Lightroom is set up to Import to an external volume through my Macbook Pro. If that volume isn't present, Lightroom defaults to the internal HD.
I recently imported a full card of important files while the external volume was connected. I'll refer to this import as "Import 1". When "Import 1" was finished importing, I ejected the card, threw it back in the camera and reformatted. Filled the card again and multiple days later, imported another round of images, "Import 2". Now I am looking for images from "Import 1" and they are nowhere in my library.
I set up a smart collection by date, assigning the date that photos from "import 1" were taken. Thumbnails for all of the photos instantly filled the gallery, but the photos all say "The file can not be found". When attempting to locate the files, Lightroom says "Previous location: /Volumes/NIKON D800/DCIM/778ND800/DSC_1225.NEF". This volume is the original memory card the files were on before it was imported and then formatted.
Lightroom remembers the file names, but a search of my internal and external HDs returns no matching file names. This makes me think that the import failed and these files were never pulled into Lightroom. But if that is the case, how is it possible that Lightroom remembers the file names and the thumbnails?
Nothing has been deleted since Import 1. Is it possible for lightroom to be aware of these photos if they never imported? If not, anyone have any idea where these photos may have gone?
UPDATE: Found the greyed-out volume "Nikon D800" in the library nav, where these files are "located". Except they're not. When I insert this memory card (now with "Import 2" photos on it) the volume switches from greyed-out to active. However it's not showing images from "Import 2", its showing images from "Import 1", with "file not found" remaining. However the first 7 images on the roll are able to render (so that the preview is not pixelated). The rest do not, and remain heavily pixelated in the absence of the source file. Upon searching the the file names of the images that DO render, thinking maybe these 7 images did import, the files are still not found.
Import dialog opens to "Copy".
And when I open the import dialog, the "D800" volume now shows the images of "Import 2".