17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2015 1:21 PM by Modesto Vega

    Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed

    WyattMorgan

      I have over 30,000 missing photos because LR only recognizes drive letters not names.  All my drives have a master "Image" directory with folders and subfolders.  Going to the LR online directory with name change and right clicking images and finding folder location does not work.  LR does not recognize folders or subfolders in the drive with a name change.  Usually none of the folder names are high lighted. By going to the "Missing Photographs" in the catalog menu and searching by file name I can find individual files but with over 30k missing files, this approach is not practical. I have an HP computer with Windows 7 and LR 5.7.  How do I find the photos?

        • 2. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
          WyattMorgan Level 1

          How do I determine what the drive letter originally was?  None of the offline directories seem to have the same content.  Assuming I can find the missing photos on the drive, I assume I have to change the drive name again to a letter Windows OS doesn't change.  How do I find the drive after changing the letter for the second time?

           

          How do I update LR folder location for the entire drive.  Right clicking the drive or my "Image" directory and going to find folder location does not work as I previously said.

          • 3. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
            dj_paige Level 9

            The Lightroom catalog knows what drive it is looking for. Select a photo, go to the Metadata Panel and the full path of the file will be shown.

             

            Assuming I can find the missing photos on the drive, I assume I have to change the drive name again to a letter Windows OS doesn't change.

            I don't understand this. Are you saying right now you can't find the photos using your operating system?

             

            What do you mean "a letter Windows OS doesn't change". Be specific. Tell us exactly what letters you are talking about.

             

            How do I update LR folder location for the entire drive.  Right clicking the drive or my "Image" directory and going to find folder location does not work as I previously said.

            John provided a link to do this. Here's another link: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

             

            If you are having trouble, don't say "does not work", give us the exact details of what step you are having problems with, and what you did, and what happened

            • 4. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
              WyattMorgan Level 1

              In reply to the LR catalog does not necessarily know which drive it is looking for:  The way I understand it, working with multiple drives, Windows OS does not necessarily assign the same drive letter to a drive.  e. It may assign the letter F initially to a drive, but reassign the letter F to another drive if the originally drive has been removed.  LR does not know which of the letter F drives contain the files I’m looking for.

               

               

               

              In reply to the Windows OS:  Windows OS typically changes drive letters E, F, G, H and maybe I, or J, but not up the alphabet to R, S, T, etc.

               

               

               

              In reply to LR “does not work”:  I was referring to finding folders and photos after a drive letter change.  Ie.  A couple years ago Drive F may have contained photos from pictures I took in 2011.  After multiple drive changes, windows may have reassigned the drive letter F to a new drive containing photos from 2013.  In 2014 I reinstalled my Drive F, 2011 drive and LR tries to link with Drive F, 2013.  Since I have a master directory titled “Images” for each of my drives, I thought I could right click on the 2013 “Images” and redirect LR to my 2011 drive.  Trying this, LR did not recognize the 2011 drive or folders that had common names in both my 2011 and 2013 drives.

               

               

               

              Sorry for the confusion.

               

               

               

              I will go to link you attached but so far I have not found a way to find missing photos after a drive name change.

              • 5. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                dj_paige Level 9

                In reply to the LR catalog does not necessarily know which drive it is looking for:  The way I understand it, working with multiple drives, Windows OS does not necessarily assign the same drive letter to a drive.  e. It may assign the letter F initially to a drive, but reassign the letter F to another drive if the originally drive has been removed.  LR does not know which of the letter F drives contain the files I’m looking for.

                 

                Lightroom does know what drive it thinks the photos are on. The fact that this has changed somehow outside of Lightroom from F to something else, doesn't change the fact that Lightroom is still looking for the photos on drive F (as can be seen in the LIbrary Module in the Metadata Panel). If you use the operating system to put the photos on drive F in the exact folder that Lightroom expects it to be in, then you have re-connected the photo to Lightroom.

                 

                In reply to the Windows OS:  Windows OS typically changes drive letters E, F, G, H and maybe I, or J, but not up the alphabet to R, S, T, etc.

                Yes, using a drive letter near the end of the alphabet is a good idea, and makes it much less likely that the drive letter will change in the future.

                 

                In reply to LR “does not work”:  I was referring to finding folders and photos after a drive letter change.  Ie.  A couple years ago Drive F may have contained photos from pictures I took in 2011.  After multiple drive changes, windows may have reassigned the drive letter F to a new drive containing photos from 2013.

                 

                I get the feeling from reading your words (maybe I'm incorrect) that you believe that you are expecting Lightroom to find the photos on the new drive letter and that you can't get Lightroom to do that. This is simply not correct ... You must tell Lightroom what drive the photos are on; Lightroom will not figure it out without you telling it.

                 

                So ... If a couple of years ago the photos were on Drive F, then that's where Lightroom expects the photo to be (see above). If it's not on Drive F any more, you have to tell Lightroom where the photos are now, for example, you have to tell Lightroom the photos are on drive H now — OR — you have to use your operating system to put the photos on Drive F in the folder where Lightroom is looking for them. The instructions in the links given above explain how you tell Lightroom that these photos are on drive H now.

                • 6. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                  WyattMorgan Level 1

                  I do not expect Lightroom to find photos after a drive letter change; however, I do expect to be able to tell Lightroom where the photos are.  As I understand it, I can not tell Lightroom where the photos are but have to change the drive letter back to the original letter.  If I do this, the photos on my most recent drive with the same letter will be missing.  If I change the drive letter to a letter higher up the alphabet, how do I get Lightroom to find that drive?  (I know that I can go to "Missing Photo" under catalog and individually find photos but it is not very practical with 30k missing photos.

                  • 7. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    I do not expect Lightroom to find photos after a drive letter change; however, I do expect to be able to tell Lightroom where the photos are.

                    Yes, you can do that. We have provided links that explain how to do this.

                    As I understand it, I can not tell Lightroom where the photos are but have to change the drive letter back to the original letter.

                    Incorrect. Changing the drive letter is one way to accomplish your goal; telling Lightroom where the photos are is the other way to accomplish your goal.

                    If I change the drive letter to a letter higher up the alphabet, how do I get Lightroom to find that drive?  (I know that I can go to "Missing Photo" under catalog and individually find photos but it is not very practical with 30k missing photos.

                    Please read the link I gave, you can connect an entire hierarchy of folders with one action.

                    • 8. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                      Modesto Vega Level 1

                      WyattMorgan wrote:

                       

                      I do not expect Lightroom to find photos after a drive letter change; however, I do expect to be able to tell Lightroom where the photos are.  As I understand it, I can not tell Lightroom where the photos are but have to change the drive letter back to the original letter.  If I do this, the photos on my most recent drive with the same letter will be missing.  If I change the drive letter to a letter higher up the alphabet, how do I get Lightroom to find that drive?  (I know that I can go to "Missing Photo" under catalog and individually find photos but it is not very practical with 30k missing photos.

                      Are you trying to say something like this?

                       

                      1) I have a Lightroom catalogue with the images stored in various external drives, e.g. E, F, G and H

                      2) When you unplug the drives an plug them again E becomes H, F becomes G, G becomes E and H becomes F

                      3) You are expecting to be able to tell Lightroom that E is now H, and F is now G

                       

                      The bit I find confusing is that you seem to imply you have now a drive connected as E with photos in the catalog which are not missing.

                      • 9. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                        WyattMorgan Level 1

                        1)  I currently have a Lightroom catalog with images stored in drives E, F, G, H & I.

                         

                        2) If I unplug drive E and install a new blank drive, the Windows OS may assign the drive letter E to the new drive, not J, etc.  When I import images to the new drive E and create new folders and subfolders Lightroom recognizes the new folders  and images as expected.

                         

                        3) If I need to view images in the old drive E and reconnect the drive, Windows OS often assigns a new drive letter depending on  which drives I have connected or it may reassign it as drive E if the new drive E is disconnected.  LIghtroom no longer recognizes the drive and I have not found a way to direct Lightroom back to the old drive and sync the catalog.

                        • 10. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                          como26 Level 1

                          You need to change your external drive letter in Windows “Disk Management” to letters towards the end of the alphabet, this will make the drive letters permanent.

                           

                          If you don’t know how to do this, visit Windows Seven Forum, they have some good tutorials on Windows.

                           

                          • 11. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                            dj_paige Level 9

                            3) If I need to view images in the old drive E and reconnect the drive, Windows OS often assigns a new drive letter depending on  which drives I have connected or it may reassign it as drive E if the new drive E is disconnected.  LIghtroom no longer recognizes the drive and I have not found a way to direct Lightroom back to the old drive and sync the catalog.

                            Honestly, Wyatt, the answer has been provided a number of times in this thread, two different links explain how to do this. I don't understand why you continue to say you have not found a way to direct Lightroom to the old drive.

                             

                            It's time for you to go ahead and give it a try. If you get stuck at any particular step, let us know and we will help you out.

                            • 12. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                              Modesto Vega Level 1

                              Wyatt, can you share a screenshot of the Folders section of your Library, with each square box collapsed (no folders showing). Something like this could help.

                              Untitled-1.jpg

                              dj_paige wrote:

                               

                              3) If I need to view images in the old drive E and reconnect the drive, Windows OS often assigns a new drive letter depending on  which drives I have connected or it may reassign it as drive E if the new drive E is disconnected.  LIghtroom no longer recognizes the drive and I have not found a way to direct Lightroom back to the old drive and sync the catalog.

                              Honestly, Wyatt, the answer has been provided a number of times in this thread, two different links explain how to do this. I don't understand why you continue to say you have not found a way to direct Lightroom to the old drive.

                               

                              It's time for you to go ahead and give it a try. If you get stuck at any particular step, let us know and we will help you out.

                              I suspect that the problem Wyatt is having is not that easy to solve. If the is disconnected drive E, and drive E was part of the catalog prior to disconnection, connected another drive which has now become E and imported into it before realising this issue, then he could have ended up with a little bit of a mess. He could have ended up with both photos LR cannot find and photos LR can find on the same disk. If this the case, the only thing he can done is try to remap folders as in the links above (if he has folders).

                              • 13. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                                dj_paige Level 9

                                If this the case, the only thing he can done is try to remap folders as in the links above (if he has folders).


                                Yes, I think that's correct, Modesto Vega, but that is different than Wyatt's statement "I have not found a way to direct Lightroom back to the old drive and sync the catalog", as there is a way and it has been pointed out several times.

                                • 14. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                                  WyattMorgan Level 1

                                  As Modesto guesses, I believe that I may have a number of disconnected drives that were part of the Lightroom catalog prior to disconnection.  For instance, the Lightroom catalog shows that I have 1319 images in drive H.  Windows Explorer shows I have over 90,000.  Screen shots of my catalog and Windows follow:  I do not believe all 90,000 images are in my Lightroom catalog but I'm sure there are thousands.  Note that there are not "?" associated with most of the folder names.  I obviously do not know where in the links that were provide address my problem.

                                   

                                  Capture 1.PNGCapture 2.PNGCapture 3.PNGCapture 4.PNG

                                  • 15. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                                    WyattMorgan Level 1

                                    The LIghtroom catalog information for my drives E, F, G, & I follow:

                                    Capture 5.PNGCapture 6.PNG

                                    • 16. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                                      johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                                      I think the most straightforward way to sort this out is:

                                       

                                      1. Plug in all of your external drives.  From the screen shots, it looks like you have at most 5 external drives of interest, 2 that are currently online and 3 that are disconnected.  (I'm not counting the one external drive letter that has just one photo on it.)  How many external drives do you actually have?

                                       

                                      2. If you don't have enough USB ports, order a $12 USB hub from Amazon.

                                       

                                      3. Make sure the entire folder hierarchy for each drive is showing in the Folders pane as described here. When you're done, each drive in the Folders pane should have a top-level folder labeled with a drive letter (as with your F: drive in the screenshot above).

                                       

                                      4. Expand the entire folder hierarchy on each drive in the Folders pane by clicking the arrows to the left of the folder.

                                       

                                      5. For each drive, find one or more folders in its hierarchy that are closest to the top that have a "?" on them.  It may be the root folder labeled with the drive letter (e.g. "F:"), or it may be folders below the root folder.   For each such folder with a "?", right-click it and select Find Missing Folder.  That folder should be somewhere on one of the drives.  Use Windows File Explorer to help find where it is.

                                       

                                      6. When you're done with step 5, you should have located all missing folders and told LR where they are currently located.  But you may have missed some.   Do Library > Find All Missing Photos.

                                       

                                      7. Pick a photo from step 6.  Right-click it and do Go To Folder In Library.  If the folder in the Folder pane is marked with a "?", right-click it and do Find Missing Folder.   Otherwise, click the "!" on the photo and then click Locate.  Use Windows File Explorer to help find the missing photo by filename, if necessary.  Repeat until there are no more missing photos.

                                       

                                      8. Going forward, try to keep all your external drives connected.  To minimize drive-letter confusion in the future, rename the drive letters of the existing external drives to start from the end of the alphabet, changing each drive letter as described here.   When you change a drive letter, you'll need to re-locate its root folder as described in steps 3-5.   (Windows tends to use drive letters from C onward.)

                                      • 17. Re: Finding missing photos when drive letter has changed
                                        Modesto Vega Level 1

                                        The only thing I would add to John's good post is:

                                         

                                        When you are done (only when you are done), check if the disconnected drives have names (I am not entirely sure they do); if they don't have names give them a unique name like you are already doing with the 2 other connected drives, they are called 06 Seagate HD & 07 Seagate HD. I am not entirely sure if this all down to the disconnected drives not having names and how Windows 7 handles them.