7 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2010 5:35 AM by freefall Branched to a new discussion.

    Missing Photos Already in Catalog

    freefall Level 1

      Photos in one of my Collections are shown as Missing, and I can not update them because Lightroom thinks they are Already in Catalog. In fact there are two versions of all these photos in the Catalog grid view: one is shown as Missing and the other is not missing. How can I update the Collection photos without manually recreating the Collection?


      In detail: I had some photos in my Lightroom Catalog. I added them to a Lightroom Collection. All was well.


      Later, outside of Lightroom, I decided to copy the photos to a new folder on a new hard drive. Then I deleted the original photos and folder.


      The LR Catalog now shows two instances of these photos, a good one and a Missing Photo. When I ask to Locate in Finder the good one, LR accurately shows it s location on my hard drive. Both instances of the photos have identical names and thumbnails. The LR Collection shows only one instance of the photos and they all show Missing Photos icons.


      When I try to Locate the Missing Photo, I get this message "Already in Catalog. the file "xxx" is associated with another photo in the catalog. Each file can only be associated with one photo." In other words, I am unable to get the LR Collection to recognize the new location of the digital file.


      If I delete the photo duplicate with the Missing Photo icon, the photo is removed from my Collection. This is not acceptable for two reasons: I have now 449 "Missing" images in this Collection and I do not want to manually list, delete and then replace each one. I think this is the job of an asset management database like Lightroom, and I depend on it to keep accurate track of everything.


      It has been 17 days since I opened a Customer Support case and I have had  numerous exchanges with the Adobe reps, including a 1.75 hr. phone conversation, and still no solution. Sometimes there seems to be a language problem but at other times a lack of product knowledge. Is there anyone out there that can help?
        • 1. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
          dj_paige Level 10

          I'm a little unclear on some of your description.


          Before you moved the photos outside of Lightroom, were there two copies of each photo, or one?


          After you moved the photos outside of Lightroom, did you re-import the moved photos?


          In other words, how did you wind up with two copies, a good and a bad.


          While it would help to know these things, so we can tell you how to fix the problem, the root cause of all your problems was moving the photos outside of Lightroom. Had you done this inside Lightroom, you would not have any problems in your collections, and only a single copy of each photo.

          • 2. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
            freefall Level 1

            Before I moved the photos there was only one copy of each in the LR catalog.


            I did not re-import the photos.


            I also am asking why I seem to now have two copies. I did not make the duplicate.


            I did not anticipate a failure of the database if I moved my photos to new locations outside of LR. In fact, my experience in the past was that I could successfully do such a thing. However, in the past the status of my Collections was not a factor. Now it is.


            Regardless of what I should have done, is there a fix for this mess using LR?

            • 3. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
              dj_paige Level 10

              Ok, thanks for clarifying.


              Lightroom does not create duplicates on its own. They arise usually because the user did something, perhaps accidentally. By any chance, did you ever tell Lightroom to "Synchronize Folders..." ?


              Lightroom does not follow or find your photos if you move them outside of Lightroom. My recommendation for newcomers to Lightroom is to always move or rename files and folders from inside of Lightroom.


              If I understand your situation properly, I think the solution to your mess is as follows: First ... in Windows or Mac Finder (the only time I ever recommend moving things in WIndows or Mac Finder  is to fix or unfix previous moves in Windows or Mac Finder)  ... move (cut and paste, not copy and paste) the photos back to where they were. This should connect the copy that is now "bad", and fixing the problem in your collections. Second, in Lightroom, delete the copies on the new hard drive, which should now be disconnected. Now, you should have one copy of everything (including in your collections) that is connected and usable in Lightroom. Finally (optionally), if you want your photos to reside on the new hard drive, then inside Lightroom, move them to the new hard drive.

              • 4. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
                freefall Level 1

                Thanks for trying to help.


                I did synchronize folders on the suggestion of tech support. I may have made an error during that operation and unwittingly created duplicates.


                I understand now about moving files only from within LR. I especially understand very well because it appears I will now be fixing this mess manually. You see, for me to locate the files that are now mixed in among 5000 others, rather than in a tidy folder of their own which conveniently corresponds to the LR Collection, will require more manual time than to simply delete the "missing photo" in the Collection and replace it with a not-missing photo from the Catalog. Besides the fact that the original location of the problem files I no longer remember as it was a subfolder among other folders that were deleted, rearranged, and generally housecleaned weeks ago.

                • 5. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
                  freefall Level 1

                  I am not sure how to get this comment into the thread except by Replying to you. I assume that you have no more ideas about how to get LR to automate the process of re-establishing a connection between missing photos in my Collection and the picture already in the Catalog. That is fine because I assume you are not employed to solve my problems but instead acting out of generosity.


                  My frustration is turning into anger with Adobe Tech Support which has for the past month failed repeatedly to either give me a solution or tell me that LR can not fix what has transpired with my database. I contacted Tech through the web site and for a while we exchanged emails, then there were phone calls -- one of 1.75 hours and today another at about 1 hour. They are horrible, both in product knowledge, language skills, and ability to follow up on promises ("an Adobe expert will contact you soon"). Do you or anyone else know another source for technical help with Adobe Lightroom 2?

                  • 6. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
                    jbleecker Level 1

                    Just for the record — I have had this problem too. I had to "remove" the photos from my LR3 (B2) library and then reimport them from disk to straighten it all out. Although I'm not entirely sure what would've caused this for just a few select photos, LR3 definitely did not want to import the photos when I had gone through the ritual of identifying where the missing photos were on disk. Instead, it insisted that the photo already existed in the catalog.


                    Julian Bleecker

                    • 7. Re: Missing Photos Already in Catalog
                      freefall Level 1

                      thanks for sharing the misery. I have a manual method for fixing my Collection. I select a "missing photo" in the Collection, and then switch to the main Catalog where the "missing photo" will appear next to its idential "present photo." I then delete the "missing" one and drag the "present" one into the Collection.