't see and can't have the eureka moment when it's all obvious. There's also uncertainty about "each file can only be associated with one photo" and "files are associated with another catalog".

     

    Anyway, If you have simply copied the old computer's pictures folder over , and have opened the lrcat file on the Mac, that should be good. I would expect that the lrcat opened on Mac would not initially understand the exact folder path for your images, so you would see question marks on the folders. Normally you would click these folder question marks, rather than those on the pictures.

     

    You've done (generally) the right thing in not importing/exporting. Also don't be tempted to use Synchronise to try to get yourself out of trouble - it usually doubles it!

     

    Also, are you still at the point where we could say, wipe the Mac and do the whole transfer over again? Be 100% certain your backups are solid.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 1:08 PM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    OK, well you know the saying about when you're in a hole you should stop digging. Maybe step back a bit, and I've alerted the others at LR Forums (as I'll be away for a couple of days).

     

    Look through your folders panel. Are any folders showing question marks? Can you point those at the Mac locations.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 1:11 PM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    vdotmatrix wrote:

     

    here is the follow-through: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5501747/futz2.tiff

    That's the message that implies the duplicates issue.

     
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    Jun 2, 2012 3:20 PM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    "The issue is not with items at the MAC locations, they are just fine."

     

    I understood that, and said that you should  point folders which have missing question marks to where those hard drive folders are shown on the Mac. They will have a different path - it's like "catalog" and "catalogue" and you need to do a minor translation.

     

    So look through your folders panel - are there any question marks there?

     

    You can start a new catalogue, but you may end up with twice the confusion!

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 4:31 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    As I said before....

     

    "So look through your folders panel - are there any question marks there? "

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 4:46 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Click the question mark ON THE FOLDER (sorry to shout)

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 4:52 AM   in reply to john beardsworth

    Folders panel question marks, not on the files....

    SNAG_Program-0006.jpg

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 6:17 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    If you're getting the same dialog boxes, you're still trying to fix individual images. Sorry, I should have said right click (rather than click) the question mark on the folder and choose Find Missing Folder. Point LR to where the folder now is, cick Choose, and  the folder's question mark should vanish, as should and the question marks on files which are in that folder.

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 6:57 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    I'm sorry, but the Collections panel never has question marks. In Lightroom "Collections" are one thing, "Folders" are another, and I'm telling you to sort out the problem in the Folders panel, not anywhere else.

     

    Without meaning to be unpleasant, do say so if you are not using Lightroom in English.

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 7:26 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Go back to the Folders panel and resolve the question marks on folders.

     

    Once that's done, run the menu command Library > Find Missing Photos to isolate all the missing photos in the catalogue. If any remain, then as I suggested earlier work on the question marks on individual pictures. When you get those messages about "already associated", jump to All Photographs and identify where that picture now is.

     

    Surely you can find someone in the DC area who knows Lightroom, and English? Put out the call! Tell 'em it's all because you're moving to Mac and you'll find some wildeyed Mac evangelist eager to come to your aid.

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 8:15 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Make sure you resolve that one folder's question mark then.

     

    But yes, I think we both need someone else to try to help resolve this.  Best of luck!

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 9:15 AM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    vdotmatrix wrote:

     

    THE FOLDERs panel is NOT WHAT the problem is or WHERE the Question marks appear.

     

     

    If you have a folder containing a number of images (for argument's sake let's say 100), and that folder has the "?" in the Folders Panel, it means that not only is that folder 'missing', but also all the 100 images it contains are also missing. If you click on the missing folder, the grid will be populated with 100 thumbnails, each and every one will also have the "?" to indicate they are missing.

     

    If some are all of those 100 images have previously been assigned to collections, then when you click on the collection you will again see the thumbnails with the "?".

     

    To deal with the missing 100 images, you can:

     

    1. Work within the collections to click on each and every missing image, and tell Lightroom where it is. If you are lucky, Lightroom will also see that some or all of the other 99 images are missing and re-link those as well. But you may not be lucky, so you'll have to relink all of those one by one.

     

    2. Or, you can do what John has been advising you to do, and that is relink that ONE AND ONLY ONE folder (assuming you know where it is), and when you have done that all 100 missing images will be relinked automatically.

     

    Do you understand that?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2012 3:54 PM   in reply to Jim Wilde

    There is also a command under the Library drop down menu in the top Menu Bar "Find Missing Photos" that will put all of the missing photos in your catalog in a special collection where the All Photgraphs one is. This may help you. You can relink the files from there.

     
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    Jun 9, 2012 6:39 PM   in reply to vdotmatrix

    Ok, what you are seeing is nt where the files are on the HD (that is why they are ? missing) but where they were when Lightroom was last linked to them. What you need to do isfind where they are on the HD and relink them through tha rightclick ? menu.

    Select one in the Missing Files collection, then use Explorer/Finder to lovate the file number on your HD. Then use the Locate Missing File menu to relink through the resulting dialog menu.

    You may find it quicker to do this same relinking with Folders. You can do this by again selecting a file in the Missing Files collection, right clicking the file (not the ?) and selecting Show in Folder. Then you can relink the folder to where it is on your HD same as you would with a file.

     

    Trya nd keep this all in one thread too please.

    Thanks.

     
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