7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 23, 2017 2:22 PM by craigg23608636

    Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?

    kimb93074544 Level 1

      I use Surface Pro 3 and have put all my pictures on the SD card to free space on the disk. Now Lightroom will not let me access pictures unless I copy them again which I do not want to use the additional space. Why will it not allow me simply to add the pictures to lightroom? The "add" features is dimmed and unresponsive. Can anyone tell me how I can have my pictures in light room now that I have moved them?

        • 2. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
          Bob Somrak Level 6

          I just did an ADD from an SD card on my MAC.  If the card is formatted in the camera than Lightroom will not let you use ADD because of the DCIM file structure but if I format it using the OS then I can use it as another drive and Lightroom thinks it is just a removable drive.  OS X 10.10.2    LR 5.7.1     I would never use it this way but it seems it works.  You could plug the camera in using the USB and using the OS copy the files from the camera card to the computer formatted SD card and then import with ADD. 

          • 3. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
            kimb93074544 Level 1

            My SD card is being used as storage. It is formatted to NTFS the same as my SSD. My pictures are already on the SD and for space reasons do not want to copy. I simply want to add them to my Lightroom catalogue. Why does Lightroom need so it can simply ADD and leave in place the pictures without adding more files by copying? I would prefer not to use a plug-in if possible. Your work on the MAC makes me think this should work as well. But it doesn't. Anyone know why or what is needed?

            • 4. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
              johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

              The threads I linked to explain why.

              • 5. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
                Bob Somrak Level 6

                John,

                The OP is wanting to use an SD card as a drive.  If you take the camera formatted SD card and try to ADD it does not work because Lightroom must be using the DCIM file structure on the card to identify it as a camera card.  If you format it in the computer (In my case it was FAT 32) and place photos on it than Lightroom will treat the SD card as a removable drive and you can use all the import options, including ADD.  At least on the MAC, Lightroom doesn't care if it is an SD, only if it has the standard DCIM file structure that all (at least the ones I have seen) the cameras are using when it disables ADD.

                • 6. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
                  johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                  I fully understand.  Many people have complained about this over the years, and numerous past discussions (such as the two I linked to) have established that it's a deliberate design decision on the part of Adobe to treat SD cards as read-only transport mechanisms from cameras to LR. 

                   

                  You found a great workaround for the Mac, but I verified it doesn't work on Windows 8.1 / LR 5.7.1, using either FAT or NTFS.  However, it appears you can fool Windows LR 5.7.1 by mounting the SD card to a file path, e.g. to c:\mysdstorage. Use Windows' Compute Management > Storage > Disk Management.  Right-click on the card, select Change Drive Letter And Paths, Add, Mount In the Following Empty NTFS Folder.  


                  It appears that Adobe is using different heuristics on Mac and Windows to identify SD cards and implement its design policy.  Beware that these workarounds may disappear in future versions of LR.  For example, LR has been deliberately designed to prevent catalogs from being stored on network drives, because the LR engineers believe that some network drives can produce corruption.  On earlier versions of LR, you could work around that restriction by mounting a network drive to a file path, but later versions prevent the use of that workaround.

                  • 7. Re: Why can't I "ADD" my pictures into lightroom, only allows copy?
                    craigg23608636 Level 1

                    Bob,

                     

                    I was having problems adding files to the catalog from a drive that had been working with no problems out of the box. Out of the blue I could no longer add to the catalog it made me copy them to a new location. after reading your post I dismissed it but then saw a DCIM folder on the drive. I remembered your reply and thought there should be no difference in the media being used and deleted the canon files that came off the card and folder named DCIM. Went back to reimport and now they add without having to copy. Thank You!!!