Never import photos a 2nd time. This was the mistake.
Using your operating system, move the photos back to where they were on the first hard drive. This should reconnect the photos in Lightroom. Search for them, make sure you can find the ones with edits and that they do not have an exclamation point or question mark icon.
At this point, you should delete the photos with no edits and flags from Lightroom.
Now, to properly move the photos to a different hard disk, perform these three steps
- In your operating system, COPY (not MOVE) the photos to the external HD
- In Lightroom, go to the Folder Panel in the Library Module and right-click on the folder(s) in question and select Update Folder Location, then point Lightroom to the copied photos new location on the external HD. (more details are here, scroll down to the section entitled Updating Folder Location)
- Once you are 100% satisfied that Lightroom now recognizes the files on your external HD (there are no question marks or exclamation point icons on your photos), then using your operating system, you can delete the photos from your original HD.
And please begin making regular backups of your catalog file from now on, no excuses.
is it really true if you move catalogue folders lightroom deletes your editing data of this folders and the files in them?
No, in fact Lightroom allows this, as I explained. The problem is when you import a photo a 2nd time, Lightroom thinks this is a brand new photo with no edits and no user-supplied metadata like flags and collections and keywords.
thanks so much! totally worked.
omg you saved me five days of work!!! really appreciate taking the time to write me back
good karma coming your way!