6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2017 1:23 PM by biz@smuseby.net

    After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files

    biz@smuseby.net Level 1

      When I discovered that several of my images were missing from both my Lightroom catalog (using CC 2015.8) and the folders where I store my files, I located the missing files on a backup.  To recover the files, I attempted to import from the back up location.

      The import dialogue shows the missing files on the backup location grayed out, and the ones I have in my LR catalog as available for importing.  I imported one of the available images, and (with do not import duplicates checked), and LR imported the file, and appended '-2' to the file name.  In other words, Importing is doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do:  it is importing duplicates and not importing missing files.

      One more bizarre symptom:  when I use Finder to copy a missing image from the backup location to my LR location, without importing, the catalog accepts it with all the keywords and adjustments restored.

      The work-around is to use Finder to copy the missing files from the backup location to the LR location, but I'm nervous that something is very wrong with my catalog and I would hope to be able to use the LR import function to recover my missing files.

        • 1. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
          dj_paige Level 9

          When I discovered that several of my images were missing from both my Lightroom catalog (using CC 2015.8) and the folders where I store my files, I located the missing files on a backup.  To recover the files, I attempted to import from the back up location.

          For future reference, please understand this very important Lightroom concept: NEVER RE-IMPORT PHOTOS. This will almost never solve problems, and will usually make things worse. Lightroom thinks the re-imported photos are totally new photos that have no edits and no user-supplied metadata, and doesn't know what collections they are in, and doesn't know what slideshows and books and web pages they are in.

           

          The import dialogue shows the missing files on the backup location grayed out,

          This means that the photos have already been imported into Lightroom. There is no need to import them again. What has most likely happened is that you have imported these "missing" photos (accidentally?) using the MOVE option, and so Lightroom did what you told it to do and moved the photos to some other folder.

           

          I imported one of the available images, and (with do not import duplicates checked), and LR imported the file, and appended '-2' to the file name.  In other words, Importing is doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do:  it is importing duplicates and not importing missing files.

          As stated above, the import of these photos a second time causes problems. I disagree with your assessment of what Lightroom's import is supposed to do.

           

          One more bizarre symptom:  when I use Finder to copy a missing image from the backup location to my LR location, without importing, the catalog accepts it with all the keywords and adjustments restored.

          The work-around is to use Finder to copy the missing files from the backup location to the LR location, but I'm nervous that something is very wrong with my catalog and I would hope to be able to use the LR import function to recover my missing files.

          Nothing is wrong with your catalog. You have made a mistake, all of which can be fixed by the proper actions. The "bizarre symptom" is not bizarre, this is the way Lightroom works, if a photo is missing and you copy a backup to the exact location where Lightroom expects the photo to be, then Lightroom is once again happy. The Import function does not do what you said it should do. When you say you copied the backup to the "LR location", you seem to mean that this is the location where Lightroom expects the photo to be, and not the folder in the first paragraph were YOU expect the photo to be, is that correct?

          • 2. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
            biz@smuseby.net Level 1

            Thank you for your reply.  I agree with your comment that second importing is not good.  However, LR in my experience, precludes doing so.  If Finder is used to move or delete a LR file, LR will show the thumbnail of the missing file with an exclamation mark, indicating that the file is missing, and will offer to help locate it.  Once located, it is restored and all is well without importing.

            If a file is properly deleted from LR, IMO, there is no problem importing it a second time.

            In this case, the thumbnail and exclamation mark for the missing files are also missing from the catalog - as though the missing file had been properly deleted; however, when I violate the never use Finder rule and use Finder to copy the file back to the location where it should be, it's as though it was never missing - magically appearing in LR with all keywords, etc., restored. LR is not offering to locate the missing files.

            As for re-importing a file that is not missing, my experience is that LR prevents a duplicate import - these are the files that are grayed out. In this instance, LR is doing the opposite - permitting a second import of a file in the catalog, and then appending the -2 to the file.

            This behavior, in my experience, has never happened.

            • 3. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
              dj_paige Level 9

              In this case, the thumbnail and exclamation mark for the missing files are also missing from the catalog - as though the missing file had been properly deleted; however, when I violate the never use Finder rule and use Finder to copy the file back to the location where it should be, it's as though it was never missing - magically appearing in LR with all keywords, etc., restored. LR is not offering to locate the missing files.

              This doesn't violate any rules. This is expected behavior of Lightroom.

              • 4. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
                biz@smuseby.net Level 1

                I don't know about LR rules - but I do know that when a file goes missing,

                LR helps with the option to locate. In this case, it not only is not

                helping, it is permitting the importing duplicates.  Unique behavior in my

                experience.

                • 5. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  but I do know that when a file goes missing,LR helps with the option to locate.

                  I have never seen this

                  it not only is not helping, it is permitting the importing duplicates.

                  Perhaps you have turned on the option that allows Lightroom to import duplicates.

                  • 6. Re: After data loss, LR importing duplicates but not missing files
                    biz@smuseby.net Level 1

                    As you might note from my original description, 'do not import duplicates'

                    is checked.

                    If you were to move a file, with Finder, out of your LR folder(s) to say

                    your desktop, you will find that LR will show the associated thumbnail with

                    an exclamation mark; click it, and the dialogue says it can't find the

                    file, but will help locate it - you can browse to the location (desktop),

                    select the file, and LR moves it back to its original location.  All very

                    elegant.

                    Not happening here - this is not normal, and indicative I fear, of a

                    catalog problem.  I have been using LR for a very long time, am familiar

                    with it, and am confident that this is anomalous behavior.

                    I am hopeful that someone with intimate knowledge of the software can help

                    me with a reset perhaps?