5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2016 11:21 AM by dj_paige

    Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives

    John McClung

      So I'm really struggling to grok how to work with LR CC when migrating/consolidating files onto a new larger hard drive. The situation is this:

       

      I have one main catalog on my Macbook Pro. I've got actual files themselves in dated folders on several hard drives, largely due to import mistakes on my part. All the drives are mounted fine on my Macbook Pro in El Capitan 10.11.3.

       

      I'm trying to move a folder of images within LR from a 3TB drive into the main JM LIGHTROOM FILES folder on my new 6TB drive where everything should live going forward.

       

      But when I drag a folder of files, within LR, from one drive to the new desired home drive, I get this alert:

      "Could not complete the folder move. The folder named "2012-03-25" could not be created." No hint as to why the folder can't be created.

       

      I just now did a consistency check on the target, 6TB drive with Drive Genius 4, and also repaired the drive with Disk utility. Permissions are set so anyone can read and write, so I don't think there's a permissions issue, and all the files to be copied are either DNG or .CR2, Canon RAW files.

       

      I then control clicked on the folder in LR I'm trying to move, and chose "Update folder location." Now the folder bounces back and doesn't move nor give me the prior alert.

       

      In a similar situation, when I drag a different folder of files within LR to the new home on the 6TB drive, it complains that there's already a folder with that name. In Finder I can see that's true, but the folder isn't showing in the LR folder heirarchy, how do I get it to show in the catalog?

       

      I have other questions, but let's keep this simple for now.

       

      Thanks, everyone, for tips.

        • 1. Re: Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives
          dj_paige Level 9

          In my opinion, the best way to move photos is using your operating system, following these excellent and very detailed instructions: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

           

          The reason you cannot create the folder you want is because you do not have WRITE permission to create the folder. So you have to change the permissions on that drive/parent folder.

          • 2. Re: Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I normally try not to move files after they have been imported to Lightroom. But I realize that sometimes it's necessary. On the few occasions when I have done this in the past, I don't do the move using Lightroom. I am a Windows user, and I move the folder using File Explorer. Actually, I first copy the folder to the new desired location. Then I open Lightroom and find that folder that I copied in its original location and choose to update the folder location. My personal experience has been that if I want to just move one or two files it seems to be safe to do so using Lightroom. However, if I find it necessary to move entire folders I have found it more reliable to use File Explorer as I have described. Then after I have verified that I'm connected to the images in the new location, I can confidently delete the folder from its original spot.

            • 3. Re: Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives
              John McClung Level 1

              Thanks for all the input so far, friends!

              My problems just seem get "worser and worser."

               

              Here's a new conundrum for you to chew on:

               

              I had inadvertently imported quite a few images onto a backup 3TB drive, rather than the intended SOURCE 3TB drive. That backup drive began to fail at the same time as the SOURCE drive (Seagates at the End of Life, it seems), so I used Data Rescue 4 to recover all date-named folders of images from the backup drive, and stashed those in a separate folder on my new 6TB drive.

               

              Now, LR didn't even have or know of several folders, so as a test I first tried to import 2 unknown folders of images into my LR catalog, the folders made it but only a handful of images made it (7 of 94), and got a report that a half dozen pics failed to copy, but no explanation why.

               

              So I literally copied those 2 folders and enclosed images into  my JM LIGHTROOM IMAGES folder on the 6TB drive (using Finder in OS X). So they're where I want them to be. But the next dilemma was how to get my catalog to recognize the folders and images, they don't automatically appear since they haven't gone through the import process; rather they did try to import, but failed miserably.

               

              I tried both using Synchronize Folder, and Update Folder Location, and no improvement. Images that exist in those folders would not import into their respective folders in LR.

               

              So I tried "Import into this Folder" in LR; when I navigate to the desired folder, LR sees the images, but  all images are greyed out, and LR says the images are duplicates of images already in the catalog. So I hunted for one sample "duplicate" image in my catalog (Find…) and there was no image by that name anywhere in the catalog.

               

              If anyone can explain why I'm having such troubles and how to solve them, I'd sure be grateful!

               

              Before I completely give up on LR, I'm tempted to just reorganize my folders of images on the new 6TB home drive, manually collecting everything I want in my catalog into a single enclosing folder like I've always done, and then create a brand new catalog from that new batch of pictures. Is that feasible, and is there a proper way to do that to spare me this kind of difficulty down the road? I presume I will lose LR edits, but I've done very little, honestly, so this is likely a faster way to reboot, I'm thinking.

               

              Thanks again, Sage Experts!!

              • 4. Re: Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives
                John McClung Level 1

                Thanks for that link, dj_paige! Doesn't help with all my current problems, but does clear up some mysteries for me.

                • 5. Re: Need help with viewing files in LR catalog strewn about on multiple drives
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  Now, LR didn't even have or know of several folders, so as a test I first tried to import 2 unknown folders of images into my LR catalog, the folders made it but only a handful of images made it (7 of 94), and got a report that a half dozen pics failed to copy, but no explanation why.

                  Sure would be helfpful if you could quote the exact complete unedited word-for-word error message.

                   

                  So I literally copied those 2 folders and enclosed images into  my JM LIGHTROOM IMAGES folder on the 6TB drive (using Finder in OS X). So they're where I want them to be. But the next dilemma was how to get my catalog to recognize the folders and images, they don't automatically appear since they haven't gone through the import process; rather they did try to import, but failed miserably.

                   

                  Could you explain, in detail, "failed miserably"? If there is an error message, please quote the exact complete unedited word-for-word error message.

                  So I tried "Import into this Folder" in LR; when I navigate to the desired folder, LR sees the images, but  all images are greyed out, and LR says the images are duplicates of images already in the catalog. So I hunted for one sample "duplicate" image in my catalog (Find…) and there was no image by that name anywhere in the catalog.

                  The photos have already been imported into Lightroom. You need to find the photos in Lightroom so you know where they are, and optionally move them somewhere else, using the methods in the link I provided.

                   

                  This is how you find the photos. You need to follow ALL steps, in order

                  1. Click on All Photographs
                  2. Turn off filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
                  3. Expand all stacks (right-click on ANY photo and select Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
                  4. Sort the photos in alphabetical order by file name (View->Sort->File Name)
                  5. Scroll up or down until you find the photos by file name in alphabetical order

                   

                  Before I completely give up on LR, I'm tempted to just reorganize my folders of images on the new 6TB home drive, manually collecting everything I want in my catalog into a single enclosing folder like I've always done, and then create a brand new catalog from that new batch of pictures. Is that feasible, and is there a proper way to do that to spare me this kind of difficulty down the road? I presume I will lose LR edits, but I've done very little, honestly, so this is likely a faster way to reboot, I'm thinking.

                  Yes, you can create a new catalog (File->New Catalog) and import everything into Lightroom. You will most likely lose your edits and user-supplied metadata.

                   

                  Do not put all photos into a single folder (unless you mean a parent folder with many sub-folders). Either import using ADD, which keeps the photos in their existing location, or import using COPY and select the folder names to be the capture date (this is the Lightroom default). From this point on, DO NOT move or rename the photos (EXCEPTION: if at some point the situation arises where the photos need to be moved to a new computer or new hard drive, then you have to move them). This advice, to handle the photos once and make sure they are where you want them to be and never move them again will make your life simple, and eliminates all problems relating to missing photos and duplicate photos.

                   

                  All organizing is done via keywords and other metadata. All searching for photos is done by keywords and other metadata. If you use Lightroom the way it was intended to be used, you will find it works very well and your life is simple. If you want to use Lightroom in other ways and move photos and folders from here to there after you import, you are making your own life complicated.