If the photos are greyed out, then you cannot and should not import them because they are already imported into Lightroom.
What you need to do is to find the photos in Lightroom (using any one of Lightroom's many search commands) and then if necessary, reconnect Lightroom to the proper external HD using these instructions: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
OK thanks I am already sorting this out but I think the problem was drive letter was coming up as E for some reason and I have F for the drive im using so long way round im deleting from cat drive E and re importing from drive F all photos are organized into years so not a problem to do this. Thanks for your help anyway.......Mike
so long way round im deleting from cat drive E and re importing from drive F
A very very poor solution. You may lose your edits and user supplied metadata. Stop. Never re-import photos.
Change the drive letter in Windows to whatever Lightroom wants it to be. If Lightroom thinks the drive should be E and your operating system has the drive as F, then in Windows, change F to E. Problem solved.
Yes i agree with you but already done and this will be the last version of Lightroom that I will use as I have no intention of subscribing (renting) on a monthly basis Adobe really need to rethink this. will be looking soon for alternative programmes to edit my photos and a great pitty as I like LR a lot, thinks it's brilliant bit of software.....Mike