Best way to incorporate missing photos

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#1
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I have consolidated my Lr photos to one catalog. However, of my 29K photos about 4K are noted as "missing". I have the photos. I've started re-linking them but whew after about an hour I've re-linked only a couple dozen.

Almost all of the photos to be re-linked need only to a new drive and/or folder.

Is there some way to do the remapping bulk-wise rather than by individual photos? For instance, the missing photo is xdrive/xfolder and the needed map is ydrive/yfolder. Do I need to do this individually or is there some intelligent way to do a bulk remapping?

Thanks for your help.

Lee
 

Jim Wilde

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#2
Is it just individual files scattered across lots of folders, or is it that some folders are missing (which of course means all their contents are also missing)? Check your Folders Panel, are any of the folders "greyed out" with the "?" icon showing on them? If so, if you relink the folder (right-click and select "Find Missing Folder" then navigate to the correct location in the resulting file browser), all the images in that folder will also be relinked if they are still there.
 
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Thanks, Jim. None of the files or folders are really "missing." They are at locations different from their original home.

What created the problem is long-term mismanagement of my photo library. I'm consolidating all my photo collection onto one portable HDD. When I moved my lrcat file to the portable HDD most of the files transferred with my move, but about 4K remain outside the portable HDD in 4-5 locations. These have the filename that Lr is looking for but different locator data (e.g., previous location was E:/folder/subfolder/filename and I need it to be at L:/same folder/subfolder/filename). I can re-import the photos but then I lose my edits, keywords, and other metadata.

I've begun remapping the files as you suggest, but with ~4K missing files the individual moves can take forever. As you mention, finding one missing file will also find the others in that folder, but each folder contains only 1-10 files, so I need to repeat the process hundreds of times. I am hoping that there is a shortcut that I haven't found.

The "missing" files/folders are scattered on other drives/folders. The vast majority of the missing files are on only 4-5 parent folders but there are hundreds of daughters (subfolders).
 

Laura Shoe

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#4
Hi Lee,

If the folders have question marks, then right-click and use Find Missing Folder to reconnect the folders. If the child folders are still in the old parents (and the images are still in the old child folders), then when you find the missing parent folders, LR will automatically find the child folders within them - so always do Find Missing Folder at the highest level possible.

Otherwise, how do you feel about losing some or all of your LR work on these photos? My thought is to consider removing these missing files from LR and then reimport them. If you were automatically writing to XMP as you worked on these photos (in Edit (PC) or Lightroom (Mac)>Catalog Settings, on the Metadata tab) - or manually doing so, then you would just lose pick/reject flags, virtual copies, and collections. If you weren't, then you would lose all your work on the photos.

In the future, do all your file reorganization from within Lightroom, using the Folders panel, so that files don't go missing. Watch my first video tutorial on this page for a lesson in all the file reorganization tasks.
 
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Thanks. I'm back at this task of regenerating my Lr catalog by retrieving my missing files. I need to recover many files by changing only the drive where they're located. When I select the missing parent folder I get the message "do you want to combine folders" See attached image.

What happens if I click "Merge"? Will I get multiple images whereby I can delete the missing files? If so, will I lose the metadata associated with the missing files?

What happens if I right-click on the missing folder (circled in red on the attached photo) and choose "update folder location" and then navigate to the new location of the pictures?

Thanks for your help. I want to move slowly so that I don't get in more trouble.
Lr window.jpg
 
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JohanElzenga

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#6
You will get that message in the following situation: You used 'Find Missing Folder' or 'Update Folder Location' and then when you selected the new location, you actually selected a folder that is already in the catalog. So now Lightroom is confused. You say 'this is the new location of folder A', but Lightroom already knows this folder as 'Folder B'. Maybe you made a mistake and selected the wrong folder. Or maybe it is correct, so you must tell Lightroom "yes, folder A and folder B are indeed one and the same folder". That is what you will do when you click 'Merge'.

So no, you won't get multiple copies of the same image when you click 'Merge'. If you chose the correct folder, then with 'Merge' you will only see one copy of each image and it won't be missing anymore.
 
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In the process of finding and relinking photos I have lost many of the associated keywords and faces. I do have a full set in an earlier catalog that I used as a the source of my trimmed catalog. The "trimming" (reducing size from ~ 40K to ~25K photos) is where I lost and relinked many of the missing files.

Is there some way to grab the keywords and face files and associate them with the same but newly located photos. I don't mean the keywords themselves, but the associations. The new, trimmed catalog has all of my keywords, but many of the associations are lost. For instance I have a keyword in the original bloated catalog "Carla" which has 10 files associated with it. Clicking on the keyword shows the 10 pictures The new trimmed catalog has the keyword Carla associated with only 3 pictures, even though all 10 pictures are in the catalog.

Is there some way to import the keywords from the older bloated catalog into the trimmed catalog and have Lr make the appropriate associations?
 
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