I recently downloaded some photos from a trip, and although most are intact, for several there is an exclamation point and message that says, "IMG_1983.CR2 could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?" When I try to locate the photos, I can't find them within Lightroom or on my hard drive. I know it seems like I must have deleted them outside of Lightroom for this message to appear, but I seriously do not recollect it. What's more, I used a photo recovery program on both my hard drive and on my camera card, and it didn't pull up any of those photos, although it did find photos that I actually deleted from around the same time. That seems odd to me.
Can anyone think of some other method I could try to get these photos back? They're super important to me, and this all happened so quickly that I unfortunately didn't get a chance to back them up before it happened. I can still see the previews in Lightroom, although I can only see two of them clearly. The rest have already gone blurry/pixelated. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks so much!
Since, the original images have been deleted and Lightroom does not keep a copy of the originals, there is no way to recover originals.
Is this Windows? If yes: make sure you search the whole disk from the root root. Be aware that the file could be renamed. Windows deletes by deleting the first character of the file name. That's make it easy for software to find deleted files. There is software that looks deeper, so even after some portion is overwritten one might find something. You need to google for these. You can even get stuff off a formatted SD card. This is where I would start unless it is hard-formatted and/or overwritten. If money is no obstacle - there are companies that a do that sort of thing.