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Imports will not go into proper root folder

sunhotmoon

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I have been using LR since version 3, have just upgraded to LR 6 from LR 5.4, (actually LR Photoshop CC). I'm very comfortable with library and develop operations, but not a "guru". My catalogue structure works for me. I'm on a MAC, running OS 10.11.4.

Something strange has just started happening with my most recent imports. I have one image folder on my hard drive, a root folder named "PHOTOS LR Cataloged". Within that root folder are a number of other subfolders with subject and place names. My workflow is as follows:

1. Download images from camera and place them into new named subfolder within the main PHOTOS folder; OR place them into an existing named subfolder within the PHOTOS folder.
2. In LR, File > Import, then navigate to "PHOTOS" and click on that root folder to highlight it if I'm importing a new subfolder; OR click on an existing subfolder within the root if I'm importing into that.
3. Click "Import". Voila, photos are placed in the same locations in the catalogue as they exist on my hard drive. New subfolders are created in my catalogue if needed, or images are placed in existing subfolders. This has worked for years.

Now the rub. It didn't work for the last import. I recently created two new subfolders within my root PHOTOS folder, and also had batch of images to place within an existing subfolder. I created this structure within my hard drive PHOTOS folder, dragged and dropped all my images to their proper places, and then did three separate imports.

When importing, for each of the two new subfolders, I highlighted PHOTOS before clicking "Import"; for the images that I'd placed in an existing subfolder I highlighted that subfolder name before clicking "Import".

What happened was that all the imports placed all subfolders totally outside of my root PHOTOS folder. Not only are the two new subfolders outside the PHOTOS folder, but the existing subfolder that was under PHOTOS was also moved outside with the new images inside of it! I have tried three things to put everything in their proper places:

Moving the folders with LR, I get a message that the images are already there in the "new" location;
Deleting the subfolders from LR catalogue and reimporting, highlighting the root folder where they were to go (I tried this twice);
Opening LR from my backup (thinking my catalogue had gotten corrupted), and reimporting;
Upgrading from 5.4 to the latest version of 6.

The subfolders continue to live outside the root PHOTOS folder of the catalogue. I do not know how to get them into the root folder where they belong. Moreover, I have new batches of images to import and am afraid I will end up with everything living outside the main folder.

Please help!!
Thanks
 
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Sounds like you are yet another victim of the notorious 'capitalization problem'. This comes up regularly, so do a search on 'case-sensitive' in this forum, and see if the various threads give you enough information to solve it yourself. If not, we can help you with step by step instructions, but that takes a bit more time.
 

sunhotmoon

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An update:

I upgraded to LR 6.12, deleted one of the mis-imported folders from the catalogue and tried reimporting. First I highlighted my PHOTOS root folder, right clicked and chose "Import into this folder". Then I navigated to my subfolder called "Alaska 17", selected it and clicked Import.

Well, it did put it in my "Alaska 17" subfolder PHOTOS in the root folder, but it created its own subfolder called "2017", with two subfolders in that by date. I do not structure my catalogue by date!! This is not what I want. I wanted "Alaska 17" to show up as a subfolder. I know how to rename it, but now I'm left with moving all the images out of these date folders.

Lightroom is not behaving as it did before, and I don't know what I should be doing to make it behave as I'm used to using it. I have been all through the Preferences and don't see anything which structures imports by date as a default. What can I do?

***
The second issue is, my catalogue is still called LR5-2.lrcat. With previous upgrades, when I opened the new version and updated the my catalogue, it created a filename with the current version. This time it just created a second LR5 file, appending the -2.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Subfolders by date is something you set in the import dialog, in the 'Destination' tab under 'Organize'. The upgrade may have changed this setting. If you don't want this, change it in 'Into one folder'.

Lightroom does indeed use the old catalog name and adds '-2'. Stupid, but easy to change. Just change the name of the catalog to what you want, and do the same with the previews.lrdata and (if you have them) smart previews.lrdata. Then double click on the catalog to start Lightroom. You only have to start it this way once. After that, you can start Lightroom in the usual way.
 

sunhotmoon

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I'll double check the Import dialogue to see if what the Destination tab says. Thanks for the advice.
***
As to the capitalization problem, I've read and tried your "fix" per your link. Now I have TWO root folders in my catalogue. One has the problem imports (two new subfolders with ?? under them, my "2017" subfolder having disappeared entirely, and one batch of images with its moved #3 subfolder that no longer appears in the list at all!).

This new root is in all caps (PHOTOS LR CATALOGUED). My original root folder says "PHOTOS LR Catalogued". When I try to locate the parent of the ?? folders, it's no longer in the list. It was a subfolder called 2017, with the two dated sub-subfolders in it. The parent "2017" subfolder vanished when I merged. The images in that folder exist on my hard drive in one list, not divided by date, so I can't select their "parent".

As to the images I added to the preexisting #3 subfolder, that subfolder disappeared from my original catalogue and reappeared outside the root folder when I originally imported. When I merged per your instructions, it now lives inside of the PHOTOS root that's in all caps but is still gone from my original subfolder list.

I have always paid attention to case sensitivities. My LR root and all subfolders follow the same capitalization convention. I really don't know what this "capitalization problem" does. Is it a bug or is there some new procedure that's required? If LR is case sensitive, why doesn't it just recognize my existing caps? Do you mean to say if I have any caps at all that everything should be in caps?

I'm not interested in spending a lot of time fixing these three imports, getting them to show up in the right place with the right structure, especially since one of the subfolders was date-hijacked. It's easier to just delete them from the catalogue and start over. What I don't understand is what I need to do to get future imports to go where they're supposed to go. How do I avoid whatever problem LR seems to be having? Things were seamless for me until now. Should I change the name of my root folder to make it contain all caps? What is Lightroom "thinking"?

Thanks again for your help.
 
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No, don't try to change the folder name, that won't do you any good The problem is not Lightroom, the problem is that MacOS X (and Windows) are case-insensitive (but Lightroom is not). Lightroom is correct: there really are two folders; one called "PHOTOS LR Catalogued" and the other one called "PHOTOS LR CATALOGUED". It's just that MacOS X considers those folders as one and the same. Nobody really knows how and why the capitalized version is created (so it's also not your fault), and if Lightroom was case-insensitive too it would not be a problem, but unfortunately it is. It's 00:40 AM here so I'm going to bed now. I'll try to help you sort this out tomorrow, unless Jim Wilde beats me to it (he is more or less our 'capitalization problem specialist').
 

sunhotmoon

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Thank you John. Sleep well.

I am hopelessly confused. (After having spent the last 5 years finally getting so I wasn't hopelessly confused anymore! Reading LRQueen cover to cover and all that.) My catalogue has never been messed up till now.

I now have three catalogues attached to the images in my hard drive folder which is called "PHOTOS LR catalogued"

1. Original catalogue = "PHOTOS LR catalogued"
(contains all of my three recent import efforts, but they are "loose" by date, and not in subfolders. When I've selected them and chosen "Create new folder" I'm told the images are "missing".)
2. First "merge" effort created a new catalogue "PHOTOS LR CATALOGUED"
(contains the two dated subfolders from "2017" with ?? after them; there's no longer a parent; contains all the rest of my images including the recent errant imports, none in subfolders)
3. Second "merge" effort = "PHOTOS LR Catalogued" (oops I see the cap C there that does not exist on my hard drive file name)
(All my images, no subfolders)

Here's what I want to do:

Keep my original catalogue and delete first and second merge efforts. I'm afraid to delete either of these catalogues because they both show 13K+ images attached to them! Will it remove my entire original catalogue or just the redundant one I've clicked on?
Then I want to re-import the three new folders from scratch. But how do I avoid this issue? My original catalogue and my hard drive were always capitalized exactly the same. I don't know why this happened.

I have just updated to 6.12. Should I go back a version to undo this mess?
 

sunhotmoon

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Update:

Inside my original LR catalogue, I have created new empty subfolders and named them, per my original efforts to import. (LR used to do this automatically for me on import, but now it apparently does not. That's how I got messed up to begin with.) I have selected each subfolder and reimported my images, turning off "don't import selected duplicates". I've also unchecked "by date" as John suggested. (Thank you! I would have never noticed this box.)
My original catalogue is now hunky dory.

BUT I'm stuck with these two errant catalogues with different capitalizations that were created when I did the "merge" command, with no subfolders but all my pictures "loose" in each one. I want to delete these catalogues. Can I do it safely without compromising my original hunky dory catalogue?

Thanks for your patience.
 
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I have just updated to 6.12. Should I go back a version to undo this mess?
Johan has already told you "The problem is not Lightroom". Backing out to an older version of LR6 is not going to change anything. The problem is the imprecise way the operating system presents the folders to Lightroom. I recommend that you do nothing until Johan can review where you are and what you have done so far. The solution has been worked out originally by Jim Wilde and we have successfully talked a number of people through this. Rather that interfere with what Johan has done so far, I'll defer to him to get you through it correctly.
 
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OK, because you keep changing things, I first need to see a screenshot of the folder panel in your catalog to make sure that the problem folder is indeed the folder we think it is. Please make a backup of your catalog now, and stop any imports or any other things that involves creating or changing folders. You can keep using it for other things.
 

sunhotmoon

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Here is a screen shot of what exists now.

What I've done so far is to just reimport my new pictures into my good catalogue. (They weren't there anymore anyway, having been all "merged" into the two catalogue folders I don't want.) I created three new empty subfolders in my catalogue before importing, then imported into those. This worked, even though creating those subfolders in LR is a step I've not needed to take in the past. I don't know what changed in some dot upgrade, but something did. Oh well.

Per your advice, I have not renamed ANYthing anywhere!!

The troublesome part (and the reason for my original post) remains that one of those imports consisted of new pictures into an old subfolder which I had highlighted, and LR moved the entire subfolder and its contents outside my root catalogue folder! I finally had to delete the entire moved subfolder from the catalogue, create a new empty subfolder and reimport new and old into that. It showed the old ones in the folder as "duplicates" but I unchecked that box and reimported anyway. There is something going on that is not related to the case sensitivity issue that I just don't get.

What I'm left with now is the two catalogues I want to get rid of that were created when I attempted to follow the merge instructions in the link provided. See screen shot. All the pictures I'd recently imported were apparently merged into these even though their folders vanished.

The top catalogue - PHOTOS LR catalogued - is my good one and matches my hard drives in all respects, the second two are ones LR created with the "Merge" command, with capitalizations of its own choosing. The second two do not contain subfolders.
Will deleting them affect the first catalogue?

Thanks again for your help and patience.


Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.55.16 AM.png
 
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sunhotmoon

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And here is a screen shot of the highlighted photo folder on my hard drive. (The "Temporary" folder was one I created in my effort to follow your instructions.)

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 12.46.56 PM.png
 

sunhotmoon

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Sorry John, I'd done those reimports late yesterday before I read your last post. I just saw your last post this morning. I've backed up as you've suggested, and haven't made any more changes.
 
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Wow, you even have three folders with the same name (except for the capitalization)! That is new for me, but it shouldn't matter. I'm going to suggest a slightly different approach than we usually take, because I believe it's quicker in this case and will hopefully also prevent this from happening again in the future.

Quit Lightroom, and follow these steps to the letter. If anything is unclear, let me know before you proceed.

Step 1:
Create a new folder at the same level as these current folders, so directly into the 'Rene' folder. This is going to be your new top Lightroom images folder, so give it a name that is logical to you. I will use 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS', but feel free to use something different. Do use ALL CAPS for the name however, that will (hopefully) prevent your system playing this 'caps game' again.

Step 2:
In the Finder, open the 'PHOTOS LR catalogued' folder and move everything that is there into this new 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' folder.

Step 3:
Start Lightroom. Right-click on the 'PHOTOS LR catalogued' folder and choose 'Update Folder Location'. Navigate to the new 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' folder and select it. The 'PHOTOS LR catalogued' folder will disappear from the folder panel, and 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' will appear in its place.

Step 4:
Right-click on the 'PHOTOS LR Catalogued' folder (that one should still be there) and do the same. Use 'Update Folder Location' again and select the 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' folder. If you get a warning saying that the folder already exists and do you want to merge them, answer 'Yes'.

Step 5:
Do the same with 'PHOTOS LR CATALOGUED'. The three 'PHOTOS LR Catalogued' folders should now have disappeared from Lightroom, and all your images should be shown in 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' with the correct hierarchy. No folders should show the 'Missing folder' question mark, unless you moved some folders while trying to solve the problem. If you did that, just move them into the 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' folder too. If everything is fine, you can switch to the Finder and move the 'PHOTOS LR Catalogued' folder to the trash.

I hope that will solve it!
 

sunhotmoon

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OK, I understand everything you're suggesting about ditching everything old, copying images in the Finder and creating a newly named catalogue folder that points to the new location. And then pointing everything else to it too.

Question #1: What about the extraneous catalogue with the two subfolders with question marks? Should I delete those "??" subfolders first before I show the catalogue its new location? (Those images now live in one catalogue subfolder called "Alaska 17". It's one of the ones I reimported, and I unchecked the "by date" box as was suggested. The dated folders with ?? do not exist at all.)

(I didn't move any folders, I only created the new subfolders when I did the reimports.)

Question #2: are you saying that my "PHOTOS LR catalogued" folder on the desktop hard drive is somehow contaminated? I'm kind of assuming that - otherwise why not just rename it in the Finder with some new name that's all caps and just point to it in LR?

I'm also wondering about my backup image folders on two other external hard drives with the same PHOTOS name (one of them is my backup every time I quit LR). Can I just rename those folders rather than create new ones and move all the images on those external drives? If I have to duplicate all my images in those drives it will take a long time. If I can just rename those PHOTOS files on the external drives it will certainly simplify things. I'll do whatever you suggest.

Can't address this task immediately but I will definitely do this and report back with the results. And then I'll test a new import and see if it goes where it's supposed to.

Thanks Johan!
 
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sunhotmoon

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Question #3: I was mistaken, the dated folders with ?? do exist in my image folder, as subfolders in another subfolder called "2017". Those have the original file names. There are also image duplicates with -2 designations under the subfolder "Alaska 17". i.e. apparently I have two Alaska image folders.

My inclination to fix this would be to create a new Alaska folder on my desktop, and move my original image files there, trash the ones that are -2. Then delete everything in the catalogue related to Alaska, including my recent import, and start over with a new import of those images once I've duplicated all the other folders and have cleaned it all up per your instructions.

You admonished me not to make ANY folder changes, so I wanted to run it by you how to handle the Alaska mess. (Give it back to the Russians?)
 
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I did notice those missing folders, but felt that they are most likely a non-related issue. I see that you've found them in the meantime, so all you need to do after you go through the instrucions is move them to the appropriate place (the place where Lightroom expects them to be). Nothing to worry about and something we can deal with later.

'Contaminated' isn't the right word, but that 'PHOTOS LR catalogued' folder exists in (at least) three differently capitalized versions. Renaming the only version you can see in the Finder may not solve that, and the other thing is that we have no idea what that will do with the other versions. We don't even know where these versions come from! The other versions will be renamed too, or otherwise the images in those versions would simply disappear from the Finder completely. But how they will be renamed is something we simply don't know. It is quite possible that they would indeed all get the new all caps name, but I think it's better not to take any chances.

Trying to rename all the versions through Lightroom is something I would also not recommend. Because the OS does not see the difference that Lightroom does see, it may lead to unexpected results, and even data loss. That is why I propose to create a brand new 'LIGHTROOM MASTERS' top folder, just to be sure that we don't mess things up even further.

You didn't mention those 'Alaska' folders before, but again this is an unrelated issue that we can deal with later.
 

sunhotmoon

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OK, I've created my new folder LIGHTROOM PHOTOS in the Finder and moved all my images into it. Created the new folder in LR of the same name. My original catalogue is all ?? now, of course.

Step 3: "Update folder location" gave me the attached message with the "merge" option. (I presume the "already in LR" means the other two catalogues that have all the images attached but do not have anything in subfolders.) I never know what is being merged with what, and this Merge command is what created the two extra catalogues to begin with.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 12.08.40 PM.png


Needless to say, if this results in my losing all my subfolder structure like it did last time, my catalogue is toast. I backed out of the dialogue box.

Now what?
 
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1: Your external drives are not related to this problem in any way. They will stay in Lightroom as before.
2: No, Lightroom did not get confused. As explained, the problem is that those three folders really exist. Why they exist is anyones guess. We've seen this problem many times before, and it can occur in different places in the hierarchy. Some people had two user folders for example, one in lower caps and one in all caps. Your choice to use 'PHOTOS' and 'catalogued' has nothing to do with this problem.
 
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OK, I'll leave externals as is.
I've updated my last post after I followed your Step 3. Need further instructions. Thanks.
That's the merge dialog I mentioned. Just click 'Merge'.
 
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OK, I've created my new folder LIGHTROOM PHOTOS in the Finder and moved all my images into it. Created the new folder in LR of the same name.
I just noted this "Created the new folder in LR of the same name.". That was not in my instructions! A 'folder in Lightroom' is a real folder, so it also exists on your disk somewhere. The question now is if that means you've created a second 'LIGHTROOM PHOTOS' folder somewhere else on your disk. That shouldn't be a problem, as long as your 'Update Folder Location' is done to the folder you created in the Finder (the one that now contains all your images)...
 

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Johan, I think I wasn't clear what I did. I created a folder in my Finder with a different name - "LIGHTROOM PHOTOS" - and then I created a new folder in Lightroom also called "LIGHTROOM PHOTOS". My new name. That's what I meant by "the same name". I meant the same as the new folder in the Finder, NOT the same name as it was before!

Anyway, I followed the rest of your instructions with all three old folders, backing up profusely before I clicked "Merge".
Oh me of little faith, it worked! I now have one new catalogue with the new name, all my subfolders are intact, and the other catalogues are GONE!

I've got a bunch of duplicates in the Alaska folder and one of the others that I reimported, but I know how to clean those up.
I still don't know why my original import went outside my root folder, but if I have problems with that issue again I'll address it later. In the meantime, I'll make sure the cases of all folder titles match up.

Thank you very much for your patient help!
René
 
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Goog to hear that it all went well!

Johan, I think I wasn't clear what I did. I created a folder in my Finder with a different name - "LIGHTROOM PHOTOS" - and then I created a new folder in Lightroom also called "LIGHTROOM PHOTOS".
It was clear that you did something that was not in my instructions. Creating a folder in Lightroom is creating a real folder on your disk. Unless you created a collection, not a folder. So if you created a folder in the Finder called 'LIGHTROOM PHOTOS' and then you created a folder in Lightroom called 'LIGHTROOM PHOTOS' as well, then there must be two folders called 'LIGHTROOM PHOTOS'. Not in the exact same place, because MacOS X would not allow you to do that, but the other one is somewhere else. It doesn't really matter, though. It's probably just an empty folder. But if you see it somewhere, you'll know what happened.

I still don't know why my original import went outside my root folder
I believe I tried to explain a few times that nobody knows why or how this happens...
 
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