I try to reimport the catalog back to my desktop (main computer), but somehow Lightroom on my desktop cannot detect the edits I made on laptop and therefore cannot merge those changes back into the catalog on my desktop.
Why not? What commands do you use to do this? What happens? Is there any error message? If so, please quote the error message word-for-word.
I go the "import from another catalog" function. However, my problem is, the changes I made on my laptop don't overwrite the changes on my desktop, instead, it creates another folder in Lightroom.
The original edits I did in my desktop stayed the same and did not incorporate the edits I did on my laptop, there is just a second copy of it now.
There are a number of options described under number 5 in the Lightroom help section here: Lightroom Help | Import photos from other catalogs
Specifically regarding the options shown under number 5 in this help, what do you have selected?
Thats where my problem, its greyed out and therefore I can't choose any of the options under number 5 of the help section
I believe this is because the new catalog (the one from my laptop) which is being imported is referring to another hard drive.
This is the part where I'm confused, because Lightroom believes there were "no changes in existing photos", and therefore doesn't allow me to select any options under number 5. But the reality is, I did make changes to the photos, just on another hard drive (my laptop), but wanted to integrate those changes back into the catalog in my desktop
Did you change the names of the photos? Did you do anything to these photos other than edit them on the laptop? Are these the EXACT SAME photos as the ones on your desktop hard drive? Are these exported from your desktop Lightroom?
Did you change the names of the photos? - No
Did you do anything to these photos other than edit them on the laptop? - No
Are these the EXACT SAME photos as the ones on your desktop hard drive? - No, I copied one set to the desktop and one set to the laptop
Are these exported from your desktop Lightroom? - No, but I think I am getting where you are coming from. My guess is that even though filenames of the photos are the same, Lightroom does not find any relationship in the photos because I copied the photos seperately to each computer respectively from the camera?
Did you import the photos into both computers?
Yes I did, but imported seperately, if you know what I mean.
1. Put SD card from camera and imported into desktop computer via Lightroom.
2. Ejected SD card from desktop.
3. Put the same SD card into the laptop and imported photos via Lightroom.
When I did the edits on my laptop, I exported those photos using the "export as catalog" function. When I tried to import this catalog to my desktop lightroom, it doesn't seem to be able to recognise I already have these same pictures and therefore, the edits are in a completely seperate folder. The original photos in my desktop catalog remain unchanged.
I think you are stuck with the situation you find yourself in, but honestly, I have never tried this the way you did it, so I cannot offer any further advice. Maybe someone else can jump in with advice