My main external drive just conked, a day after I deleted my enormous previews folder (purely coincidental). Fortunately, I have a backup drive so when Lightroom asked me where my photos are I direct it to my backup drive containing the duplicates of the same file name(s).
The problem I'm having is when I tell Lightroom where the photos are and 'find nearby missing photos' too, it doesn't 'fill in the blanks' (and they are blanks...the previews were deleted, remember) with the duplicates. It actually empties the folder, keeping only the PSD of TIFF edits (no preview for these either keep in mind) and replaces nothing(!)
This is a major pain because all the flagging and edits I've done to these photos are not being retained by Lightroom at all as it would appear. I'm really disappointed because this is setting me back big time with all the weddings I have to deliver to clients.
What is happening?!
Hmmm. OK, some progress. I think because the drive was completely physically offline, the photos in the existing folders can't be simply "replaced" as the drive letter technically doesn't exist anymore. It did, however, retain the flags and is building my previous edits as previews in a new folder on the backup drive. Relieved, but strange behaviour from the software. I would hope that it would provide a status update as to what was happening, instead of inducing panic and have me find the new folder in Lightroom for myself. At least, point to the new (replaced) folder, Lightroom.