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Delete all and start all over again

Nadine

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
17
Lightroom Version
Lightroom cc
Operating System
Windows 10
Hello everyone, I have been super annoyed with my Lightroom organisation but recently something happened that made me wanna chuck my computer and everything out of the window: it's a bit tricky to explain and I'm not sure if there s any point as I do not understand what happened. From 1 day to the other without me knowingly changing anything most of my files are gone. When I import photos I save them on an external drive. The photos are still on the drive. But Lightroom doesnt seem to see them anymore. Some files are still displayed in grey but have 0 pics , most files arent displayed at all any more. Something similar has happened before and I had to import EVERYTHING again.. (not sure if that was the right thing to do because the pictures might still have been somewhere in Lightroom but just not in the place where they re supposed to - so mayb I have them double now..) Honestly I m super confused and this whole Lightroom of mine is a mess. In my All-Pictures catalogue are approx. 40.000 pictures, (so the pictures must still be somewhere in LR), in the catalogue called "missing photos" are approx 39500 pics... Tried "find missing pics" but doesnt do anything... I wonder if its just smarter to delete EVERYTHING out of LR and start all over new. Just importing 10 mins daily or somtheing until all is back in place... But how to wipe out everything out of LR?
If someone could help I would b super happy! Thanks in advance!! Nadine
 
Joined
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If your processes are flawed or your understanding of what LR is doing is inaccurate, starting over again will not alleviate your problem as unless you change something, you'll just replicate the same problem again.

While awaiting a screen shot or two, one main cause of similar complaints is that in some cases (Windows) computers assign different drive letters to external devices (like external hard drives) each time you re-boot the computer which confuses LR. The fix in LR is easy using the "Find Missing" tool but you said you tried that but "it doesn't do anything". I'm not clear on what you mean by that so a more complete explanation would help. In addition (outside of LR) you can tell Windows to always use the same drive letter for your external hard drive and avoid the problem - it that's what it is
 
Joined
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Here are some things that could have happened.
  • Lighreoom opened the wrong or a new catalog.
  • Windows changed the drive letter on you and your External Disk Drive Might be assigned G: or some such by Windows when Lightroom recorded the path as D: when the images were imported.
Starting over with 40,000 images means that you will lose all the work that you have done previously and you waste a lot of time just getting back to where you were last week. Reimporting is really a "last resort" step and not to be taken until everything else has been exhausted. We are a long way from that "last resort" step.

Pauls' request for a screen shot is a good first step to help us in understanding what has happened. Please be patient and we will get you to where you need to be without having to start over.
 

Nadine

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
17
Hello again! Thank you everyone so so much for your quick and friendly replies and taking time to help me out!! So the changed drive letter was the problem! I vaguely remembered that it was E and when I checked now I saw it showed F - so when I switched it back to E the folders where there again! Thanks for that hint! And true as I m so messy with importing photos and haven't really developed a routine or system yet, problems would occur again so it would have probably not helped to delete everything and start over new... So now everything seems like it was a few days ago before that big mess happened. (Basically what I m saying is that now there's just the usual mess,,,)

However I had to edit some pictures so I just imported them - on the F... So there s an F now which shouldn't be there really... And this whole issue must have happened before because there are some other folders on the F even though there is no F (as I changed it back to E)... so how to get rid of the F now? Or just ignore it? (Sorry I m probably super confusing - can u follow me at all?)
LR Screenshot 2.jpg(LR creenshot 2)

And: There are still some grey folders, that LR has 0 photos to display (even though I have imported them at some point in the past - so they must be somewhere in the woods of LR..... and they re definitely on the drive...) - if I import them again, they re probably double...
LR Screenshot.jpg(LR Screenshot)

And strange enough there are still over 39000 missing pictures (they were probably missing before the incident with the vanished files a few days ago but it just strikes me now as I m thinking about this LR chaos)...
LR Screenshot 3.jpg(LR Screenshot3)

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean things up? And how is your individual system/routine to keep organized? Any tips to simplify things?

Thanks so much in advance for taking time to reply! Cheers, Nadine
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
125
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
One place to start is to assign a drive letter further into the alphabet, like P:\, following the instructions at the following link. It also works for Windows 10. Then your drive letter will stay the same from one session to the next. It probably won't solve all your problems, but it would at least get rid of this evidently recurring issue, and hopefully prevent things from getting more snarled up.

 
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
125
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
Also, when you say "Find missing photos" doesn't do anything, is it possible that it takes a long time with that many missing photos? Or that it took a very long time the first time you ran that search? In LR classic, at least, a progress bar is shown at the upper left during a labor-intensive task like this. It replaces the "logo" at the upper left where your name is in the screenshots while the task is ongoing. Maybe it was grinding away on that task and nothing seemed to be occurring, but you might not have noticed the progress bar creeping rightward.

One general piece of advice is to get Victoria's books, perhaps starting with the free Quick-Start one.

One trivial piece of advice is that Adobe has recently changed the names it uses to refer to the Classic and Cloudy versions; "LR CC" is no longer used, but was used to refer to what folks here call Cloudy. It's not entirely clear which version you're using, though your post is the Classic section of the forum. So clarification of that would help experts sort out your issues.
 

Mrdavie

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
29
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Hello again! Thank you everyone so so much for your quick and friendly replies and taking time to help me out!! So the changed drive letter was the problem! I vaguely remembered that it was E and when I checked now I saw it showed F - so when I switched it back to E the folders where there again! Thanks for that hint! And true as I m so messy with importing photos and haven't really developed a routine or system yet, problems would occur again so it would have probably not helped to delete everything and start over new... So now everything seems like it was a few days ago before that big mess happened. (Basically what I m saying is that now there's just the usual mess,,,)

However I had to edit some pictures so I just imported them - on the F... So there s an F now which shouldn't be there really... And this whole issue must have happened before because there are some other folders on the F even though there is no F (as I changed it back to E)... so how to get rid of the F now? Or just ignore it? (Sorry I m probably super confusing - can u follow me at all?)
View attachment 13043(LR creenshot 2)

And: There are still some grey folders, that LR has 0 photos to display (even though I have imported them at some point in the past - so they must be somewhere in the woods of LR..... and they re definitely on the drive...) - if I import them again, they re probably double...
View attachment 13042(LR Screenshot)

And strange enough there are still over 39000 missing pictures (they were probably missing before the incident with the vanished files a few days ago but it just strikes me now as I m thinking about this LR chaos)...
View attachment 13044(LR Screenshot3)

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean things up? And how is your individual system/routine to keep organized? Any tips to simplify things?

Thanks so much in advance for taking time to reply! Cheers, Nadine
You can tell Lightroom to create a sidecar file for any image you edit. If you did corrupt or other mess up Lightroom, you would not lose your edits because they would reside on the hard drive alongside your images.
 
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You can tell Lightroom to create a sidecar file for any image you edit. If you did corrupt or other mess up Lightroom, you would not lose your edits because they would reside on the hard drive alongside your images.
Note that if the user saves changes into XMP (either automatically or manually) sidecar files will only be created for proprietary raw files. For all other file-types the saved changes are embedded into the XMP portion of the file's header.
 

Mrdavie

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
29
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Note that if the user saves changes into XMP (either automatically or manually) sidecar files will only be created for proprietary raw files. For all other file-types the saved changes are embedded into the XMP portion of the file's header.
I was not aware of this! So, edits to jpegs only reside in the Lightroom database file?
 
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So, edits to jpegs only reside in the Lightroom database file?
Not exactly. If you save XMP information in Lightroom, the information will be written into the JPEG or DNG or TIFF header. For proprietary raw files, the information will be written to a sidecar file.
 

Mrdavie

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
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Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Great. So all edit data can be saved to disc either as a side file or in the image itself. That is the backup plan for a corrupted Lightroom database. I going to check my settings to see if that is still the case for me since I recently changed computers.
 
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That is the backup plan for a corrupted Lightroom database.
Well, it's A backup plan, though not sure I'd call it THE backup plan. There are still things that are in the catalog but not written to XMP, so for me the best backup plan for a corrupted catalog is frequent backups of the catalog itself.
 

Nadine

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
17
Hello everyone, thanks for your advice!

The sidecar thing seems complicated... I usually just export all the edited pictures. Think I have to get into a habit of following a more organized workflow when importing pictures and do it more regularly... I wanna keep it as simple and timesaving yet effective as possible;)

If I assigned say the letter P to my external drive how would I let LR know?

I 've run the "missing photo search" again and now it did do something and I have only approx 16000 photos in the missing photo line... Still confused really..
Oh and I have Adobe Lightroom Classic CC - the monthly subscription plan.

Thanks again, Cheers, Nadine
 
Joined
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Cloud Service
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Hello everyone, thanks for your advice!

The sidecar thing seems complicated... I usually just export all the edited pictures. Think I have to get into a habit of following a more organized workflow when importing pictures and do it more regularly... I wanna keep it as simple and timesaving yet effective as possible;)

If I assigned say the letter P to my external drive how would I let LR know?

I 've run the "missing photo search" again and now it did do something and I have only approx 16000 photos in the missing photo line... Still confused really..
Oh and I have Adobe Lightroom Classic CC - the monthly subscription plan.

Thanks again, Cheers, Nadine
I don’t use sidecars as they take away CPU cycles and are redundant to only some of the data recorded in the LR catalog file as Jim mentions. I backup my catalog file each time LR exits using the LR procedure. The default location is in a folder next to the LR catalog file. I change that to be on a different Drive because you don’t want to have your back up catalog on a drive that you’re master catalog because when the drive dies (as all will eventually) your only hope of recovery is an available backup catalog. I also have a system backup (two in fact) that back up all of my critical user data including the original image files and the backup LR catalog files. These system back up point to external drives dedicated to backup and recovery of the primary drive when there is a disk failure.

Here is my workflow:
Most important: I don’t keep exports (derivatives) They can always be reproduced from another export from the original. Since most of my exports are destined for an online source, I use the publish Service for all of my exporting. Any images that require a local file (even temporarily) I create using the Hard Drive Publish Service. The Publish Service Create a History entry so than I can have a record of what has been exported where. And by using that history entry, I can recreate the exported image if needed.
Another important consideration. Lightroom is your Image Data Manager. You don’t need to access toy originals using Explorer/Finder or any other app. Always access your originals via LR. And you should not have any problem with missing files.

Import ONLY one time and never reimport. Use Collections and keywords for Organization and ignore any folder system as this is Avery limited organization scheme. I Import automatically by a date named folder scheme. And I usually keep my folder panel closed.
My workflow consists of a methodology based upon color labels to quickly identify what stage a given image is in my work flow. The methodology assigns a color (purple) on import to indicate images that has only been imported. I review, select and cull by assigning Pick Flags. I Assign another color label to indicate the inmate is being edited. It will stay that color until I have assigned at least one keyword, Title and Caption and has completed the Develop module. The next color assignment is for (probably) completed imager that need a further review before being marked with a color label as complete. The last color label get assigned to completed images that get published. Periodically I review the rejected images and delete them form my inventory and file system.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Mrdavie

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Nadine, you are more experienced with Lightroom than I. Your original statement included " wanna chuck my computer and everything out of the window". This is why the concept of auto sidecar files was suggested. Sort of an "annuity" for your valuable images you have processed over time. A way to "insure" your investment.
 
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Nadine, you are more experienced with Lightroom than I. Your original statement included " wanna chuck my computer and everything out of the window". This is why the concept of auto sidecar files was suggested. Sort of an "annuity" for your valuable images you have processed over time. A way to "insure" your investment.
Side card files are useless outside of the Adobe application family. Fore example, a brightness setting of 25 in a sidecar file Doe not mean the same thing in On1’s PhotoRAW or Afinity or any other photo processing app IF they even read the XMF data. As has been pointed out the XMF data contained in a sidecar file or included in the file header of a non proprietary file type is of limited use in recovering data from a Lightroom catalog file though it might be of use in another Adobe app like Photoshop
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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Nov 16, 2015
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California, USA
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Side card files are useless outside of the Adobe application family. Fore example, a brightness setting of 25 in a sidecar file Doe not mean the same thing in On1’s PhotoRAW or Afinity or any other photo processing app IF they even read the XMF data. As has been pointed out the XMF data contained in a sidecar file or included in the file header of a non proprietary file type is of limited use in recovering data from a Lightroom catalog file though it might be of use in another Adobe app like Photoshop
Cletus,

Sidecar files can also contain keywords, color settings, and star ratings, which can be read by other applications.

Phil
 
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Sidecar files can also contain keywords, color settings, and star ratings, which can be read by other applications.
While this is true, and I don't have any first hand knowledge, the migration of Lightroom to another photo processing app, has been describes as less than ideal and almost always utilizes the Lightroom catalog (*.lrcat file) rather than XMP.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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While this is true, and I don't have any first hand knowledge, the migration of Lightroom to another photo processing app, has been describes as less than ideal and almost always utilizes the Lightroom catalog (*.lrcat file) rather than XMP.
Cletus,

Actually I had in mind DAM products such as iMatch or Photo Supreme, which don't read the Lightroom catalog, AFAIK.

Agree that migration to another app is best done by reading the Lightroom catalog.

Phil
 

Nadine

New Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
17
Hi all, thanks again for your help. Right now I'm trying to "tidy up" my LR and at the same time establishing a consistent routine that works for me to not get into more of a mess.. Right now I wanted to delete collections that I no longer need and a pop up window opens and wants me to check or uncheck "Keep photos in all synced photos, so that they keep on being available on all connected devices".
So I m not sure what that means and therefore don't know what to click.
I know that deleting a collections doesn't delete any photo in their "home"/folder.
If I delete the collection I want the collection gone on all my synced devices. But only the collection, the photos should still stay in their folders.

Looking forward to reading from you! Cheers, Nadine
 

Nadine

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Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
17
And another question: When I used to import photos I used to have "Second copy at following location: (and chose my back up on onedrive) " ticked. But this way ALL the photos used to be backed up - as well those that I later deleted/rejected in LR. How do you handle the back up procedure? I'm thinking now, probably better to just copy what I ve added or changed on my files on my hard drive to my back up on onedrive... But then again that's much more work than just importing a copy to Onedrive each time I import...
 
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Hi all, thanks again for your help. Right now I'm trying to "tidy up" my LR and at the same time establishing a consistent routine that works for me to not get into more of a mess.. Right now I wanted to delete collections that I no longer need and a pop up window opens and wants me to check or uncheck "Keep photos in all synced photos, so that they keep on being available on all connected devices".
So I m not sure what that means and therefore don't know what to click.
I know that deleting a collections doesn't delete any photo in their "home"/folder.
If I delete the collection I want the collection gone on all my synced devices. But only the collection, the photos should still stay in their folders.

Looking forward to reading from you! Cheers, Nadine
Basically, the collection that you are trying to delete is an existing synced collection, which means every photo in it is also synced So the prompt basically is asking if you want the images in that synced collection to also be removed from sync when the collection is also deleted. The images themselves are not deleted from Classic, so remain in their Classic folders on the hard drive, but LR just wants to know if you want them unsynced (which would then delete them from the cloud).
 
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