5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2016 1:14 AM by debho

    Lightroom not recognizing external HD?


      When I try to import files from anywhere - my desktop, or an SD Card - into Lightroom 4 or now 6 (just upgraded to see if it would help), Lightroom imports the photo file into what I would call a ghost external hard drive. It creates a second external hard drive file that appears to be a duplicate of the original. A couple of weeks ago, the external hard drives name was accidently changed or partly erased when I was backing up my hard drive unattended in Time Machine. I am working on an iMac with OS 10.11.4. At that point Lightroom couldn't find any of my files of course! So, I very carefully renamed the hard drive to the exact same original name and Lightroom recognized everything just fine - except, I started having this import problem. When I import a photo file, it puts it in a ghost external hard drive with the same name, size, and number of files. If i try to move the file into the real external hard drive where it is supposed to go, Lightroom tells me that the file already exists in Lightroom. If I look in my external drive outside of Lightroom, the file is where it is supposed to be. I have tried just "adding" the file to Lightroom, rather than copying it or moving it and that doesn't matter. I have tried re-pointing Lightroom to the correct drive. Doesn't work. The only way I can get the files to go where I want them is to import them, then highlight the recently imported file, and move it into the mother folder. Then I have to manually move the file from the mother folder into the subfolder and then delete the now empty ghost folder in the ghost hard drive. HELP!!!! Is there a way to merge the external hard drive with its ghost (or duplicate)?I cannot find anything in the forums or documentation and when I tried calling tech support I ran into a brick wall which is very frustrating. They said I could not get help over the phone, I have to use the forums. So, please, let me know what I can try.

        • 1. Re: Lightroom not recognizing external HD?
          Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

          Manually copy your images to the hard drive first, then use Lightroom 'Add' when importing. This removes any confusion as to where Lightroom is copying files to during import.


          My guess is that you have an import preset that was originally created for the old drive. If you take a screen capture of your import window and post it here, we might be able to figure out what is going on.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom not recognizing external HD?
            Kush12 Adobe Employee

            Hi Deborah


            Seems to me it probably is a conflict issue with drives in your catalog and LR is confusing about where to put the images and creates a clone instead. You need to work smartly to get rid of the clone drive by keeping the images with same folder structure. Though It is a bit long process however, i would try to be as simple as i could.


            You have to make a blank test folder on the drive itself out of Lightroom which has to be kept at the same location where the main images folder resides ( main folder means -the very first folder under your drive in your catalog that must be including all sub folders on drive itself ) and then put an image in the test folder and import it. the test folder would become part of new clone drive in catalog you would then move the main folder from Original Drive to the Clone drive within your catalog. Once you are done with moving all folder structures to the test folder under clone drive. The original drive which was not being identified by Lightroom would be disappeared if not you can remove it manually and this is how you would be left with single drive with all your existing folders/images and if you try importing the images now. They would directly go into the same destination folder what you choose on import screen rather than going into any clone/ghost drive.


            Thank you Deborah for bringing this issue to our notice. And I amso  glad that i was able to fix this issue for you over call.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Lightroom not recognizing external HD?
              ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

              I have seen similar reports where the name of the drive is changed using a different capitalization of the old name. I don't recall the fix, but there are threads here that will help, assuming that is the problem.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom not recognizing external HD?
                debho Level 1

                Thanks for figuring out this complicated problem. Everything is now working great!

                • 5. Re: Lightroom not recognizing external HD?
                  debho Level 1

                  Thanks for your suggestion, but I had already tried that. My images were already on the external hard drive and I was just trying to add them to Lightroom. Anyway, Kush figured it out and got things to working.