11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2015 9:47 AM by jweiler4

    lost file associations in collections

    jweiler4

      I recently moved some folders from my internal drive on my Mac to an external drive to free up space.  I cannot remember exactly how I moved them - I'm sorry - but I am almost certain I moved them within LR.  When I moved them to the new drive, I moved them into a parent folder with a different name than the parent folder on the old drive.  Before I did this, I also copied them to a different portable hard drive just in case something went wrong - I add this because I'm not sure if this step is causing problems with the issues below

       

      When I go to the file in the new drive, everything seems fine - as far as I know, all of the metadata and develop settings are there.

       

      However, when I try to use Collections to work with the photos from one of the folders, I get the "!" in the corner of the cell.  So I click it and search for the file, find it, choose it in its new location on the new drive, and then I get a message saying that the file is already associated with another photo in the catalog and can only be associated with one photo.  I'm not sure where the other photo is to resolve it - I only see it on the new drive.

       

      Is there a way to find the other photo - and if so, what would I do to resolve it if I did find it?

       

      Also - please let me know if I did something wrong in the first place - most likely - because I want to do this periodically to free up space and want to do it without the headaches of this.

       

      Thank you for any advice!

        • 1. Re: lost file associations in collections
          dj_paige Level 9

          However, when I try to use Collections to work with the photos from one of the folders, I get the "!" in the corner of the cell.  So I click it and search for the file, find it, choose it in its new location on the new drive, and then I get a message saying that the file is already associated with another photo in the catalog and can only be associated with one photo.  I'm not sure where the other photo is to resolve it - I only see it on the new drive.

           

          Is there a way to find the other photo - and if so, what would I do to resolve it if I did find it?

          This is the crux of the problem. You get this message because you (probably) have imported the photo twice, and now Lightroom has one version of the photo from the first import that is not associated with the actual photo (that's why you get the "!"), and a second version from the second import, which is properly associated with the photo.

           

          You need to find these photos in Lightroom. Follow all of these four steps in order:

           

          1.   In the Lightroom Library Module, on the left, under Catalog, click on All Photographs

          2.   Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)

          3.   Turn off all stacking (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)

          4.   Search for at least one of these photos by file name using the Lightroom Filter bar

           

          You will probably find that the photo appears twice in this search. One of the photos will have edits and user-supplied metadata, and the other will not. You want to keep the one with the edits and user-supplier metadata, this is most likely the one with the "!". You want to delete from Lightroom (but not from the hard disk) the other one, and then you should be able to use Lightroom to associate the photo with the "!" to the file.

           

          I would also like to add that importing photos a second time never solves anything, it usually makes the problem worse, as you can see. Never re-import. The best way to move photos to another drive is actually:

           

          1. In your operating system, COPY (not MOVE) the photos to another drive
          2. In Lightroom, Use the Update Folder Location command to point Lightroom to the other drive (this is all explained in detail here, scroll down to the section entitled "Updating Folder Location")
          3. when that is completed and working properly, in your operating system, delete the photo from the first drive.
          • 2. Re: lost file associations in collections
            jweiler4 Level 1

            Yes!  That worked - thank you so much! 

             

            I'm assuming I need to do this individually for each photo - no way to do it in a batch, right?

             

            Thank you again!

            • 3. Re: lost file associations in collections
              dj_paige Level 9

              Once you find the location of the photos you want to delete, you should be able to delete the entire folder from Lightroom (but do not delete the photos from the hard disk). Then you can reconnect the entire folder rather than one photo at a time.

              • 4. Re: lost file associations in collections
                jweiler4 Level 1

                Thank you again! 

                 

                So when folders are moved, regardless of how I moved the folders, if the images are functioning properly in their new locations, is it safe to delete the grayed-out folders with the question marks noting where the folders originally lived?

                • 5. Re: lost file associations in collections
                  jweiler4 Level 1

                  When I go to All Photographs and right click on the photo to show it in the library, it shows that the one I want to keep is in a folder that has been marked as "missing".  Should I still remove the other folder (the duplicate folder that is not marked as "missing")?  By doing that, will I then be able to update folder location of the "missing" folder and ultimately have that one be the working folder?

                  • 6. Re: lost file associations in collections
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    The file you want to delete from Lightroom (but not the hard disk) is not the one with the exclamation point, not the one in the folder with the question mark. But please confirm that the other file (the one with no exclamation point, in a folder that doesn't have a question mark) is the one with no edits and no user supplied metadata. If that is the case, then you delete the folder with no question mark. Then you can associate the photos you do want (with the edits and user-supplied metadata) with the file/folders on your hard disk.

                    • 7. Re: lost file associations in collections
                      jweiler4 Level 1

                      Got it!

                       

                      Somehow the "missing folders" became nested under a sub-folder of the folder I am having the issues with.  So I've been able to resolve all except for one.  So the folder structure looks like this

                       

                      Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.23.59 PM.png

                      How can I resolve the 2014-10 Butler Family folder?  If I try to remove the top one, won't the missing one be removed as well?  I tried to move it up, but it won't let me move it.

                      • 8. Re: lost file associations in collections
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        There are a different number of photos in the two different Butler folder, some of which are missing and some of which are not missing. I wouldn't try to remove anything, I would just try to connect the one with the question mark.

                        • 9. Re: lost file associations in collections
                          jweiler4 Level 1

                          It's the same folder essentially.  The 4 extra files are virtual copies.  When I try to reconnect (Find missing folder and point to the new location), it tells me this:

                           

                          Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.43.52 PM.png

                          • 10. Re: lost file associations in collections
                            dj_paige Level 9

                            Click on Merge

                            • 11. Re: lost file associations in collections
                              jweiler4 Level 1

                              Okay - it wasn't letting me merge because of duplicates again.  So I went back in to All Photographs and individually deleted the photos in that particular folder.  Then it let me merge the folders. 

                               

                              Thank you so so much!!!!