15 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2017 8:05 PM by Theresa J

    Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized

    ryanl48076779

      Ok, so here is the scoop. I bought a new MacBook Pro before a recent 6 month trip. I set up Lightroom to use an external hard drive for storage/catalog, etc so that I could bounce back and forth between the laptop and my main Mac PC. It worked good before I left on the trip on both, but now after 6 months has gone by, and some 40,000 images have been added to Lightroom through the MacBook Pro only, my main PC will not recognize the new images when the HD is plugged into it. It recognizes the hard drive of course and pulls up an active catalog, but would be only current to the time that I left. I assumed it would "refresh" itself and I would see all the new images because I assumed the actual catalog was all on the external HD. Help! Maybe I am missing something obvious here.

        • 1. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
          dj_paige Level 9

          In your operating system, find the catalog file on the external HD. Double-click on it to open it in Lightroom.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
            ryanl48076779 Level 1

            Thank you of the fast help! But, I might need a bit more help doing exactly what you recommended. In other words, "dummy it down for me", haha. I looked the catalog file but not sure how to find it.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
              dj_paige Level 9

              It is a file whose name ends with .LRCAT

               

              How did you move the catalog file to the external HD if you don't know the name and you don't know where it is?

               

              Or in your very first post, when you said you put the "storage/catalog" on the external HD, do you actually mean "photos"?

              • 4. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                ryanl48076779 Level 1

                My apologies for the lack of description. Let me try again. When I first starting using LR on my laptop, I started with a new clean HD and save all my work/photos on it. So when I import into LR, its actually importing into a folder called..."orange HD". The idea was that I wouldn't use the storage on my MacBook and wouldn't eventually need to be cleaned off. I can't remember how I "set it up", been a while. i just know that when I want import any new photos to edit in LR, I plug in my HD and import directly onto it using LR's import (I'm assuming this is the standard way people use a HD for storage). At that time, I was able to just unplug my HD and then plug it into my second computer. When I opened up LR, all the photos to date were already synced, or included in the folder "orange HD". On the trip I just used the MacBook. When I got home i wanted to edit on the big computer but when the HD is plugged in and when Im viewing the photos in it, it hasn't updated any of the new photos from the trip. When I open up the HD on my computer manually to look inside, there are just a few folders, one for photos, & one that I manually put videos into (not through LR). I understand that if I make changes to the HD alone outside of LR, it will lose the "path" and the photos will show up with a grey question mark - made that mistake when I originally set it up. Now I make all changes through LR. Anyway, Im not sure if this helps. When I first set up the HD route, I used the LR tutorial video to show me how to assign it as a folder or catalog. It has worked great ever since, until now. There has to be a way to make the second computer recognize the new photos no? I thought it would automatically do it as I assumed the HD was the key. Im confused nonetheless. When I go into "about this mac' and review my storage, it shows that LRCAT in my documents folder (this on both computers). Not on my HD...

                • 5. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                  ryanl48076779 Level 1

                  Im starting to think I should have made a new catalog within the HD instead of a folder?? If thats the case, can I make the necessary changes? Basically I just want to be able to use the HD between both computers and have all current photos and editing to show up no matter which computer I use. Sorry for the hassle and thanks...

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                    Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                    Ryan,

                     

                    That is your solution. The catalog itself needs to be on the HD. Then you need to make sure you are opening that catalog when you move the HD back and forth between workstations. By default double clicking on the Lr application icon will open the last used catalog, which may not be one you were hoping to open. Double clicking on the catalog itself ensures that you open the correct catalog. Once you get things set up, change your Lightroom preferences to open the HD catalog when double clicking on the application icon.

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                      ryanl48076779 Level 1

                      Perfect, so once I have it copied to my HD, can I delete the original/old catalog on my PC (from pictures) without losing anything?

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                        ryanl48076779 Level 1

                        So essentially I will only have one catalog (that is all I need and want at this time) - will be on my HD. Then I can delete my original catalogs from the computers and change the catalog settings on both computers to open the HD catalog as default. Then all changes and imported photos from either computer will be current and up to date when accessing (from both computers) right?

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                          ryanl48076779 Level 1

                          And after that is all set up, do I need to change the catalog settings so that LR stops storing on my computer? I thought I read that even if you do all that it will still make a catalog in pictures again as that is a default setting also and has to be changed?

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                            dj_paige Level 9

                            These are all very basic concepts that you need to grasp. However, your explanation simply isn't clear enough for me, so let me start by asking you one simple question:

                             

                            You said:

                            When I first starting using LR on my laptop, I started with a new clean HD and save all my work/photos on it. So when I import into LR, its actually importing into a folder called..."orange HD". The idea was that I wouldn't use the storage on my MacBook and wouldn't eventually need to be cleaned off.

                             

                            Does this mean (because you haven't actually stated this) that you are importing to your external HD, or to just a folder on your internal HD named orange HD? What does this mean? Where are the photos after import?

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                              ryanl48076779 Level 1

                              My apologies for being new to this. This isn't what I do for work, hence the learning curve. I import directly onto the HD through LR yes. What i meant was that my HD shows up under "folders" in the LR left column

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                                dj_paige Level 9

                                Is this the external HD or the internal HD?

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                                  ryanl48076779 Level 1

                                  import onto the external...

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                                    ryanl48076779 Level 1

                                    Ok, so I managed to transfer over the catalogs onto the two hard drives I use. So now when I open up LR, I actually go into the HD and double click on the CAT file which opens the catalog on that HD - the one I want to work with. One last question...am I now able to deleter the catalog and all other related files (preview, etc) from my computers internal HD? to free up some space on my computer ? Thanks

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom External Hard Drive Catalog Unrecognized
                                      Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

                                      Yes you can delete the catalog and preview files on your internal HD if you have successfully copied it to an external drive. To be completely safe I recommend backing it up to another location before you delete it.

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