28 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2014 1:15 AM by Jim Wilde RSS

    External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4

    toynut1

      When I hooked up my two external hard drives to my computer this week, Lr4 is not recognizing them. Each folder has a question mark by it.

      Appreciate any help..thanks!

        • 1. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
          Geoff the kiwi CommunityMVP

          What is your OS?? Are they showing on the computer????

          • 2. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
            Joshua Cohen Community Member

            What is your operating system? If you are a Windows user could the drive letters have changed? Also has the folder structure on the drive been changed outside of Lightroom?

            • 3. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
              toynut1 Community Member

              My operating system is windows and the drives are being shown in Ps. By the way, I have three external drives and one of those drives does show up in Lr.

              • 4. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                toynut1 Community Member

                My os is windows and the drives do show up in Ps. By the way, I have three drives hooked up and one of them does show up in Lr.

                 

                Could the drive letters been changed without my being aware of this happening?  I’ll have to think about the folder structure being changed…but all of

                 

                the folders are being affected not just a few.

                • 5. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                  Jim Wilde Community Member

                  It would be easier to resolve if you could give us screenshots of the Folders Panel in Lightroom's Library modules, and the system drive display when you click on Start>Computer.

                  • 6. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                    toynut1 Community Member

                    Hi,

                     

                     

                     

                    Thanks for the help.  Below are the two screen shots…..I hope these are what you are looking for.  The import function in Lightroom finds the pictures fine.  We are running Windows 7 and LR 4.  Notice the ? marks by each file name.   We have noticed that other people have had this exact problem in the  past, but we can find no published fix.  Again, out of three ex drives, one does work.

                    • 7. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                      Jim Wilde Community Member

                      No screenshots appear. Are you responding via email? Can't attach screenshots that way. Best way is to reply via the web interface, then use the camera icon in the reply box to attach the screenshots.

                      • 8. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                        dj_paige Community Member

                        Are the drives listed as either A: or B:

                         

                        Lightroom will not find those drives, they must be a different letter

                        • 9. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                          toynut1 Community Member

                          Hi Jim,

                           

                           

                           

                          I copied the screen shots directly into the text and replied to your email address.  Text doesn't work???????  This appears to be a fairly common problem and the fact that the "import" function reads the disk fine should really help track this down.  The drive letters are G and H and haven't changed.  Every folder on these two drives has a ? before the name.  I suspect that there is a documented solution to this somewhere in your archives or internal documentation.

                           

                           

                           

                            We have operated in this "mode" (using external drives for backup) for years and never had this problem, so I am wondering  what you think the odds are that our copy of LR4 has been compromised.  Is there an easy way to replace just the LR4 code without messing with the catalogue?  Neither Lil or I are Lightroom experts.  She is the photographer and I have 40 years in the Computer business, with some spent as a programmer/analyst.  So I talk the language and am competent with Windows based PC's, but not to the "Nerd" level, and have not studied LR at all. 

                           

                           

                           

                          We have a thousands of photos  archived on external drives so we need LR to be able to access all this content.

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          Thanks,

                           

                           

                           

                          David Polley (for Lil Polley)

                          • 10. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                            Jim Wilde Community Member

                            No, you can't copy and paste screenshots either. Just use the camera icon at the top of the reply box which will allow you to attach the screenshots.

                            • 11. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                              toynut1 Community Member

                              O.K. We haven't worked with screen shots.  What is the procedure for adding screenshots to your site???  I saved it as a .doc and your system wouldn't accept it.

                               

                              Thanks

                              • 12. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                Joshua Cohen Community Member

                                the screenshots need to be an image format. jpg or bmp should work.

                                • 13. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                  Jim Wilde Community Member

                                  As you're on Windows, use the bundled Snipping Tool (in the Accessories folder) to create the screenshots (that will save into jpg or png formats), then attach them to your post using the camera icon. See attached:

                                   

                                  Capture.JPG

                                  • 14. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                    toynut1 Community Member

                                    Jim,

                                     

                                    Below are the two images I believe you are looking for.

                                     

                                    LRLIBDRIVEG.jpg

                                     

                                    LILSDISKS.jpg

                                    • 15. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                      Jim Wilde Community Member

                                      Thanks. That leads to the need for two more. In Lightroom can you right-click on the first folder listed under the Elements (G:) drive and select "Show Parent Folder", then take a screenshot of the resulting Folders Panel.

                                       

                                      Then use Explorer to show me the folder listing of that Elements drive.

                                       

                                      Given that the actual drive letter matches what Lightroom was expecting, we need to look further into why all the folders are listed as missing. So we need to see what Lightroom thinks is the parent folder for all those folders, then look to see if it's actually showing correctly on the drive.

                                      • 16. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                        toynut1 Community Member

                                        Jim,

                                         

                                        When I right click on the first file "?Amish 1020092  II" in LR, the right click option "Show Parent Folder" doesn't come up.  Find Missing Folder, Remove, and Export this Folder as a Catalog are the three options. 

                                         

                                        I have enclosed a shot of the elements drive in Explorer  with "My Photos" folder open, which is where the photos Lil works with in LR reside.  To the left is the LR list of Elements showing Amish 1020092 as the first folder.

                                         

                                        Maybe this will help.

                                         

                                        Thanks,

                                         

                                        David PolleyLILDATA.jpg 

                                        • 17. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                          Jim Wilde Community Member

                                          Well, as you can see we have quite a problem here. Apart from that first folder (Amish 102009 II), none of the remaining folders shown in the Lightroom screenshot appear in the Explorer view of that G drive. So where are they? Can I have a look (i.e. screenshot) at the root level folder display of that G drive (i.e. next level up from the "My Photos" folder)? And what are the H and K drives? Do they figure in Lightroom at all? If so can you do screenshots of those drives in Explorer?

                                           

                                          Is it possible that Windows has switched the drive letters?

                                          • 18. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                            toynut1 Community Member

                                            I work primarily out of the K drive and it is recognized by Lr.  The G drive is the largest drive and everything is backed up to it.  In the beginning  I would import images from the G drive

                                             

                                            selectively.   How do I correct the problem  in Lr to match the folders in Explorer.  Can I delete the folders in Lr and then import from the G drive again?

                                             

                                            Since Lr has worked for quite a long time as it is, I am wondering if Windows has switched the drive letters.  How do I find out?

                                             

                                            Thanks for your help.

                                            • 19. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                              Jim Wilde Community Member

                                              If you can give me screenshots of the drives that I suggested in my previous post, we might be able to solve the mystery.

                                               

                                              But don't start importing any of those "missing" folders until we exhaust all other possibilties.

                                              • 20. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                toynut1 Community Member

                                                Thanks Jim,

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                We will get back to you later today.  Thanks for your help!!

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Dave Polley

                                                • 21. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                  toynut1 Community Member

                                                  Hi Jim,

                                                   

                                                  I spent some time doing maintenance on Lil's computer.  We were on public networks for 10 days and so I ran some cleanup software to help ensure that we don't have some virus or other malware messing things up.

                                                   

                                                  Then I did some comparing and it appears that Lightroom has the G and H drives reversed.

                                                   

                                                  I have enclosed 4 screen shots.  Two show the strong(but not perfect) correlation between LR drive G and Explorer drive H........and vice versa.  Another shows the K drive and the fourth shows the G drive one level up as you requested.  I believe that when we disconnected this computer to take on vacation that we just pulled all the plugs and did NOT take any steps to "logically" disconnect them.  If LR is sensitive to drives just being removed by pulling the cable, then perhaps that contributed to this situation...although I believe that we used the same procedure in the past.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks,

                                                   

                                                  David Polley

                                                   

                                                  lildata1.jpglildata2.jpglildata3.jpglildata4.jpg

                                                  • 22. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                    Jim Wilde Community Member

                                                    David, yes that certainly looks like the problem. The issue isn't about how you disconnected them, it's all about the order in which you reconnected them again. Unless you assign a specific drive letter to a specific drive, Windows will assign the first available letter when you connect a drive. So it looks as though you connected the Elements drive (so it was assigned the letter G) before the Passport drive (assigned letter H), hence the problem with Lightroom.

                                                     

                                                    Simple fix for now would be to eject those two drive properly, disconnect them, reboot, then connect them again but this time connect the Passport drive first, check to ensure it gets letter G, then connect the Elements drive and check it gets the letter H. Then start Lightroom and you should be OK.

                                                     

                                                    Longer term, you might want to consider assigning drive letters near the end of the alphabet, which would prevent this from happening. Problem with that is that everything goes missing in Lightroom again, so has to be relinked using the "Find Missing Folder" command. On the Elements drive that's easy as you have a single parent folder (MY PHOTOS) so you only need to relink that one and all the sub-folders get relinked also. Takes seconds. On the Passport drive, however, that's a challenge as you have what looks like hundreds of folders all at the root level (personally I think that's a bad idea), so relinking those would be a nightmare. You could easily fix that in Lightroom before reassigning the drive letter by creating a parent folder (someling like MY PASSPORT PHOTOS?) then selecting all the individual folders (within the Folders Panel) and dragging and dropping them onto that new Parent Folder.

                                                    • 23. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                      toynut1 Community Member

                                                      Thanks for helping with the hard drive problem… it appears to be solved.  I’m sure my husband will be in contact telling you what he has learned.  What is great news is that my Elements drive was

                                                       

                                                      not in such disarray as thought.  The parent folder came back and the folders  match up with Explorer.

                                                       

                                                      Thanks again for your time and patience.

                                                       

                                                      Lil Polley

                                                      • 24. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                        Jim Wilde Community Member

                                                        No worries. Pleased it's sorted, and thanks for letting us know.

                                                        • 25. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                          toynut1 Community Member

                                                          Hi Jim,

                                                           

                                                          This is one of those problems that, although apparently fixed, still has some mystery to it in my mind regarding how it was caused in the first place. But that may just be because I haven't worked through a couple of possibilities.  The principal mystery is that unplugging the drives, rebooting the system, and plugging them back in.....in the correct order didn't work......which is theoretically how this situation was created.....plugging them back in, in the wrong order.  Now that may be because I could find no (quick) way to logically "eject" the drives.  That command didn't come up in Explorer and in other places like Device Manager. I found operations like "delete" and "uninstall" but no eject.  So I went into Control Panel's Disk Manager which is always a pain on her computer because for some reason Disk Manager has never been accessible via Control Panel.....the Administrative tools folder has been missing since we bought the computer and I always try the way it should work and screw around for 5 minutes before I remember how to do it.  Then I removed the incorrect G and H designations and  assigned them correctly.  This was done by right clicking on the drive name which brings up a list that includes the capability to "change drive letter and paths".  Of course, first I tried to just assign G to the Passport, but it wouldn't even list G as an option because it was still in use incorrectly on the Elements drive. I was hoping it would allow me to assign the G and then ask me if I wanted to replace the existing "G".  But no such luck.  So I just deleted the G/H assignments and reassigned them correctly.  That seemed to do it. 

                                                           

                                                          Now I am worried about the external drives we have stored away from past years.  I wonder what will happen when we plug one of those in.

                                                           

                                                          Thanks for your help....are you an Adobe direct employee?

                                                           

                                                          Dave Polley

                                                          • 26. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                            Jim Wilde Community Member

                                                            Dave, none of us "helpers" are Adobe employees, we're all users just like you....this is a user-to-user forum where we all try to help each other.

                                                             

                                                            Back to the specifics of your problem, "eject" is a function you should find in the system tray area of the Windows taskbar, though you may need to click on the little up-pointing arrow (marked in blue on the attached screenshot) to "show hidden icons", that'll reveal a bunch of other icons and the one you need is marked in red. Click on that to reveal a list of devices that can be ejected, select the one you want and wait to be advised that it is safe to disconnect it.

                                                             

                                                            To be honest, I would never disconnect a drive just by unplugging it.

                                                             

                                                            In terms of your other external drives, as I said Windows will assign the first available drive letter, unless you yourself use the "change drive letter" option to assign a specific drive letter....in that case Windows will remember that assignment and will thereafter always use that letter provided that it is available at the time of reconnection. In other words Windows does not reserve the drive letter, but it will use it if it happens to be available.

                                                             

                                                            For this reason I've assigned drive letters to ALL my backup hard drives that I routinely dismount after use, so I know that I'll always get the same letter each and every time (which is fundamental to my backup strategy).

                                                            • 27. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                              toynut1 Community Member

                                                              Thanks Jim,

                                                               

                                                              For some reason I don't see a screen shot associated with your last message that shows how to find the eject function.   But I don't have a blue arrow showing and I checked the "task bar" setup and a box is checked that says "don't hide any tasks".  I don't ever remember having an "eject" function accessible via the task bar on any of our computers.  Any eject function I have used in the past has been done via explorer by right clicking on the devices explorer entry.

                                                               

                                                              I still don't have  clear picture of what caused the problem in the first place.  When I tried to reverse the process by connecting the drives to the system in the proper order....the "wrong" ID's were maintained.  In other words, the system remembered the reversed letter ID's and kept them regardless of the subsequent order of connection.  I have no explanation why our systems don't offer the eject option, but it may have to do with the way we initially plug a new external drive into our computers.  I have always just connected the cable and they seem to get automatically recognized by Windows and start working.  Perhaps I need to pay more attention to this as I may be missing an "initialization" step that sets the drive up so it can be managed better....ejected, etc. 

                                                               

                                                              As a former Programmer/Analyst, I like to try to figure out why a problem occurred as well as how to make it work again.  So, I enjoy digging into the nitty gritty of problems like this, as I am sure you do also.

                                                               

                                                              Thanks for your time!

                                                               

                                                              Dave Polley

                                                              • 28. Re: External hard drives not being recognized by Lr4
                                                                Jim Wilde Community Member

                                                                Sorry, forgot to attach the screenshot. Here it is:

                                                                 

                                                                Untitled.png

                                                                 

                                                                You should see that, it's a standard function on Windows7, and I assume on Windows 8 also (though of course it might be in a different place). If you are on Win7 and you can't see it there, right-click on a blank spot on the taskbar and select "Properties", you want the Taskbar tab, then select "Customise" in the Notification area section. That'll pop-up a list of icons for display in the notification area and you should see the Eject icon listed there, set the appropriate option using the dropdown arrow and you should be then be OK.