Are you using the same catalog that you used previously? I've never seen or heard the term, "smart catalog". What are you referring to?
So i bough a new drive, copied all the pics across from corrupt to new. I then opened LR, and identified the new parent folder. All the RAW files are now perfectly in place.
It's nearly impossible to know what you did from this description, as you don't tell us what exact Lightroom steps you followed, using the Lightroom name of the step. That would certainly be helpful to know.
But you have all the symptoms of having imported the photos. If that's what you did, that's the wrong thing to do. You must find teh catalog file from the old hard drive, and copy that over to the new harddrive and then open it. No importing is needed. Importing is the wrong thing to do.
sorry for not explaining clearly. I keep all my raw images in a simple file system on an external drive.
I then have an LR catalogue on Dropbox. So whenever i work on files, I put my external drive into my computer and open my LR catalogue in Dropbox, and then make the changes. The external drive is simply the image database. The catalogue on Dropbox keeps all the edit info / previews etc...
2 days ago, my external drive with all raw images became corrupted - I could open and see the files, but not edit them at all. I was told to get the stuff off the drive and format it immediately.
I therefore moved all my raw images files onto a new external hard drive.
Then i opened my LR catalogue and all the folders had the "?" mark thing in place.
I right clicked on the top ? folder and selected "show parent folder."
Then I right clicked and selected "find missing folder" - picked choose.
All the ? marks disappeared. LR could now once again locate my images.
The issue that I have is that the images are in LR... correctly referenced, in the same file tree, on a new drive. BUT... NO EDITS HAVE BEEN APPLIED... Basically all my post processing work is gone.
Are you sure no edits have been applied? Are there no editing steps in the History panel of the Lightroom Develop Module?
2 days ago, my external drive with all raw images became corrupted - I could open and see the files, but not edit them at all.
Describe this. What happened when you tried to edit them? Why could you not edit them at all? What was the exact word-for-word error message?
I was told to get the stuff off the drive and format it immediately.
What "stuff"? Who told you that?
Catalog on Dropbox can be a problem, if you don't allow the files to synchronize from your computer to DropBox before you open the catalog file, this can cause the catalog to be corrupted.
Sorry for the slow reply:
"Are you sure no edits have been applied? Are there no editing steps in the History panel of the Lightroom Develop Module?"
I took 1000 photos in Phuket. So put an album in the library module called Phuket. I put the raw files on an external and then added them into LR (so I could edit them). I always do this:
1) flag pics I like.
2) attribute, flag.
3) do the edits.
4) give them a star when finished.
This way I keep all my original images, and if I want to see the best, I just click "Attribute, flag and star"
My issue is that LR hasn't kept the flags and stars I gave the pics. So i can just see the odd edited pic in an ocean of raw images. Does that make sense?
Does anyone know why LR wouldn't copy across the attributes?
Lightroom is so damn tricky for me
In answer to your other question,
The original LR Drive on my mac gave a message to the effect of "the file has become corrupted. You can copy files from the drive, but you cannot make edits. Remove all files and reformat the drive immediately"
PS - Edits have now been applied. But attributes have not.