17 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2016 12:12 PM by sccarol

    Can't access external hard drive

    sccarol Level 1

      I have photos on external HD, catalog is on laptop. When I plug in the external HD it lights up in the left pane, but no images show up. I have a pc, and the photos are accessible through explorer, all of them, so they're there, and the hd itself seems to be fine. Lightroom 6 just doesn't seem able to access them. Also, I had labelled the xternal drive W, but it shows up in both explorer and LR as E. I have tried renaming the drive W, but that didn't work either. I have used this Xternal HD in the past numerous times with no problem. OS is windows 10. I also have searched the forums because I know this can be a problem but didn't find any answers.

        • 1. Re: Can't access external hard drive
          GautamBahl Adobe Employee

          Hi Carol,

           

          When you open the import window in Lightroom, can you change the option from "Add" to "Copy" and expand the Destination panel.

           

          See if that helps in reflecting the images in the import window.

           

          Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 4.35.16 AM.png

          Please see the above screen shot for more clarity.

           

          Kindly let me know if it helped or not.

           

          Regards,

          Gautam

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Can't access external hard drive
            BKKDon Level 4

            sccarol wrote:

             

            I have photos on external HD, catalog is on laptop. When I plug in the external HD it lights up in the left pane, but no images show up. I have a pc, and the photos are accessible through explorer, all of them, so they're there, and the hd itself seems to be fine. Lightroom 6 just doesn't seem able to access them. Also, I had labelled the xternal drive W, but it shows up in both explorer and LR as E. I have tried renaming the drive W, but that didn't work either. I have used this Xternal HD in the past numerous times with no problem. OS is windows 10. I also have searched the forums because I know this can be a problem but didn't find any answers.

            To correctly assign a permanent drive letter in windows carry out the instructions contained in this link then it will reattach each and every time you plugin the external drive:

             

            Change, add, or remove a drive letter - Windows Help

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Can't access external hard drive
              ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

              A good link.

               

              If you pick a drive letter "L" or higher, Windows will not change it on you.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                sccarol Level 1

                GautamaBahl, Unfortunately, I don't want to import the photos, just to work on them on the external hard drive. Your suggestion did allow me to view them, but I still can't access them just to work on them. Is there something more I should do that will allow me to maintain access after I view them in the import window?

                • 5. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                  sccarol Level 1

                  Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Let me take it one at a time. I responded to GautamBahl up above. For the suggestions about changing the drive letter, I did this, renaming it to W, but when I open lightroom it shows the xhd with the initial letter (E), but not lit up, even tho it is plugged in. So how do I get LR to recognize the new drive letter and open the disk? Thanks so much for the help!!!

                  • 6. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                    GautamBahl Adobe Employee

                    You could backup all the images and data stored on your drive, format the drive and then transfer the data again and check if the issue persists.

                     

                    Regards,

                    Gautam

                    • 7. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      GautamBahl wrote:

                       

                      You could backup all the images and data stored on your drive, format the drive and then transfer the data again and check if the issue persists.

                      I wouldn't do this. A lot of work, and simpler methods are available.

                       

                      Lightroom thinks the drive is E, and your operating system thinks the drive is W. You can either give the drive the letter that matches in Lightroom. Or you can point Lightroom to the drive that has your photos by (in Lightroom) right-clicking on the top level folder and then using either "FInd Missing Folder" or "Update Folder Location" commands. See more details at this link (see FIgure 4): Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders. The whole thing should take under a minute.

                      • 8. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                        sccarol Level 1

                        OK, this is what I have:

                        Screenshot (1).png

                        Originally, W was blacked out, even though it showed up in explorer just fine, and I could view all the photos in it through explorer. I finally exported 1 photo from C to W, and now it does recognize the presence of W. However, it does not show any other photos on W. The crazy part is that I just used this external HD a few weeks ago and had no problem with it.

                        • 9. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          So, I'm confused. Your screen capture doesn't show a problem. It shows F and G drives that are not connected at this time.

                           

                          Where in the Lightroom catalog are the photos you think are missing? You have previously mentioned an E: drive, but no such drive appears in Lightroom.

                          • 10. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                            wobertc Adobe Community Professional
                            I don't want to import the photos, just to work on them on the external hard drive.

                            Wrong, wrong, wrong!, It cannot be done with Lightroom. You must Import previews to allow you to edit.

                            The images will remain on the external drive if you import with the "ADD" option and keep the drive plugged in.

                            • 11. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                              sccarol Level 1

                              The problem started when windows changed my xternal hd letter from w to e (the toshiba) when I plugged it in and attempted to access it several days ago. As a result, when I plugged it in, it lit up, but showed no images, even though I could open it in explorer and see all the photos & folders that were supposed to be there. I changed the drive letter and path back to w, but then, although the drive showed up in the left pane as w, it was dark, and I still couldn't access it in lightroom. So I finally exported an image from my laptop to the W drive. It now lights up as being recognized as being active in lightroom, but as the screenshot shows, it only sees the 1 image that I exported from my laptop, not the 1000+ images it showed 3 weeks ago (& still shows in explorer). The other 2 drives aren't the problem - are not plugged in at this time.

                              • 12. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                sccarol Level 1

                                That's odd, wobertc, since I've been doing exactly that for the 2 years I've been using lightroom.

                                • 13. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                  BKKDon Level 4

                                  wobertc is absolutely correct ... you cannot edit images in Lightroom that have NOT been imported into the catalog.

                                   

                                  To see and edit those 1000+ images import them as you have previously done on the drives listed in the Library panel (C, F & G)

                                   

                                  Follow these instructions to ADD to the catalog: Import photos to Lightroom CC | Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC tutorials

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                    sccarol Level 1

                                    These images are (or should be) in my catalog. That's the whole point. I've had them on the external drive for over a year, in my catalog which is on the laptop. I normally plug the external drive in, open LR, the images all show up on the drive and in LR, and I'm a happy camper. Then, the other day I plugged it in and opened LR and all of a sudden I can't access the drive. Sorry, I obviously am not explaining this very well. One person suggested I reimport them all. I do have them backed up on another external HD. But I've done a lot of work on them and would lose all that, & if I don't figure out how this happened in the first place, I'll be afraid of it happening again. I feel like I've gone down the rabbit hole.

                                    • 15. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                      BKKDon Level 4

                                      If they are already in the catalog you shouldn't have to reimport.

                                       

                                      Are the images you are looking for on the Drive E: as listed in your Library panel?

                                       

                                      Do you have any other catalogs on your hard drive? Is the catalog you have open the correct one?

                                       

                                      In my case I also only use external drives and have never had any issues.

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                        dj_paige Level 9

                                        sccarol wrote:

                                         

                                        The problem started when windows changed my xternal hd letter from w to e (the toshiba) when I plugged it in and attempted to access it several days ago. As a result, when I plugged it in, it lit up, but showed no images, even though I could open it in explorer and see all the photos & folders that were supposed to be there. I changed the drive letter and path back to w, but then, although the drive showed up in the left pane as w, it was dark, and I still couldn't access it in lightroom. So I finally exported an image from my laptop to the W drive. It now lights up as being recognized as being active in lightroom, but as the screenshot shows, it only sees the 1 image that I exported from my laptop, not the 1000+ images it showed 3 weeks ago (& still shows in explorer). The other 2 drives aren't the problem - are not plugged in at this time.

                                        If the photos are still in Lightroom, does Lightroom think they are on the F or G drive? Because those are the only other drives shown in your screen capture of Lightroom's folder panel. Have you actually looked for them in Lightroom on the F or G drive?

                                         

                                        Also, please make sure you didn't (accidentally?) open the wrong catalog. Go to File->Open Recent and select each catalog shown there to open it and see if the photos of interest are there.

                                         

                                        I don't want to import the photos, just to work on them on the external hard drive.

                                        I agree with all the others, this is impossible. Photos on the external drive can be imported into Lightroom and they're still on the external drive.

                                        • 17. Re: Can't access external hard drive
                                          sccarol Level 1

                                          OK!!!! LR thought they were in the F drive. I'm confused about that, cos I thought the photos on the F drive were just backups from the original import, but I connected them up to the W drive, and they are now there, edits and all. Thanks to everyone for hanging in with me to try and sort out what had gone wrong. I love LR but find that most of my issues/confusions are usually with library. Problem is solved - thanks very much.