I think I may have made a blunder. But I thought I should check with all of you to see if there is any hope...
What I did:
-Backed up my pictures to an external drive
-Backed up my lrcat + pictures to a different external drive
-Main hard drive crashed... but I'm not worried because I have external backups.
What I did:
-Copied my pictures back to my new internal C drive
-Opened my lrcat file (from my external drive)... noticed it was referencing the pictures on my external and not the pictures on my C... removed those pictures from the catalog and imported the pictures my C instead of my external.
Hey where are the edits?.... T__T
I realize what I did wrong, but I'm hoping that maybe the edits/data I'm looking for is still on that lrcat file despite my foolish move. The lrcat file is huge... so it would seem strange to me that the data I need isn't in it... but I have no idea really.
Is there any chance I will get my edits back... or does this mean I'm back to a fresh start with my pictures?
Importing a second time is always the wrong answer.
What you should have done is a "update folder location" in the Folders panel.
At this point, the catalog that you did the delete and re-import into is of no use as the old edits are gone.
Ideally, you copied the catalog from the external drive to elsewhere before opening it, as any backup file should never be directly used.
If not, you should look for a Lightroom-generated backup (ZIP file) of the catalog that contained your old edits. If you have one of those backups, unzip the catalog to somewhere (I like "d:\Lr_catalogs\ "), then work with that restored catalog.
Awww man. Seems I dropped the ball. Well... at least nothing was on the line and I still have my originals. Thanks for your help Joe.