7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2018 4:22 AM by Axel Matt

    Lost the entire folder tree!

    michele25mimi

      Problem due to a corruption on the hard disk. Retrieved the photos but they are no longer in any recognizable folder tree. They have been retrieved in folders according to the camera on which they were taken etc. There was no back up!! (Yes... I know!)

      Still have the catalogue with all the thumbnails etc. But of course in the catalogue all the folders have a "?" and all the photos have a "!" because they no longer link to the photos.

      Question is, is there any way to get the catalogue to find the photos again?

      I did think about putting all the photos in one folder and then setting up the catalogue the same way. Not sure if it would find the photos in a single folder with almost 100k photos!  Also, that means I lose the entire filing system and would have to set it up from the start again.

      Any wisdom?

        • 2. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
          JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

          The biggest problem is that loss of the folder tree. The methods to relink photos described in Axel's answer assume that the folder tree is kind of intact. The methods are still valid if it's not, but it becomes a daunting task to relink the photos, because you can't do it at the folder level. What kind of folder tree did you have? Is there any way to restore it manually before you try to relink the catalog with the photos?

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
            michele25mimi Level 1

            It's a helpful start Axel. Thanks. But Johan is correct in the next post. It's the mass of photos that is the problem.

            • 4. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
              astrobutch0901 Level 2

              You might be better importing the photos at their current location and reorganising in Lightroom, I know its a pain. Other option is to go to a backup you may have, I don't suppose you have that original folder hierarchy backed up anywhere? Apple Time Capsule/Machine?

              • 5. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
                michele25mimi Level 1

                Thanks Johan.

                You are correct.

                I've set up the entire folder tree again just using windows explorer. The Light Room Catalogue now recognises all the folders - all the "?" are gone.

                However, of course these are now just empty folders.

                The Catalogue tells me which photos should be in the folders. It's finding them among the thousands now completely rearranged that's the problem.

                I'm wondering... if

                a. I make a copy of all the photos and put them all in one folder.

                b. I then rename one sub folder in the Catalogue with the same name as the folder with all the photos. (copy also the place in the tree)

                c. Would the LR catalogue then find the photos that should be in that catalogue folder and link them?

                d. Could I then move them together into a new folder labelled correctly?

                (If that makes sense!)

                • 6. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
                  JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

                  AFAIK, you can't rename a missing folder in Lightroom. These are real folders (altough in the catalog they are database records). That means that Lightroom will not offer you the option to rename them as long as the link to the original folder is broken.

                   

                  Simply starting again (as suggested by others) is not an appealing option, because that means you'll lose all your edits and metadata. What you could do is this (make a catalog backup first!): Place all photos in a single folder. Use the method described by Victoria to connect one of the missing folders in Lightroom to that single folder with all the images. Then use the same method to connect the next missing folder to it as well. You will get an error saying that the folder already exists and the option to merge them. Click the 'Merge' button. Repeat this for all your missing folders. That is probably the fastest way to reconnect all your images. You won't have any folder tree left, but that is something you can solve later from within Lightroom.

                  • 7. Re: Lost the entire folder tree!
                    Axel Matt Adobe Community Professional

                    astrobutch0901  schrieb

                     

                    You might be better importing the photos at their current location and reorganising in Lightroom,

                    Importing isn't a good idea. In this case you'll loose all development settings for the appropriate pictures that you have don't.

                    The better way in this case is to do an relink.