EXTERNAL DRIVE LETTER CHANGE

yannisG

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Operating System:Win10
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info):6.12 perpetual

I have all my photos on an external drive (I). Recently, my external drive letter changed, and I imported some new photos from the same drive, but with a different letter. When I went to edit some older photos which were on the same drive, but the old letter they could not be found in LR develop module because they had been imported from the same drive, but under a different letter.
Then I went into windows and changed my external drive letter to the original, and all the old photos appeared in the LR folder except for the recent ones imported with the different drive letter.
When I go and to import to import the recent photos they have already been imported, but do not show on the LR folder.
I could go and selected all these recent photos and deleted them from LR, and then re-import them, but I am wondering if there is an easier way to do this.

Any recommendation is appreciated.
 

Hal P Anderson

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Do NOT re-import. Right-click on a top-level folder that shows a '?' and choose Find Missing Folder from the context menu. In the browser window that comes up, navigate to the proper folder on the external drive and hit OK. Done. Repeat for any other top-level missing folders.
 

yannisG

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Thanks for responding.
The top level folder does not show a "?". The folders imported from the drive with the changed letter do not show now that I have changed the drive to the original letter.
 
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The folders imported from the drive with the changed letter do not show now that I have changed the drive to the original letter.
Is changing the driveletter back to it's origial letter the only change you made?

Could you post a screenshot of the situation?
 

yannisG

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When I changed the external drive letter to the original one I got all my links back up to the time the drive letter was changed.
The photos that were installed with the new drive letter did not appear in the drive folder in the library module.
When I went to import them they appeared in the source folder, but were shown to have been imported. So I couldn't import them.
So, what I ending doing was deleting them from the catalog, and them re-importing them. Now I have all by photos and all the links back.
Luckily, there were only about 400 photos. Took me about 2 hrs to resolve the situation.
In order to avoid this situation would be to assign drive letters from the middle to the end of the alphabet so they don't get "bump" inadvertently when you add external drives.
I should have been suspicious when LR couldn't locate the catalog within the drive with the changed letter.
 

JohanElzenga

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The images you imported while the drive letter was changed should have appeared in a different drive (with that different letter) in Lightroom. What you should have done when the drive letter was back to what it previously was is right-clicking on the now 'missing' folder of that different drive, and choose 'Find Missing Folder'. You could then have connected this to the folder on the current drive.
 
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When I went to import them they appeared in the source folder, but were shown to have been imported. So I couldn't import them.
So, what I ending doing was deleting them from the catalog, and them re-importing them
In almost all cases re-importing is not the best approach because you lose all edits you made to the affected images.
 

yannisG

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Once the drive letter was changed back to the original letter, the drive with the changed letter did not appear neither did the photos appear in the original letter drive. However, as mention above, when importing the photos they appeared on the original letter drive, but showed to be already imported.
Luckily I hadn't edited these photos yet so not too much time was lost by removing them from the catalog and re-importing them.
 

JohanElzenga

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Once the drive letter was changed back to the original letter, the drive with the changed letter did not appear neither did the photos appear in the original letter drive. However, as mention above, when importing the photos they appeared on the original letter drive, but showed to be already imported.
That sounds very unlikely to me. That drive should have appeared because that is where you imported the photos to, as far as Lightroom was concerned. And Lightroom did say the photos were already imported when you tried to reimport them.

Luckily I hadn't edited these photos yet so not too much time was lost by removing them from the catalog and re-importing them.
So if Lightroom didn't show the photos on either drive, how were you able to remove them from the catalog in the first place?...
 

yannisG

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There seems to be some confusion regarding the problem so I will explain it again.
I have all my photos on an external drive (letter I), and all was working well.
For some reason the drive letter on this drive changed and became (J).
When I started LR after the letter change on the drive it notified me that it could locate my catalog, but gave me a choice to open the catalog, that of course, was the same drive, but with a different letter (J) which I open, and imported some new photos that I had place on this drive, and did some editing.
Then I went back to print some older photos which had been imported when the drive had the original letter (I), but the link was broken, Only the link on the newly imported photos existed.
Then, through windows I changed the drive letter back to the original letter (I). The link to the older photos was restored, but the newly imported photos did not appear on the drive any more.
Then I tried importing the newly photos, which then appeared on the drive, but showed to be previously imported.
When I went to the catalog "all photos" and did a search I could located the new photos. I deleted them, and then re-imported them, and everything was restored to normal.
 

JohanElzenga

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That was my point. If you found the photos in 'All Photographs', then they were in some folder on some drive in Lightroom. It is impossible to have photos in Lightroom that are not in any folder and/or any drive. It's fine that deleting and reimporting worked for you this time, but next time it's better to use the proper procedure, especially if you do have added metadata and edits. Deleting and reimporting makes you lose those. The proper procedure is to find that folder (you can ask Lightroom to show you the folder in the catalog) and then 'relink' it with the 'Find Missing Folder' command (right-click the missing folder).
 

yannisG

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I understand you're point, but the new (folders) photos did not appear on the drive when the drive letter was reverted to the original.
I spent a lot of time on this matter before I deleted them and re-imported them.
Thanks
 

JohanElzenga

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I understand you're point, but the new (folders) photos did not appear on the drive when the drive letter was reverted to the original.
Like I said, they MUST have been on SOME drive in Lightroom. It's simply impossible to have images in Lightroom that are not.
 
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