If you imported the photos into Lightroom 5, rather than open a previous catalog, then you have no edits or star ratings or anything else other than your images. Lightroom does not apply those changes to your images, but rather stores them in the catalog. If you had your catalog from Lightroom 4, Lightroom 5 would create an updated copy, and all of your adjustments and everything would have been intact.
OK thanks. I do have my catalog from LR4 - I've placed it in the same folder as the LR5 cat. Can I delete the LR5 cat so that it points at the LR4 one instead?
You could delete the new LR5 catalog but there is no need to (at least until you're sure it's not required).
If you go to File, Open Catalog you will then be able to navigate to the LR4 Catalog. When you try to open it Lightroom will advise you that it needs to upgrade the catalog to work with LR5. This will not damage the old LR4 catalog but will create a new LR5 catalog with all the photos listed along with adjustments to them. You can rename the new catalog at this time to anything you like but best to make it something memorable to avoid catalog confusion. I always include the LR version number (whole number) as part of the catalog name.
Hi, yes you were right - it did allow me to upgrade and created a new LR5 catalogue (with my previous edits retained). However, upon subsequently viewing the folders panel on the left hand side each folder appears disabled with a ? symbol indicating the files are missing. Is there another step I need to take? At present I'm not able to export any images.
This catalog thing is confusing - I'll see if I can find an online video tutorial so I can get my head round it.
The catalog is simply a database that keeps track of where your images are located and what adjustments you have made to those images in Lightroom. Since you upgraded a catalog from your old computer, that catalog is remembering *where* those images were located on that old computer (Okay, your computer before it was reformatted). On your computer now, Lightroom is still looking for those folders on a drive that has the same name or same letter designation. Apparently, on the computer now, the drive is named differently or has a different letter designation. Right-click on the folders with "?" on them and choose to update the folder location. If all of your images are located within one main folder, just update the main folder and that will take care of all of them.
This means the files are not in the location that the catalog was expecting.
You need to EITHER mirror exactly the file structure of your old machine OR right click (cmd-click?) on your highest level folder within Lightroom and select "Update Folder Location". This should bring up a window that allows you to browse to the new location of your photos and select it. If there's not a high level folder that covers all your photos you'll need to do this one folder at a time.
Tutorials are a good idea if you're un-clear about anything but the Catalog is essentially "just" a database. It stores the locations of all of your files, the metadata associated with them and all the adjustments you've made.