14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2009 8:06 AM by the_wine_snob

    Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive

    Jim bosan

      When I put files on an external harddrive, they can't be seen or edited in the organizer. Adobes own support team admitted the fault in the program, but had no solution for this problem. Anyone out there got the same problem or a solution?

        • 1. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
          Barb__O Level 4



          My initial reacction is that this seems like too broad a statement if you are saying that no files from an external hard drive can be used in Elements 7. That is because I think that people are using external hard drives.


          -- what version of Windows?

          -- when you say they can't be seen or edited in the Organizer, do you mean the Organize panel of Premiere Elements 7 or the Organizer workspace of Photoshop Elements 7?

          -- did you upgrade from a previous version of either Elements product ? if yes, from which version?

          -- is there any network acess involved or is this an external drive directly attached via USB to the computer where it is used?

          -- have you cloned any hard drive to that external such that 2 drives would have the same serial number as known to Windows OS?


          Also suggest that we discuss a specific type of video file or type of photo file in case that makes a difference.


          P.S. Jim and Steve Grisetti (moderator). Perhaps it will be better to move this question to another forum. However I suggest that Jim provide more info before we make that evaluation.

          • 2. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            I agree with Barb. I've not heard of the Organizer not reading a second drive -- even if it's externally installed.


            At least once you point the Organizer at the drive, of course, so it knows it's supposed to watch it!

            • 3. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
              Jim bosan Level 1

              Thank you both for answering.

              Yes it is Premier Elements 7. I haven't any copies of Photoshop Elements.

              I have Windows XP.

              No upgrades, just bought Premier Elements 7 and installed it some weeks ago.

              Yes, attached through USB.

              I have tested several types of different video-files/photo-files, noone work. If the files are moved to the computers harddrive, they work straight away.

              No network access, but the harddrive is moved between two computers. If this is the case, I am buying another exclusive harddisk tomorrow!

              • 4. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                Jim bosan Level 1

                Hi Steve.

                The Adobe support said they had other calls with the same problems with files not showing up in the Organizer when they where seated on an external drive, but he could not give me any solutions on that problem. He asked me to go to this board to see if anyone had any reasonable explanation or a solution of that problem.

                I have pointed the organizer at that drive. I can find and see the missing files through the organizer.But when I try to update them, organizer tells me that Premiere Elements are not capable of handle that sort of files...

                And yes... it drives me nuts....

                • 5. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                  Barb__O Level 4

                  Jim, before you go buy an additional hard drive - I suggest a little more discussion. And I suggest that you also post at the site muvipix.com (which was founded by some forum regulars on this forum) because I think that multiple people on that site are using external drives with Premiere Elements.



                  is a link to the site home page and


                  free registration for the forums will allow you to post


                  there is a specific subforum for Premiere Elements 7 at


                  • 6. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                    nealeh Level 5

                    Unlikely but it may be a security issue. To test that out, instead of just double-clicking the PRE icon right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'. Let us know if PRE does or doesn't see the external drive.


                    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                    • 7. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                      Jim bosan Level 1

                      Thank you for the links, Barb. I've enlisted there now and put up a question. Found some similar problems with some solutions, but they unfortunately didn't work for me.

                      I have planned buying another harddrive anyway, so I'll try that solution also.

                      • 8. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                        Jim bosan Level 1

                        Got some  ideas from muvpix Community some seconds ago, concerning name issues. Checked if it could be out different names on he hardrive according to multiple computers, and it was. I can even see that the organizer use the name "E" and the external drive is called "F". So that might be the problem. Shops are closed here, some minutes to midninght, but I will buy a new harddrive tomorrow exclusively for this computer.

                        Thank's a lot for the answer! This problem was driving me nuts!

                        • 9. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                          Barb__O Level 4

                          Anyone know a good method to make the Organize panel of Premiere Elements 7 use a newly assigned drive letter (assigned via Disk Management under XP) ?


                          Neither an Organize panel thumbnail right click then Update nor a delete/do the Get Media again worked for me to change the drive letter. Neither Disconnect/reconnect the external hard drive nor reboot Windows worked either.


                          So far the only method I have found is to start an entirely new catalog - not a great method in my opinion.

                          • 10. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            I cannot speak directly to PrE 7, as I only have PrE 4. However, I can, and do, use external HDD's all of the time. I have a handful of 1.5 & 2 GB FW-800 HDD's, that I edit to/from in both PrE4 and also in PrPro. I use these to shuttle my Projects between computers, and have never had an issue. Each HDD has a set drive letter in the OS on all computers (same drive letter in each), and they work perfectly.


                            Now, going back many years, I did have issues with delayed write errors and also speed with USB 2.0 drives. I decided that I could only use those for archival storage of Assets. With FW-400, it was purely a speed issue - they were just too slow to use to edit to/from. Along came FW-800, and I tried again. All was great, and still is. If I did not have such an investment in these, I would have later gone to eSATA, which would be faster still.


                            Now, I use Adobe Bridge (part of the PrPro Production Studio suite) for my organizational work, and never have used Orgainze/Organizer, so I cannot comment on what might, or might not work with it.


                            Are you saying that Organizer will not see the external HDD's? I would find this odd, if the OS sees these HDD's. Even going back to the old USB 2.0 HDD's, there was never an issue with extracting Assets from them. I still do that, without issue - I just copy the Assests over to either an internal, or to a FW-800 external, and Bridge will see all connected HDD's, regardless of the conncetion type.


                            What is the connection type for your externals?


                            Good luck,



                            • 11. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                              the_wine_snob Level 9
                              Yes, attached through USB.




                              I missed this on my first time through this thread. Sorry. Ignore my question above.


                              Now, many folk had tons of issues trying to edit to/from USB 2.0 HDD's. The biggest problem was delayed write failures. I also encountered speed issues, and found these just too slow to be useful. Everything was in ultra-slow-motion.


                              I also found speed to be an issue with FW-400 HDD's, but maybe that was just me. With FW-800's, all is very good and totally usable to edit to/from and I do the same as you - move Projects from computer to computer.


                              Hint: make sure to set each external to the same drive letter in the OS of each computer, and put a label on each external, so you know what its drive letter is going to be.


                              Works perfectly for me.


                              Good luck,



                              • 12. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                                Barb__O Level 4
                                Are you saying that Organizer will not see the external HDD's? I would find this odd, if the OS sees these HDD's.


                                I think that I effectively duplicated Jim's experience.


                                YES, it is specifically the Organize panel that has the problem.


                                1 -- The problem starts when Windows assigns a different letter to an external HD than the letter that was assigned when the asset (video file or photo file) was originally brought in to the PE Organizer.

                                2 -- The Organize panel function continues to look for the video or photo file on the old drive letter and it gives very wierd and misleading error messages indicating a problem with the type of file when most probably the error is that the file can not be found.

                                3 -- Once the problem has been identified as Drive Letter changing, it can be addressed by using a consistent drive letter for the external drive as you have mentioned.

                                4 -- The Edit panel with the list of media used in the project can make adjustmentss to the new drive letter by displaying the popup asking the user (the human being)  to identify Where Is this asset (video or photo file) and updating the edit panel media list based on the user response.

                                5 -- In my experiments with PE7 (under Vista Home Premium) I could find no method that caused the Organize panel (the PE 7 Organizer) to update its stored information about the location of the video or photo file.

                                The Organize panel continued to point to drive letter E (old drive letter) instead of being updated to the current drive letter (in my configuration now permanently assigned) P and in Jim's original problem F.


                                Therefore, attempts to drag from the thumbnail of the Organize panel to the Timeline fail when the file is not found using the old drive letter.


                                My conclusion is that this is not hardware related at all - it is software bugs in Premiere Elements 7

                                The possibilities for workarounds are limited because many Elements catalog commands are only available from Photoshop Elements 7: however there should be a function within Premiere Elements to cause the Premeiere Elements Organizer to update its file references.

                                • 13. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                                  jackscon joseph Level 1

                                  Organizer supports external drive. Check any antivirus is blocking to access the drive to orgnizer. Please do simple test organizer can access images from pen drive.

                                  • 14. Re: Elements 7 doesn't work with external harddrive
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                                    Thank you for the clarification. I have to admit that I am a complete neophyte regarding the Organizer, as I have never used it.


                                    Yes, drive letter assignment can cause all sorts of problems. These happen often with the Project file links, and PrE & PrPro have a nice habit of asking, "Where is ____ ?" and then helping the user navigate to the now "new" drive letter. That is why the second step, after making sure that my new external is NTSF, I assign it a constant drive letter in the OS and label that drive as such. Then, when I plug it into another computer, I repeat that process, before I do anything with the Assets/Projects on that drive.


                                    For me, things have gotten a bit more involved, as I have run out of drive letters, especially on the workstation with so many used by internal drives/burners. I can only go backwards from Z:\ to O:\, so I now have two Z:\'s, two Y:\'s, etc. I have them labeled as Z:\ 1, Z:\2, etc., and must make sure that I do not have both plugged in on the same machine, at the same time, or something has to give. For most situations, a user will only have a few externals, so this will not be an issue - but the drive letter assignment must be done first, before any programs, like Organizer, etc., are used. Otherwise, confusion will reign.


                                    Your comments and clarification are appreciated,