16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2015 3:00 PM by trshaner

    Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................

    rebecca 6490

      I have just opened LR to do some work and some of the pictures I had imported have disappeared.  Just a few days ago everything was fine.

       

      I have pictures stored in 3 places: 1) on my laptop's hard drive 2) & 3) on portable hard drives.  All the images located on one of the Portable HD are fine.

       

      I had this problem once before ages ago when I put the cable from one of the HD into a different USB socket, but now I have a sticker on my computer with the HD listed so I always put the plugs in the same sockets.

       

      When I opened LR today in the Library on the left hand side I can see the hard drive, but there are none of the images or folders underneath.  I tried to import the images again, but for each image all the histories, flags and stacks have gone.

       

      I have 2 recent back up catalogues, so I tried to open the back ups but they are the same, the pictures are not showing under that hard drive and if I try to re-import the images the RAW files look as they did when I very first imported them, images I know should be black & white are in colour, images I have previously cropped to be square are now showing as they were when I took the image.

       

      These images are the ones in my 'portfolio' and I have over 2500 images in there which were in various states of development.  I idea of going back through these and developing them again is just impossible.

       

      If anyone is able to tell me how to get everything back I would be so grateful,

       

      Thank you

       

      Rebecca

        • 1. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
          rebecca 6490 Level 1

          I forgot to say that I am running LR 4.

          • 2. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
            kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

            If I understood you correctly, you have the image files stored on your laptop's HD, and also on two separate external HD's?

            And are you opening your main Lightroom Catalog ?

            The Catalog has links to the images where you originally worked with them.

            I would suggest NOT reimporting the images...If you import them again, LR will see them a new imports with no development or work applied.

            Without reimporting, are there any thumbnails in the grid view at all? Do they show a Question mark anywhere on the images or on the folder?

             

            And it would be helpful to know if you had originally brought the images into LR using the COPY, or COPY as DNG option in the LR Import dialog box.

             

            It sounds like there are multiple possibilities.

            1. The Previews files might have been separated from the LR catalog.

            2. LR might have lost the link from the Catalog to the Image files.

            3. The catalog might have been corrupted (although I have not seen that at all, but it is possible)

            4. and several other options.

            • 3. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
              rebecca 6490 Level 1

              Hi

               

              Thank you for your thoughts.

               

              You are correct that I have images stored in 3 different places.  The images on my laptop HD are all good and the images on one of my portable HD (personal photos) are all good.

               

              The images that have disappeared from the catalogue are on the other portable HD (work).

               

              I only have one LR catalogue with all my photos in and some back ups of this catalogue, I don't operate with multiple catalogues so that can't be the issue.

               

              There are no thumbnails in the grid.  LR says the HD is plugged into the "G:" USB socket and when I opened LR initially this afternoon it seemed to think that my personal photos HD was plugged into the 'G" USB socket and was showing several folders underneath in grey with the "?" for missing folders.  I don't understand why it would think that this hard drive was located there as it never has been.  I am really careful to keep certain sockets for certain HD.  I have not physically changed anything other than ejecting the HD the other day and then putting it back today.  Neither have I moved the files anywhere.

               

              When I originally imported the files from the SD cards I used "Copy" without the DNG option.  I do have LR set up to create xmp files, not quite sure why, but that's another query for another day.

               

              I have not re-imported many files thank goodness, only a few as a test, perhaps that wasn't the right thing to do.

               

              This is not the first time this has happened to me, though not that often.  Each time I think I must have done something wrong and have thought I have the answer, but I've now run out of answers and my catalogue is getting much bigger, I cannot run the risk of it keep happening.

               

              When I have "finished" an edit of an image I always make a snapshot and label it as the finished article. When looking at some of the pictures I did re-import the snap shots are gone too along with stacks and flags, but just to say that the star rating and colour labels are there.

               

              Thank you for your help with this :-)

               

              Rebecca

              • 4. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                OK. First, Lightroom should not care which USB slot the HD is connected to. It just has to see the external HD.

                And second, you do not NEED to make a snapshot of each image when finished editing.

                you can, you don't need to! Lightroom will show you the image the way you edited it. However you can at any time view the image the way it was originally, or at any step in between. LR saves the history of your edits even when you close the application.

                 

                HOWEVER most important, the Lightroom Catalog can only see and use the photos in one location. In other words, if you normally  work with your images on your internal HD, then that is the HD and photos the Lightroom Catalog should see. You should consider the copy on the external HD as a back up set of the original images.

                 

                Think of a book public library. The books can be stored anywhere, even in another building. The Card Catalog (today those cards are now on computers at the main library building) are how you find out about the book, the title, the subject matter, the author, and a brief description of the book. The Library  Catalog in Ligthroom is like the Card Catalog in the public library. In the book library, you can move a book to a different shelf or a different building but you must note the location in the Card Catalog. The same goes for Lightroom's Catalog. You can move the location of the photo file, however you need to do so from within the Library Catalog.

                There is no open and no save in LR. When you import images, you are actually becoming the Librarian who gets a truck load of new books for the public library. She has to "catalog" each book - make notes in the card catalog - and then put the book on a shelf that corresponds with the notes she put in the card catalog.

                With the LR application closed, try going to your My Pictures folder (on a PC) or Pictures folder on a Mac. Inside there you should see a folder called Lightroom. Inside that folder should be 2 folders: (My Pictures is the default location for the catalog - you might have selected a different location when you first started??)

                1. the Lightroom Catalog.lrcat (or whatever you named your catalog.lrcat)

                2. the  Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata

                 

                The first folder is your Catalog with all the data about your images - where they are and what you have done to edit them.

                The second folder contains the previews or thumbnails of your images. If that second folder is not with your catalog.lrcat, then there are  no previews.

                 

                IF you see a question mark by the folder of your images in Lightroom - or on an individual image  - that means that the LR catalog does not know where the original image or folder of images is located.

                Click the question mark and it will say "do you want to locate the folder or images?"

                say yes and then use the dialog boxes to find your folder or that one image.

                (If you are looking for a specific image, make sure to note the NAME of the image when clicked in LR and search for that image in the dialog boxes. You can also use those dialog boxes to find all the other missing or question marked images.

                 

                The trick is to do everything through LR and not through the explorer!

                • 5. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                  rebecca 6490 Level 1

                  Thank you again for your thoughts on the cause of the problem.

                   

                  With reference to the issue with USB sockets, I understand that it should not matter where you plug the hard drive in, but when I have used different ones sometimes it seems that LR has been confused where it can find the images.  I know not to move images in Explorer and when I need to move images I always move them in LR, I learnt that very early on.  I've had an issue before with the history disappearing and I just thought perhaps changing the USB socket might be the cause, but from what you say, it shouldn't matter.

                   

                  I understand you shouldn't need a snapshot, I just like to set the point at which I think an image is finished so I can easily get back there if I continue tweaking or making an second 'finished' picture, like doing a colour version and a B&W version, just my little habit.

                   

                  As for the catalogue, I'm not asking LR to see any one image in more than one place. Perhaps if I explain my workflow you might spot where I am going wrong.

                   

                  • I take the SD card from the camera, put it in the SD slot on my laptop, open LR, click on Import and direct LR to put the pictures in a folder in what I call my 'dump folder' on my laptop hard drive.
                  • I then review the images using the X, stars and colours according to what I might want to do with the image.  Once I have been through all the images once, I then move the images (using LR) to a dated/location folder.
                  • From here I decide whether an image is an 'ordinary/personal' image or a 'portfolio/work' image. I sometimes don't make the final decision on this until some weeks later.
                  • At some later point I plug my 2 portable HD (one work, one personal) into my laptop and in LR move the images across to whichever HD is appropriate which separates out personal from work pictures and frees up space on my laptop.  If I need to go work further on these images I work on them with the HD plugged in.  I have images going back to 2004.  My HD are 2TB which is giving me room for lots more new images. I used to have all the images on one 2TB HD, but it was starting to get full so that was why I split them and work/personal seemed to be the best way for me.  I have to admit I also have another 2 HD onto which all the images are backed up as a second copy.

                   

                  Today I wanted to find some images from 2014 (these are images I have not moved for months, they are exactly as they were last week, month, year!) so I plugged in my HD but LR just didn't seem to be able to see them or any others on the HD.  It could see the HD, the name of the HD was showing alongside the "G:"  Underneath the "G:" I could see the parent folders (with the "?") for pictures on my other drive which was plugged into the "F:" socket. On this HD there are also images from many years which have previously been brought into LR and worked on, but again nothing has been moved since I last used LR when everything was looking fine.

                   

                  At the beginning of the week I was working at my desk in LR with both HD plugged in and all was fine, then yesterday I worked away from my desk on some files (just reviewing some new pictures I had imported) located on my laptop HD without the 2 portable HD plugged in. Then today I went back to having the 2 portable HD plugged in.  Do you think opening LR on Wednesday with the 2 portable HD not plugged in yesterday could have confused LR?

                   

                  I don't understand why one set of pictures from one HD were showing up twice and the other set on the other HD were not showing at all.

                   

                  Am I doing something wrong with my workflow? I've been using LR for about 3 years now and I read everything I can find but as fast I think I understand it, I find its confused me again!

                   

                  Many thanks

                   

                  Rebecca

                  • 6. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                    kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                    Your workflow sounds fine .

                    Working in LR on the laptop without the HD's connected should not affect Lightroom.

                     

                    Under the Folders section on the left of the Library module, each drive should appear with a little black (or dark gray) vertical rectangle which turns green when the drive is connected. When the drive is not connected, the name of the drive (Images 4T in my example below) will be black along with the little rectangle, and the folders below will show question marks. When you plug the drive in, the name of the drive should appear white and the rectangle will appear green.

                     

                    Is only one drive showing up or are there two green rectangles when you have both drives plugged in?

                     

                    And when you say G and F, I presume you are referring to the USB ports on your laptop?

                    Or are those the names of your ext Hard Drives?

                     

                     

                    LightroomScreenSnapz002.jpg

                    • 7. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                      rebecca 6490 Level 1

                      Thank you for confirming that my work flow is okay, I thought it made sense to me, but I'm not a techie, my passion is photography not computers - they are only a tool and one that I feel sometimes is beyond me!  I'll admit to having a love/hate relationship with LR.

                       

                      G & F are the ports the HD are plugged into, though this morning they are showing up as G & H.  I'm now sat at my desk with both the HD plugged in.

                       

                      As you can see under G it shows my PicturesEverywhere HD (work) and there's a folder called "Portfolio pictures" with "2014" & "2015" underneath - these are only showing because I tried to re-import some images. This is the problem HD, where I have lost the history of the images.

                       

                      I'm not quite sure why under "G:" it shows "2 Pictures Red" as that's plugged into "H:" and always physically has been in that socket.

                       

                      I don't have images on OS (C:), the DATA (D:) is where I have the images on my laptop HD.

                       

                      My Catalogue HD Red (H:) is all fine too.

                       

                      If you are able to shed any light on where my edits and history, ratings etc have gone, I will be most grateful, I just feel so stuck at the moment,

                       

                      Many thanks

                       

                      Rebecca

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      LR 26-06-2015 1.JPG

                      • 8. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        rebecca 6490 wrote:

                        G & F are the ports the HD are plugged into, though this morning they are showing up as G & H.  I'm now sat at my desk with both the HD plugged in.

                        Windows systems assign a "temporary" drive letter when a removable drive is plugged into a USB port. If plugging multiple drives the 1st drive is assigned the next available letter (F:), the 2nd drive the next letter (G:), etc. If you remove both drives and then replug them to different ports or in a different order (G: drive first and then F: drive) one or both drives may be assigned a different letter.

                         

                        Please see this article with details on how to assign the correct drive letter to each drive. Start by plugging in the drive that has the incorrect letter assigned (H: s/b F:). Assign the correct drive letter that LR uses (F:). Plugin the 2nd drive and if necessary assign the correct letter (G:).

                         

                        http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-add-remove-drive-letter#1TC=windows-7

                         

                        rebecca 6490 wrote:

                        As you can see under G it shows my PicturesEverywhere HD (work) and there's a folder called "Portfolio pictures" with "2014" & "2015" underneath - these are only showing because I tried to re-import some images. This is the problem HD, where I have lost the history of the images.

                        Don't re-import "missing images, which will cause you to lose all of your work in LR! You can recover all of your original edits by correcting the assigned drive letter. This will cause the re-imported images without edits to now show as "missing" with ! symbol. Once you are sure everything is working properly you can delete the ! symbol missing folders. They are of no use and merely duplicates with no edits inside LR.

                        • 9. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                          kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                          HI Rebecca,

                          I work with Macs so the lettering of HD's may be as trshaner said in the above note. However, reimporting images would not cause you to lose all your LR work IF you have the checkbox checked "Don't import suspected duplicates." And even if you did import again, LR will add a -1 to the name.

                           

                          What I suggest you do is plug only one ext HD in first. Then open LR and click on the question mark on the top level folder. Then go through the dialog boxes to find the folder by that name.

                           

                          Have you clicked on the triangle by the 2014 folder? It should show other folders below it. You might start there, clicking one question mark by one folder and then locating that folder through the LR dialogue boxes.

                           

                          Somehow, LR is not seeing the physical images that it has catalogued.

                          • 10. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            The re-imported images are not an issue. Once the proper drive letters are assigned to the two external drives all of the "original" image files will be "reconnected" inside LR. Assigning drive letters will also help prevent this from reoccurring. The re-imported images are LR duplicates and not needed.

                            • 11. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                              rebecca 6490 Level 1

                              Hi Trshaner

                               

                              Firstly, sorry for the delay in replying, it's been a bonkers weekend and I needed some time to sit down quietly and look at this, I do find all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes on a computer rather daunting.

                               

                              Secondly, I can't thank you enough, all the pictures have been reunited with their histories, it's brilliant, thank you, thank you, thank you :-)

                               

                              Can I just ask one more question, now that I have assigned the letters to the ports, should I be ensuring that the HD are plugged into the same ports every time or if I swap them, will that be okay?  I just want to make sure that this doesn't happen again,

                               

                              Many, many thanks

                               

                              Rebecca

                              • 12. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                                trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                rebecca 6490 wrote:

                                Can I just ask one more question, now that I have assigned the letters to the ports, should I be ensuring that the HD are plugged into the same ports every time or if I swap them, will that be okay?  I just want to make sure that this doesn't happen again,

                                You can use any port. Just make sure you don't have a USB flash drive, phone, camera or other USB device with storage connected when you plug in the external hard drive. This is probably what caused the original problem.

                                 

                                To permanently avoid this from happening you can assign both external drives higher letters that will never be used by other devices. It's the same procedure you just used except the letters M: and N: will be assigned. Once completed you can add a descriptive name to each drive: Windows 7 - Renaming a Disk label

                                 

                                LR will now show all of your photos as missing, just as before. Don't panic!  Follow the procedure below for reconnecting the now "missing drives."

                                 

                                http://www.lightroomqueen.com/articles-page/lightroom-thinks-photos-missing-fix/

                                • 13. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                                  rebecca 6490 Level 1

                                  Hi

                                   

                                  I regularly work with 2 HD plugged in, but sometimes only one or the other, sometimes neither.  I think the problem occurred when I plugged them in with a different order - so perhaps do I need to make sure that I always plug them in with the same order?

                                   

                                  I did wonder whether to name the ports with letters further along the alphabet, but would I always have the same problem if I change the connection order?

                                   

                                  Thank you

                                   

                                  Rebecca

                                  • 14. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    rebecca 6490 wrote:

                                    I did wonder whether to name the ports with letters further along the alphabet, but would I always have the same problem if I change the connection order?

                                    You shouldn't as long as no other devices are already plugged in as described. When you do that and the device is assigned one of your external drive letters (F: or G:).

                                     

                                    EXAMPLE- You have external drive F: plugged, but not the G: drive. You then connect a camera, phone, or USB flash drive and leave it connected. This "temporarily" connected USB device is assigned the next available letter G:, which causes the 2nd external drive to be assigned letter H: when you plug it in. That letter (H:) is now assigned to the 2nd drive and you will need yo use Windows Disk Management to manually assign it back to G:.

                                     

                                    Assigning the external drives letters M: and N: will prevent this from happening. You would need to "use up" all of the available drive letters between E: and M:. Even in this case you could simply use even higher drive letters such as Y: and Z:. Armed with this knowledge choose the letters you want to use.

                                    • 15. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                                      rebecca 6490 Level 1

                                      Wonderful, thank you so much for your help.  I can not tell you how pleased I am to have this sorted, I was having nightmares about having to re-edit all my pictures, I was so stressed about it. You are an absolute star.

                                       

                                      Thank you :-)

                                       

                                      Rebecca

                                      • 16. Re: Missing pictures, folders, histories, flags................
                                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Glad I was able to help resolve the issue–Enjoy!