The other kicker is that it's taking so long to connect single files. It looks as though it's relinking all the files but then when the locating dialog goes away, it's just down to the next file.
A RESTART OF PREMIERE WORKED! Now, I am not sure if the extra step of creating a proxy job for those items was necessary or not because I had the proxies in that folder and renamed before I booted up premiere so someone at adobe should be able to say whether or not that is necessary but that's literally the only thing I did differently between the previous restart and this one. Huzzah!
My proxies generated just like yours are not AT ALL relinking automatically. I tried your approach by starting a proxy batch to the same proxy folder where all of mine live, but they still do not link automatically. I have searched extensively and tried everything imaginable to make this work, with no answer anywhere online.
It would take up our entire post schedule to link one by one. Adobe's native proxy workflow is completely broken in the first place, because it takes 10 years to even add proxy clips to media encoder's queue. If that wasn't broken, then we wouldn't be trying work-arounds to create proxies in the first place. Premiere is going to lose serious market share to Resolve if they can't fix basic workflow problems.
I hear you. I wish I could help. We're an avid house so I haven't had to go back to this since but I hope you're able to find a solution. I had forgotten about this completely but happened to login to my adobe account and saw your response. Re-reading what I went thru made me have flop sweats all over again and I was just skimming my post! Yeah, the proxy workflow isn't "there" yet but IF it works correctly which it usually does when I am just doing everything on one system, it's such a breeze.
Anyway, best of luck!