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Lightroom chaos

AmandaKay

Photography mom
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Morgan hill, CA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic version 9.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I am not sure how to even ask. I have thousands of photos on 2 different external hard drives. It used to be somewhat organized but due to frustrations with ONeDrive it now is very disorganized. It takes me forever to find what I am looking for and sometimes LR cant even locate it. So my question is . . . How can I use LR Classic to go back through all my folders and reorganize them? Is there a video that you would suggest? I am not new to LR, I just am so overwhelmed I am not sure where or how to start.

Thanks for any help (or sympathy:confused:).
 

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,739
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Are these photos still on separate drives? If so then make sure LR sees both. Go through all your parent and subfolders and see if there are ? beside them. If so click on it and link to where your folders are. Figure out what type of folder structure you want and set it up that way. Then using LR drag those folders to the new set up. I'm set up by year. Every year is by event name and date.
 

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AmandaKay

Photography mom
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Morgan hill, CA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thank you! One more question. I have several different cataloges. Would it make sense to create a new one that is complete and organized?
 

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,739
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
The consensus is 1 catalogue is the best route to go as that is what the DAM is for. Key-word searches, etc. Actually LR has a cool feature called Import From Another Catalogue. It is under File on the top bar. You could just pick one of your existing catalogues, use it as the master and import the others into it. You can rename it after. Or you could create a new one and import the others. All your edits will maintained.

I would would re-link all your missing folders first. "Back all your files and catalogues" up before importing catalogues. Take it slow and be methodical. Then when you have one catalogue left drag the folders around to your preferred set up.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,391
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
One item you should check. Windows has a habit of sometimes reassigning new drive letters to external drives. Before you go about doing anything, check to see what drive letters LR believes are assigned to the two drives and then mount the drive in Windows and see if they have the correct letters. If not, this could explain why LR cannot find your photos. If that is the case for either drive, then you can manually change the letter(s) back to what they should be by using the Computer Management app and then selecting Disk Management under Storage. You can reassign the drive letters that LR thinks should be associated with each drive. Do not mess around with your internal drive letters as this can cause you issues.

If the letters are correct, you can ignore the directions above and proceed ahead with relinking your images with LR.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

GrahamP

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
65
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Windows has a habit of sometimes reassigning new drive letters to external drives.
This can be a real pain. Whenever I have an external drive for which the drive letter is important (whether for a Lightroom catalogue, backup regime or anything else) I put the drive letter in the disk volume name (e.g. Drive X). Then when Windows assigns a different drive letter when it is reconnected, the first thing I do is to change the drive letter to that specified in the disk volume name. This saves all sorts of lost file linkages and similar issues.

Graham
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,391
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
This can be a real pain. Whenever I have an external drive for which the drive letter is important (whether for a Lightroom catalogue, backup regime or anything else) I put the drive letter in the disk volume name (e.g. Drive X). Then when Windows assigns a different drive letter when it is reconnected, the first thing I do is to change the drive letter to that specified in the disk volume name. This saves all sorts of lost file linkages and similar issues.

Graham
I also tend to assign letters that are further down in the alphabet for important drives as the OS tends to assign alphabetically. If the drive is frequently used, it tends to hold its assigned letter. If not, then that is when things start to happen.

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
424
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
when connecting an external storage (disk, USBkey...), Windows asign the first letter (in alphabetical order) available. For exemple, if you a EHD once mounted as E, and the next time you have a USB key connected (which has beeen assigned to E (because it was available at tha time) and you connect your EHD, it will be assigned to F (since E is already used).
If you manually assign a letter like explained by Ken, the next time you will connect the EHD, Windows will try assign this letter if it is still available.
That's why manually assigning a letter further in the alphabet is a goog mean (but not absolute) to avoid this path change.
Another mean is to "mount" your EHD in a folder. It's access will be thru this folder and this path will never change.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
680
Location
Perth, Australia
One item you should check. Windows has a habit of sometimes reassigning new drive letters to external drives. Before you go about doing anything, check to see what drive letters LR believes are assigned to the two drives and then mount the drive in Windows and see if they have the correct letters. If not, this could explain why LR cannot find your photos. If that is the case for either drive, then you can manually change the letter(s) back to what they should be by using the Computer Management app and then selecting Disk Management under Storage. You can reassign the drive letters that LR thinks should be associated with each drive. Do not mess around with your internal drive letters as this can cause you issues.

If the letters are correct, you can ignore the directions above and proceed ahead with relinking your images with LR.

Good luck,

--Ken

ken

i have just purchased a new desktop with 3 drives.

C. drive
D. drive
E. drive

previously, i had been working in LR with an external drive and LR would always point to my images in Drive F.

I have copied all my images onto my internal D as its an Nvme . drive and was about to re-assign my D. drive to F. and off i go, when i did a quick search and come across this post and "Do not mess around with your internal drive letters as this can cause you issues."

So as not to tinker with the internal drive letters then, how do i point the catalogue to the folder location on the internal drive?

regards
brad
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
680
Location
Perth, Australia
ken

i have just purchased a new desktop with 3 drives.

C. drive
D. drive
E. drive

previously, i had been working in LR with an external drive and LR would always point to my images in Drive F.

I have copied all my images onto my internal D as its an Nvme . drive and was about to re-assign my D. drive to F. and off i go, when i did a quick search and come across this post and "Do not mess around with your internal drive letters as this can cause you issues."

So as not to tinker with the internal drive letters then, how do i point the catalogue to the folder location on the internal drive?

regards
brad
all good sorted, its been a while since using LR so forgot how to find missing folders.
 
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