3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2017 9:57 PM by Gary Moon

    Replacing the HDD that has my LR images

    Gary Moon

      I've looked at other related questions posted here and not found usable answers, though other members seem to be asking the same basic question: 


      What happens when I need to replace the hard drive where I store all the images I've imported into Lightroom (LR CC)?


      More specifically, how do I tell LR where to look for the files it has cataloged?


      Using Carbon Copy Cloner software (great program!) I have already made an exact copy of the drive in question onto a new larger drive.  Both drives happen to be internals, but the old one has now been removed from the machine, a Mac Pro, so LR isn't finding the old drive.  So I don't need to move anything, I just need to tell Lightroom how to find the image files on the new drive.


      I called Adobe CC support and was given instructions that made sense, but would leave me with a monumental and tedious task, simply because my folder structure involves a large number of subfolders, and then folders within those, etc.  I have LOTS of folders to keep my work organized in the way that is essential to my business.  The Adobe phone agent said this:  "In LR library folder panel, control-click (Macintosh) on the question mark icon for the Top Level Folder, the one which contains ALL my subfolders, then select "find missing folder".


      That much I understand.  I've done that kind of search when I've accidentally moved a folder outside of LR, and have to locate to the folder in question.


      The agent said that LR will find all the nearby images.  I replied that with all my folders within folders, I have maybe a few hundred folders.  He said I would have to repeat this process for each subfolder -  clicking that question mark icon and navigating to the correct new location.  I groaned at the prospect of repeating the the same process hundreds of times to guide LR to the files.  I have better things to do with my time.  And I really really don't want to get LR tangled up and become unusable because of the Library function.


      There must be an easier solution!  What is it?

        • 1. Re: Replacing the HDD that has my LR images
          Jeff Schewe Level 5

          It's a pretty simple effort if and only if you have one major enclosing folder within which all of your image folders reside. I use an enclosing folder called Digital-Captures (the exact name doesn't matter). Inside that folder are all of my other folders and subfolders.


          So, if I move the main Digital-Captures folder to another hard drive, all I need to do is click on the enclosing folder in LR that is missing. Once I find the enclosing folder, all other subfolders are already recognized and found.


          If you don't have all your folders in an upper level folder, I suggest you do so before copying to the new drive. Just make sure you move the folders from within LR and not from the finder.

          • 2. Re: Replacing the HDD that has my LR images
            Gary Moon Level 1

            Jeff, thanks so much for the quick reply!


            I wondered if this was the answer, but decided to check with Adobe support before proceeding.  As I wrote, the agent told me I'd have to repeat the locating process multiple times, which just seems too laborious to be viable.  I'm glad you suggest otherwise. 


            My folder hierarchy is indeed contained within one single folder, just as you'd described, named in a way that clearly distinguishes it from my processed TIFF files. 


            Your help is much appreciated.  I'll give it a try. 


            I am extra cautious now after creating a disaster with my library when I first began stumbling around in LR 1.  I just didn't know what I was doing, and made a horrible mess which needed luck, effort, and advice from another galaxy to get my collection unscrambled.  I just didn't want to create another mess like that!



            • 3. Re: Replacing the HDD that has my LR images
              Gary Moon Level 1

              Worked PERFECTLY! 


              Thanks again.