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Missing Photos Already in Catalog

Apr 23, 2010 7:57 AM

Photos in one of my Collections are shown as Missing, and I can not update them because Lightroom thinks they are Already in Catalog. In fact there are two versions of all these photos in the Catalog grid view: one is shown as Missing and the other is not missing. How can I update the Collection photos without manually recreating the Collection?


In detail: I had some photos in my Lightroom Catalog. I added them to a Lightroom Collection. All was well.


Later, outside of Lightroom, I decided to copy the photos to a new folder on a new hard drive. Then I deleted the original photos and folder.


The LR Catalog now shows two instances of these photos, a good one and a Missing Photo. When I ask to Locate in Finder the good one, LR accurately shows it s location on my hard drive. Both instances of the photos have identical names and thumbnails. The LR Collection shows only one instance of the photos and they all show Missing Photos icons.


When I try to Locate the Missing Photo, I get this message "Already in Catalog. the file "xxx" is associated with another photo in the catalog. Each file can only be associated with one photo." In other words, I am unable to get the LR Collection to recognize the new location of the digital file.


If I delete the photo duplicate with the Missing Photo icon, the photo is removed from my Collection. This is not acceptable for two reasons: I have now 449 "Missing" images in this Collection and I do not want to manually list, delete and then replace each one. I think this is the job of an asset management database like Lightroom, and I depend on it to keep accurate track of everything.


It has been 17 days since I opened a Customer Support case and I have had  numerous exchanges with the Adobe reps, including a 1.75 hr. phone conversation, and still no solution. Sometimes there seems to be a language problem but at other times a lack of product knowledge. Is there anyone out there that can help?
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 8:25 AM   in reply to freefall

    I'm a little unclear on some of your description.


    Before you moved the photos outside of Lightroom, were there two copies of each photo, or one?


    After you moved the photos outside of Lightroom, did you re-import the moved photos?


    In other words, how did you wind up with two copies, a good and a bad.


    While it would help to know these things, so we can tell you how to fix the problem, the root cause of all your problems was moving the photos outside of Lightroom. Had you done this inside Lightroom, you would not have any problems in your collections, and only a single copy of each photo.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 24, 2010 2:48 PM   in reply to freefall

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.


    Lightroom does not create duplicates on its own. They arise usually because the user did something, perhaps accidentally. By any chance, did you ever tell Lightroom to "Synchronize Folders..." ?


    Lightroom does not follow or find your photos if you move them outside of Lightroom. My recommendation for newcomers to Lightroom is to always move or rename files and folders from inside of Lightroom.


    If I understand your situation properly, I think the solution to your mess is as follows: First ... in Windows or Mac Finder (the only time I ever recommend moving things in WIndows or Mac Finder  is to fix or unfix previous moves in Windows or Mac Finder)  ... move (cut and paste, not copy and paste) the photos back to where they were. This should connect the copy that is now "bad", and fixing the problem in your collections. Second, in Lightroom, delete the copies on the new hard drive, which should now be disconnected. Now, you should have one copy of everything (including in your collections) that is connected and usable in Lightroom. Finally (optionally), if you want your photos to reside on the new hard drive, then inside Lightroom, move them to the new hard drive.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2010 11:11 AM   in reply to freefall

    Just for the record — I have had this problem too. I had to "remove" the photos from my LR3 (B2) library and then reimport them from disk to straighten it all out. Although I'm not entirely sure what would've caused this for just a few select photos, LR3 definitely did not want to import the photos when I had gone through the ritual of identifying where the missing photos were on disk. Instead, it insisted that the photo already existed in the catalog.


    Julian Bleecker

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