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Changing the location of my media

renouj21

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
21
Location
Cookham, Berkshire, England
Hi there,
I want to migrate my photo collection to a larger hard drive. I've copied the existing hard drive onto the new hard drive, now I want to unmount the old hard drive and select the new hard drive as the source for lightroom. However, my first stab at this led to most of my photos being greyed out and a dialog that said these were duplicate photos. Can anyone outline the procedure I need to follow?
Many thanks
J
 

b_gossweiler

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I'll leave the details to a Mac Guru, but for now: DON'T RE-IMPORT !!

Beat
 
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Hi, I'm guessing you tried to import the photos from the new location? If so, this is a really bad idea which you've probably gathered by now, so let's try to get things sorted.

What state is the catalog now in? Are all your photos still in the catalog, but pointing to the existing hard drive?

When you copied the photos to the new hard drive, did you maintain the identical folder structure?

If so, do you have a single (or just a few) top level folders in the photos hierarchy, and are they showing in the Folders Panel in Lightroom?

If so, right-click on each of these top level folders and select 'Update Folder Location' and in the file browser window which appears simply locate the copy on the new hard drive and select it, then click OK and Lightroom will update itself with the new drive location.

When all is switched over to the new drive you can delete the photos using Finder (though perhaps leave things for a few days to make absolutely sure the re-location is working OK).
 

Mark Sirota

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Right -- Don't re-import!

What's on the drive? Is it just the photo files, or is the catalog there too?

If it's just the photo files, then just name the new drive the same as the old, and you're good to go. If you can't or don't want to do that, then open the existing catalog and right-click on each top-level folder in the Folders panel and choose "Update Folder Location". Navigate to the same folder on the new drive and you're good to go.

If you have way too many top-level folders for this to be realistic, then right-click one and choose "Add Parent Folder" from the context menu. This will likely reduce the number of top-level folders, unless you're really at the top-level on the drive itself, in which case let us know and we'll work out an alternate approach.

If the catalog is on this drive too, then just double-click the version on the new drive to open that, and work with that one going forward.
 

b_gossweiler

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... then just name the new drive the same as the old, and you're good to go.
That was the part I wasn't sure about on the Mac.

If you have way too many top-level folders for this to be realistic, then right-click one and choose "Add Parent Folder" from the context menu. This will likely reduce the number of top-level folders, unless you're really at the top-level on the drive itself, in which case let us know and we'll work out an alternate approach.
As a sidenote, I believe this is only possible while the folders are online (i.e. the old drive attached).

Beat
 

renouj21

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
21
Location
Cookham, Berkshire, England
Thanks for the help.
The drive only has the photos, not the catalog.
There are too many folders to manually update each folder location (basically a different folder for each import).
I'm not quite sure what the "add parent folder" is supposed to do. It all looked very scary when I tried it on one folder, and I worried that I'd start to lose my images. Can you explain what the effect of adding the parent folder should be?
Also, at the moment I don't see the new disk in the folders list, shouldn't there be a way of getting it in there, for when I unmount the original media disk?
Thanks again,
J
 

ukbrown

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Jun 12, 2010
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It is very hard to lose your images as lightroom does not write over them. Don;t want to teach anybody to suck eggs so if you know all this ignore me. What the guys are trying to do is reconnect your catalog back to the photo files. In LR the catalog is a database of changes that you have made, when you export it applies these changes to the original photo and saves in a new files, that way your original is never changed.

Mark said "If it's just the photo files, then just name the new drive the same as the old", so in your OS name the old drive the same as the new one and LR will not know anything has changed. I only know windows and have done this a few times when adding new drives. Copy files to new drive say F: from E:, disconnect E:, rename f: to E:, nothings changed, LR no longer confused
 
Joined
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Thanks for the help.
The drive only has the photos, not the catalog.
There are too many folders to manually update each folder location (basically a different folder for each import).
I'm not quite sure what the "add parent folder" is supposed to do. It all looked very scary when I tried it on one folder, and I worried that I'd start to lose my images. Can you explain what the effect of adding the parent folder should be?
Also, at the moment I don't see the new disk in the folders list, shouldn't there be a way of getting it in there, for when I unmount the original media disk?
Thanks again,
J

You may have an actual folder structure that looks something like this:

My Photos Folder
>>>>Year Sub-Folder
>>>>>>>>Event Sub-Folders x Many

However, it is possible that the two top-level folders are not showing the the Lightroom Folders Panel, in which case if you right-click on one of the Event Sub-Folders and choose 'Add Parent Folder' this causes the next level up in the hierarchy to be displayed, e.g. in my example this would be a Year sub-folder. If you then repeat the process on the Year Sub-folder the final top level folder (My Photos Folder in my example) would also appear, at which point the entire actual folder structure would also be shown in the Folders Panel.

The benefit of this would be that you can then pick the single top level folder, run the 'Update Folder Location' on it and ALL the sub-folders below will also be relinked to the new drive.

Of course if you actually do NOT have a folder hierarchy, and all your folders are at the same level in the root directory of the drive this cannot work and your only choices are to relink one by one OR you do the drive rename as suggested by Mark.

The new drive will not appear in Lightroom until you have basically told Lightroom to look for it (by doing the Update Folder Location).
 

Mark Sirota

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To clarify what the others have said, "Add Parent Folder" is completely safe. All it does is reveal the parent folder in Lightroom's Folders panel. This will likely reduce the number of top-level folders, reducing the number of times you need to do Update Folder Location.

(And as Beat correctly pointed out, I'm assuming both drives are connected to the system. If the original drive is no longer connected, I'd recommend reconnecting it, doing this, then disconnecting again.)
 

renouj21

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
21
Location
Cookham, Berkshire, England
OK, thanks for taking the time to explain this. I went for the "add parent folder" option in the end (I couldn't format 2 drives with the same name whilst they were both connected, and didn't fancy having 2 drives with the same name even for a short while). I've switched over to the new drive and just doing some checks to make sure everything is there.
Best
J
 
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